Picross is pixel painting for the logic minded. The recent entry for Alien in the Room: Reloaded had a puzzle in it that was called Picross. This entry is for everyone who enjoyed that puzzle. If you have also enjoyed the Sudoku and logic puzzle games, TylerK's Picross offers a visual twist.
Picross was invented in Japan by Tetsuya Nishio according to Wikipedia. It is often featured in puzzle magazines and was even made into a game for the Nintendo Game Boy. There were even more video game versions released in Japan. Still, this is not going to be a game for everybody. There are also several web versions out there. TylerK's is by far the best rendition I have found.
Gameplay: The game presents a grid with a series of numbers on the top and left side. The numbers denote exactly how many of the squares in that row or column are to be filled in what size groups and in what order. Since this is a visual puzzle the best descriptions have pictures. I don't have pictures, but I do have links to some sites that can help you if you are confused on the game play or strategies: Paint by numbers and Nonogram puzzle.
Pros: TylerK has one of the few Flash versions of the game that I have seen, making it much more appealing than the plenty of Java versions that are out there. His version allows both known filled squares and known empty squares to be entered. His version allows the numbers to be checked off as you work on the puzzle. His version allows groups of the same type to be entered all at the same time by click and dragging. There is no ticking clock to add unneeded pressure to the puzzle. The puzzle knows when it is solved and immediately stops. The level menu notes which puzzles you have already solved.
Cons: My biggest complaint is the lack of a check button that would show where you have a problem such as too many filled in squares. For such a high caliber game this seems like a relatively simple task. There is also no persistence in solving levels. If you exit your browser and come back to the site, all of the puzzles are once again marked unsolved. Finally, there is not the wide variety of puzzles that are found when using Java versions.
A good diversion and a good presentation, but there is still room for improvement for this game.
TylerK's Picross was created by Tyler Kane, who is a member of the band The Timmys from Springfield, Illinois. Even though the game is hosted on The Timmys website, there is presently no readily available link to the game from there. And while there is little information available for Tyler, he appears to be the webmaster for the site.
Update: The game is no longer available.