Paint it Back Review

By , on October 25, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 7 months ago

Paint it Back
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Classic Picross gameplay.
  • The reveal at the end of every puzzle is satisfying.
  • Smooth learning curve.
  • Solid presentation.


  • It's a bit strange to see your black paintsing turn into a coloured image at the end.


Paint it Back is a solid Picross game with a truckload of content, which should please fans of the genre.

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Anyone whose spent any time on a Nintendo system should be familiar with Picross, the puzzle game which involves creating pixelated pictures by filling in squares on a grid. To help you solve these puzzles, numbers are attached to the end of every row and column. These numbers tell you how many squares must be filled, and how many should be left blank. The trick is to work out which squares you need to paint to complete the picture without putting a foot wrong along the way.

It's a simple concept that can become mind-bogglingly complex as the puzzle areas become larger and larger. Paint it Back has taken this classic puzzle concept, and set it against an artistic backdrop. You see, a ghost has spooked all the paintings off the local art gallery's canvases. To sort out the problem, the museum's resident painter has enlisted your assistance in restoring each painting to its former glory.

After a rather slow and thorough tutorial section, the game lets you loose in the first wing. As you progress, the puzzle areas become larger, and the pictures more complicated. The first thirty puzzles are free, with the option to unlock later levels via in-app payments.

The one of the highlights of the game is discovering the title of each paintings once you complete the image. Most of them are pretty daft, but also quite inventive and humorous. The mechanics of adding paint and crossing out void squares is simple and easy, allowing you to focus your attention on choosing the right tiles to paint. The presentation is solid, if a little unremarkable, with the cartoon museum setting feeling a bit twee.

That said, it's great to see Picross make its way to the App Store. Paint it Back delivers this classic puzzle experience with some flair, and plenty of content to play through. If you like painting by numbers, then this exercise in arithmatic art is for you.


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