Picross 3-D Game Poster Image

Picross 3-D



Awesome, but very challenging, depth perception puzzle game.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game sends the message that challenging your brain and learning to think in new analytical ways can be fun.

Positive role models

There are no characters to be role models in this game, but the game itself stands testament to how much entertainment young players can get from a purely intellectual video game.

Ease of play

Picross 3-D is a definite mental challenge, even more so than its two-dimensional predecessor. But an excellent, in-depth tutorial shows you everything you need to know -- not just rules, but incredibly useful strategies as well. There are four difficulty levels, and when you get to "Hard," there's a good chance you'll be stumped from time to time. In fact "Normal," can be quite challenging. But any puzzle you fizzle out on can always be attempted again.


Each time you solve a puzzle and uncover a block figure, that figure comes to life in a short animation. A couple of the animations contain mild slapstick, such as a judo instructor flipping an opponent or a dragon bopping a human with its tail; but no one is hurt. Nothing about these blocky angular figures looks realistic.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Picross 3-D requires patience and a good use of strategy. Much of that strategy is outlined in the lengthy tutorial. Kids used to fast-paced action may need to be reminded that blind block-smashing (as tempting as it may be sometimes) will raretly lead them to a correct solution. Parents should also be aware that children can create and share their own puzzles. Puzzles shared online via Wi-Fi get vetted by Nintendo, but kids can share their own puzzles locally between DS units, and those would be unmoderated.

Parents say

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What's it about?

In PICROSS 3-D, a solid, three-dimensional figure is buried within a block of cubes. Numbers listed on each horizontal row and vertical column tell you how many cubes in that row or column are part of the hidden figure. Using those numerical clues, you tap on un-needed blocks, shattering them and removing them from the screen. Once you've removed all the extraneous blocks, you're left with a Lego-like cube figure (which then becomes animated and performs a silly little scene). A make-your-own mode gives players the opportunity to craft their own puzzles which they can either upload to Nintendo for public consumption or share privately among friends who also have a DS with Picross 3-D. You can also share some of the game's content with others even when they don't own Picross 3-D.

Is it any good?


Picross 3-D is an amazingly fun puzzle game not only because the puzzle mechanic itself (chipping away unnecessary blocks until you've uncovered the secret figure) is appealing and addictive, but also because of the suprise aspect when you solve a puzzle. The puzzle solutions can be just about anything (a cell phone, a ladybug, a dachsund, a tape dispenser, a hippo, a pizza delivery boy to name a few), and there's a little thrill each time in just seeing what it is you've unearthed. The cute animations don't hurt, either. But of course, it's really about the puzzle-solving, and to puzzle buffs, these brainteasers (which can be super-duper tough as you move further on in the game) are the stuff that dreams are made of. With four levels of difficulty, there is a puzzle level that is just right for everyone from kids to grandparents. The creative mode works quite well, too, and provides an entire other level on which this wonderful puzzle game can be enjoyed.

Online interaction: New puzzles can be downloaded via Wi-Fi, giving the game a longer life and more replay value. Players can also submit their original puzzles to Nintendo and possibly have them selected as a downloadable puzzle for other players.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the kinds of puzzles kids create with Picross 3-D's puzzle creator. What kinds of objects or images would you like to create? Do you try to make difficult puzzles to stump friends? Do you try to be silly and funny with your creations? Why do you make the choices you do?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Available online?Not available online
Release date:May 3, 2010
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief

This review of Picross 3-D was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old June 3, 2010
i love it
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 14 years old Written byKieth11 September 13, 2012

Excellent puzzle game

This game has really, no content that would be inappropriate for any kids, but to solve the puzzles, you really have to use your brain, and kids under ten might get really frustrated with this game. I really like the fact that it starts off with a very good explanation of the basics, and does a very good job of gradually increasing the difficulty of the puzzles the more you play it. Also, you can create your own puzzles which is awesome, then you can share it with other people.
Kid, 11 years old April 23, 2011

Too blocks to complicated!

It dosen't make very much sense. I am not a big fan of the game because it is way to complicated to play. It is not good for children.
What other families should know
Educational value


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