ArtbegottiGriddler PearEvery time we review a picross game, there always seems to be a hubbub about what site does it right. Either there's not enough puzzles to solve, not enough variety in the puzzles, it's all too easy or too hard, or the pictures look like someone sneezed on a piece of graph paper. (I'll admit to being among the gripers before.) And every time, there's at least one person who suggests Griddlers.net.

If you've never played picross before, here's how it works: On the top and left side of a grid, you will see some numbers. These numbers tell you how many consecutive blocks are to be filled in in that respective row or column. For example, a row says 4, you'll fill four squares in that row, no more, no less. If there is more than one number in a line, then you know that there is at least one blank space in between the sections you fill in. For example, 2,2 means you fill in two boxes, leave at least one blank, then fill in two more boxes. Left-clicking fills in a square, while right-clicking marks it with a blank space. Thus, blacking in the last "?" square in the picture above will finish this picture of a juicy pear.

Here is what sets Griddlers apart from the others: Not only is the site's database of playable picross games ridiculously ginormous, but they have many different variations on the genre to keep you interested. Some include:

Colored Griddlers - These are played just like regular picross puzzles, except now you have multiple colors to fill in the grid with. The same rule applies that there is one block between each string of numbers of the same color, however, there does not need to be a gap between numbers of different color. This variety allows for puzzles of up to eight colors, which means all sorts of beautiful animals, faces, and other pictures can be made in a more lively fashion.

Multi-Griddlers - These are sets of picross puzzles that when put together form much larger pictures, in jigsaw-style fashion. Some of the smaller pictures are divided into 2-4 sections, while the larger pictures can contain upwards of 100 separate sections to solve. People have gone to great lengths to use this feature to create very detailed puzzles depicting photographs, cartoon characters, famous paintings, and all sorts of amazing pictures... Can you tell that I'm hinting that this website has a lot of very artistically designed puzzles here?

TriddlerTriddlers - Quite possibly the most radical variation available, Triddlers are played on a hexagonal grid divided into triangles. You fill in the triangles with clues from the left-hand side (going across), the top (going down-left), and the bottom (going up-left). Changing the shape of picross (literally), this variation allows for more three-dimensional designs and generally provides a break from the standard square-grid picross.

With all of these fantastic features, is there any possible problem with this website? Well... yes, but it's a minor one. There is a quick and painless registration process to be able to record your progress. You're allowed to save two Griddlers and two Triddlers in the middle of solving, but beyond this requires a paid subscription (which truth be told, has a ton of extra features, including the ability to download and print puzzles for solving away from the computer).

Analysis: So have we finally found the holy grail of picross? Of course not. Actually, I can almost already predict the two largest problems people will find with these games. The controls are different from any picross game we've featured so far, particularly because of the multi-colored puzzles. It's no longer plain black and white, there's also red, green, and blue, which can pose a problem for colorblind individuals. The second problem is that all of the puzzles run on a Java interface, and I know how some people have issues with Java. But that much aside, we have a site that offers us (I kid you not) tens of thousands of picross puzzles to solve... I'd say it still qualifies as a puzzler's heaven.

So... Picross. Tons of it. Not much more to say here!

Play Griddlers

24 Comments

Only one thing to say.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! *runs around in circles like a crazed man*

But on a more serious note, I'm happy to see this site finally got a review. Even though I don't use it much, it is in my opinion the best Picross site/game that I have ever been able to find, and it definitely has the biggest number of picrosses ever available on any one site.

Actually, this really IS the holy grail of Picross. Since seeing it mentioned in the comments of another review here a few months ago, I have spent countless hours on this site.

One comment about the review; the controls are maybe a little different, but still very much the same, and you can change the colors if you don't like them.

It's not even that it's java. It's just the incredibly POOR interface. Even the website. It's complete crap. It's cluttered, it's hard to find things, know where to go to start puzzles, etc.

Ugh, no thank you.

I love Picross, and this game looks like it has a ton of functionality. I just hate Java applets...

I love this site...I love these type of puzzles (I call them picross but that is because of Mario Picross on the Gameboy.) thanks for posting it I am going to play more puzzles...try and complete all the archive (yeah right. :p)

I love this site.

Another site with good "picrosses" is to be found at www.conceptispuzzles.com. Their site contains puzzles similar to picrosses (they're called pic-a-pix there) as well as several different types of picture logic puzzles.

Try the Link-A-Pix. They're my favorite.

Gah - why do these sites always hate me? I have the latest version of Java installed (1.6.0_03-b05 according to java -version). The puzzles on this site give me the dreaded grey box (because heaven forfend Java actually grace me with a /useful error message/)...

I've tried on IE7 and Firefox 2.0.0.12 on Windows XP, and Opera 9 and Firefox 2.0.0.12 on Ubuntu. IE7 is unique in that it even fails to load the bits around the puzzle (which invite me to rate the puzzle I cannot see) and redirects me to the Java site. It's not a corrupt installation - I've tried a reinstall to no avail.

And to cap it all off, the forums seem to be down... Is anyone else experiencing similar problems?

"(which truth be told, has a ton of extra features, including the ability to download and print puzzles for solving away from the computer)"

That's why the PrintScreen button was invented.

Oh wow... I found this site forever ago! once in while i go on a puzzle solving spree!

Yay, finally Griddlers. For me, this basically IS the site for Picross puzzles. Doing a multi-griddler with 100 pieces (some of which are ridicilously hard indeed) and then after literally months of work seeing the whole picture is immensely satisfying, like finishing a 10000 pieces Jigsaw puzzle (not that I would know exactly how finishing 10000 pieces Jigsaw puzzle feels, but anyway).

As for the negative comment up there, Simone, Griddlers serve more like an immensely big database of Picross puzzles catalogues by difficulty, type, size, popularity and whatnot then a classis "gaming" site. If you like Picross puzzles for what they are, you'll love it. If you want smooth clean interfaces with flashy graphics, music and sound effects, well, look elsewhere. I think the interface is nowhere near "incredibly POOR", but yes, it is a bit plain and utilitarian. If you like Picross but cannot get past the interface aesthetics, well, what can I say. you're missing out quite a bit.

Gah! I've got the latest version of Java that Mac Firefox will let me download, and I don't even get the 'dreaded grey box'. It's just a blank area on the website. It won't even let me know what the problem is; this stinks.

I was just swinging by here for a quick check and then I was actually off to Griddlers when I saw this review! I have tried every picross site that has been reviewed and this one I find to be the best for me. Yes, the interface is relatively simple, but the colored pictures, saving capabilities, and the vast amount of categories offer so much more than any other site I have seen. I can see why some may be turned off by how plain it is, I was too at first, but if you are in it for the puzzles this is the site for you.

Fafnir, I have finally given up on Firefox ever working with Java. I downloaded Navigator and all my Java problems have gone away.

There are a few things I find clunky about this site--switching between colors is difficult and I don't find a way to mark off numbers in the grid--which is so basic to the solving mechanism that I'm a bit disappointed. But having access to this many puzzles is certainly a bonus!

I was introduced to picross puzzles by Descarte's Enigma, and have been spoiled by the fact that it counts groups of squares for you (the numbers on the puzzle here). I just don't have the patience to solve a large puzzle when I have to do the counting myself. Unfortunately, I've never seen another client that does the counting for me.

i suck at picrosses.
but they are cool though

Switching between colors difficult with Griddlers? Just click on the clue you want to use. Another way is to use the numbers of your keyboard, you can find the colors they represent at the side of the puzzles. Marking of clues and cells is possible too, you can place different markers by combining shift and the mouse keys. It's worth taking a look at the Tools page for more interesting keys.

There is a kind of counter available in iGridd - the part of the site you need to subscribe to. You can test it before subscribing to see if it's what you are looking for, it's just not possible to save or register your solved puzzle.

Need I say that I'm a big fan of Griddlers myself? The only setback for me is that it really does NOT work well together with a Mac...

It makes up for much with its sheer size, but I have two major gripes with Griddlers: the website, and the invisible row and column highlight.

My problem with the website isn't that it's ugly -- which it is, artistically and logically -- but that the navigation and arrangement suck. I wouldn't have a problem with a plain and utilitarian site, but this is neither of those things: it's cluttered and chaotic, not plain, and the navigation is counter-intuitive and hard to parse, not utilitarian. When I first found the site, it took me days (yes, days!) to come up with a reliable and reproducible route to the puzzles I wanted to play. I'm not unintelligent, nor a 'Net newbie, so I believe my difficulties navigating the site are indicative of problems on their end, not mine.

I like some of the gameplay features, such as right-clicking for empties, no-cheat progress tracking, and the ability to change the colors. Other features I find merely annoying, such as the reverse-logic question marks and the tedious method of putting them back after the mouse slips. I wish it would default to an auto-contrast grid 5 color. But the part that's really hard on me is the nigh-invisible quarter-pixel-weight row and column highlighting -- which defaults to *yellow*. I find it difficult to "see straight" across a long line, and those invisible little lines to either side of the clues sure don't help much.

I wish someone would write a picross site incorporating all the best features of the existing ones: no login and no Java, like all the sites except Griddlers; "crosshairs" highlighting (extending onto the picture grid, not just the clues) like Picture Logic; automatic marking of filled lines -- regardless of whether they're *correctly* filled -- like Griddlers; right-click for Xs (or shift-click if right-click absolutely isn't possible -- anything but double-click), like Griddlers (or like Tylerk and Armor); "square" or "straight" drag-and-fill like Tylerk; the ability to mark individual clues as "done", like Tylerk, Picture Logic, and Armor; and simple, intuitive error fixing: if I left-click on a filled square or right-click on an X, it should go back to empty. Oh, and a simple puzzle-design option, like at Wiipicross, would be lovely.

It just gives me a grey box!

All I know is, I can't play! The game just gives me a gray box. I've already signed up and have the latest version of Java. What am I missing?

I absolutely love this site, and I've become hooked on Triddlers (I've done about 1500 so far :D).

The one thing that's bad is that I'm on an old iBook (I have a knack of getting apple products right before they discontinue them), and the screen isn't very big, which makes the bigger puzzles hard to see.

I've also gotten the "dreaded grey box" but all I have to do is scroll (Using the two finger scroll) on the outside of the grey box, and POOF! it's gone.

Is this site taking a ridiculously long time to load for anyone else?

Never mind, it was me not the site. after going through it awhile I realize i must have died and gone to picross heaven. I haven't figured out the triangle ones quite yet, but there fun too. It's ridiculous that you have to pay in order to print your puzzles. It's better to just screen cap them and print them though paint.

Hi,
wow so many puzzles, i love this site. Another puzzle game worth playing is Gemsweeper, a nonogram puzzle from lobstersoft. I have totally enjoyed playing this. The game has 225 puzzles starting from a simple 5 by 5 to 30 by 30. Storyline is good and when i got stuck there was an old man to help me. It tests your logical skills to the utmost. Great fun and non violent so ideal for kids as well. Great graphics. Check it out!
http://jayisgames.com/archives/2007/08/gemsweeper.php
karin

Poor UI, site design that manages to be both bland and ugly, and Java errors everywhere I turn despite all my efforts. No thank you.

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