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Art Style: PiCTOBiTS



Copyright 2009 Nintendo

Nintendo DSiWare (NOT Nintendo DS)

Review by Blue Protoman

Website: www.bpsdomain.b1.jcink.com


You all know that crack is addicting. You try it once, and can never stop. You’re hooked for life. Well, consider Art Style: PiCTOBiTS to be the DSi equivalent of crack. If you have a DSi and like puzzle games, and don’t have this game, what the hell are you doing here!?

If you’re American, you know this game as Art Style: PiCTOBiTS. If not, you know it as Art Style: PiCTOPiCT. But, what is this game? It’s a puzzle game. You have to tap blocks on the bottom screen (bits) and clear blocks falling from the top of the bottom screen (megabits) either in a line or with a 4x4 or more square. The bits you clear form a picture on the top screen, and this picture is a sprite (or sprites) from an NES game Nintendo made. The individual colors form specific parts of the sprite. For example, in the first level, the tan blocks form part of Mario’s face. Complete the sprite to finish the level.

There’s more to it, though. There are 30 levels. There are 15 regular levels (unlock the next by clearing the previous one), and if you obtain coins, you can purchase Dark levels at increasingly expensive prices. Dark levels usually have a different sprite, and they’re much harder. (Dark levels 13 and 14 are demonic. You will not clear them the first time you play them.) Dark levels have the same theme, however. (Both Level 4 and Dark Level 4 are Ice Climber levels.)

From now on, I’m no longer going to review graphics. It’s too much of a pain in the ass to do so, comparing it to other games, did they intend it too look this way, etc, etc… You wanna see me review graphics? Tough shit. I’m skipping right to Sound from now on.

Sound (8.5/10)

All in-game songs are remixes of famous music from Nintendo games in the 80s. They are composed by the Japanese chiptune band YMCK. Therefore, the music itself is 8-bit. Good stuff. It starts out slow, but it gets better, with more layers and percussion added. There is a Sound Test mode, in which you can buy songs with the coins you’ve earned. The catch? You have to buy them twice for the first experience. The first time is the raw song, with the basic, not-so-intense melody. The second time you buy it (more expensive) starts off slow, but the rest of the sounds are added on layer by layer, like in the main game. That…kinda sucks. It’s not technically part of the music quality, though, so I won’t bump down my score. All songs, raw or not, get progressively more expensive. The Level 15 song is much more expensive than the Level 1 song for example.

Originality (10/10)

A game that only the DSi could bring us. It’s hard thinking up a puzzle game. Nintendo does not disappoint. I don’t think a match-three game like this has been done before. Can’t think of anything bad here.

Presentation (9.7/10)

Also fantastic. The Art Style series is well-known for great presentation. It’s got an NES feel, so instant epicness. Retro-styled games are few and far between. The menus are nice and easy, there’s a tutorial, and everything. The menu is slightly bland, though. There’s a bunch of colored tiles. Yeah, it’s pretty, but there could be more. Sprites from the game running around the screen, perhaps? At least the level-select screen has graphics from the games they’re supposed to be from.

Replay (9/10)

Like I said, PiCTOBiTS is addicting, like many puzzle games. Maybe it’s the fast-paced action, maybe it’s the good music, maybe it’s the pretty colors, who knows? Plus, it’s got a lot of different levels, and there’s music to unlock, so that’s a plus. You will be playing this more than once.

Overall (9/10)

A perfect example of how to make a puzzle game. Get this if you like classic games, puzzlers, or if you’re on a budget. (This game costs a mere $5 on the DSiWare Shop.) Don’t buy it if you don’t like puzzle games, or if you have slow reflexes.



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