# Picma

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Hello, my name is GrinnyP and I am a picross fanatic. It has been over 20 years since I first fell in love with a puzzle in a magazine, Paint by Numbers. Ever since then, whether in paper or computer format, on-line or download, that particular puzzle has always been a favorite. Call it picross or nonograms (or one of 20 million other names) I can never get enough. That is why I am so excited over the newest Flash version of my favorite puzzle, Picma. Designed by Moonberry Studios, Picma takes picross to dizzying new heights, and satisfies the never-ending craving familiar to picross fanatics.

Playing picross is simple, in theory. You are given a grid with numbers along the outside which indicate how many squares in the grid are filled in. For instance, if you see the series 3, 5, 2 you know that within that line there is a block of 3 squares, a block of 5 squares, and a block of 2 squares filled in with at least one space in-between. Pretty simple if you are working in a 15 x 15 grid, not so simple if you are working in a larger grid. Still, picking up the basic strategy is easy for those who have never played the game. But be warned, you might end up swelling the ranks of those of us who jones for more.

Picma has gone the extra mile and included multi-color puzzles along with regular single color picross. These are much trickier, as there is not always space between the color blocks, so regular picross solving strategies must be modified to solve these little beauties. For those who have mastered picross, this is a fun new challenge, requiring even more mental gymnastics.

Even better, Picma features a "create your own" puzzle section, where you can create anything from simple 5 x 5 puzzles up to monster 50 x 50 brain teasers, either single color or multiple. The site does have registration, but you can play the five levels and 120 puzzles without even bothering, if you don't want to. Creating puzzles allows you to access even more puzzles, if registration is your thing.

Analysis: Great pains have been made to make Picma a joy to look at as well as a joy to play. The interface is top-notch, with the ability to use the on-screen icon controls or hot keys. The look of the game is stunning; grids appear on yellowed paper, sitting on a wooden table top, appearing to be a page of a book or magazine. For those of us from the age of dinosaurs, this is a thrilling call-back to the days before computer picross, when all you had was a pencil, a magazine, and your wits.

As far as challenge and number of puzzles are concerned, Picma's got you covered, even if you're a picross expert. There are five levels, from Apprentice (easy grids, mostly 5 x 5) to Grand Master (from 25 x 25 grids to 50 x 50 grids), each with 24 puzzles. A timer lets you know how fast you've managed to solve each grid, and selection of a puzzle lets you know the average time players have taken to complete it. Not that picross needs to be timed to be enjoyed.

The backgrounds, the music, the controls, all add up to an amazing, gorgeous picross experience, one of the best to be had whether online or downloaded. Picma lends itself well to the casual gameplay experience, being something you can do on a coffee break or when you have a few free minutes to solve a puzzle or two. Head to the site and solve one or two puzzles, or settle in for a marathon and solve until your eyes bleed, it is up to you. But definitely play Picma and enjoy the experience!

Play Picma

Ahhh picross!

I love your color idea and the music is as calming as it should. Nice design you got there.

Still I'm poor on solving picross boards bigger than 10x10. :)

I don't like that it automatically corrects your mistakes.

It seems odd that the author would go out of their way to implement a scrolling interface, when it would have been much simpler to just make the window large enough for the bigger puzzles. Anything 25x25 or larger is difficult to navigate, even when zoomed out.

Aside from that it's a very nice implementation with a good variety of puzzles.

October 13, 2009 1:58 PM

Looks like a great game. I love picross, even have a DS game for it. Unfortunantely, this game only works on the new version of IE, which aren't on the computers here at my college.

I can't get it to open any puzzles for me. Is this a mac issue? I can click on Play Picma, and then it shows various puzzles, all of which have questions marks grayed out. I can click on "New Puzzles", but it does nothing; Apprentice through Grandmaster are grayed and unavailable for clicking on...

October 13, 2009 2:10 PM

"I don't like that it automatically corrects your mistakes."

In the Options screen you may activate "Free" mode, it won't correct any mistakes and features a "What if?" helper for the larger puzzles.

I'm finding this game kinda pointless... all I have to do is click every single square and it fills it in for me. It will put a X over a square if its meant to be left blank automatically... so I don't understand what the point of the game is if I'm not meant to figure it out myself? Unless I've ticked some option without knowing that does it all for me.

Aha, figured it out! If you go to Options on the main menu, you can select from Supervised or Free. Change it to free if you don't want the game to fill in everything for you!

"I can't get it to open any puzzles for me. Is this a mac issue?"

Sadly we have not yet had the chance to test it on an actual Mac.

The puzzles found in "New Puzzles" are only available if you have Credits (from creating puzzles) or a Subscription.

Nevertheless, you should be able to play all five free sets: Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert, Master and Grand Master. These should "light up" when you mouse over the titles and clicking on them should show a list of playable puzzles.

It works under IE6.0 for me just fine.

I hate the scrolling interface--a bigger window would've worked just fine.

I hate the fact that it autocorrects your mistakes, tacking on time for each error. That makes the occasional slip of the mouse very expensive.

Having said those, though, I'm still playing, because...well, it's Picross. :-)

Mac user here and the game works fine on a Mac.

It may be just a little confusing since "New Puzzles" is selected by default and there's nothing to click.

Perhaps have "Apprentice" be the default instead?

October 13, 2009 2:43 PM

I can't get it to open for me. I'm using IE and it only opens half the page

I think JiG killed it

As the server is filled to the brim right now (behold the mighty power of JIG!) I can't see if this is due to the "supervised" option, but I don't like that sometimes when I put down an X out of logical deduction, it adds time! How am I supposed to figure out much larger puzzles if I get penalized for thinking???

Hooray Picross!
I can finally take my nose away from the wonderful Conceptis website for a bit.

Thus far my only complaint I have is that it seems to X out rows with nothing in them for you. Why must they take away the pleasure of crossing out a whole row of squares with my own fingers. Avast Ye Squares, all shall be X'd! And they all fall to the mighty Anestoh. I sail on to another puzzle, the dread of the puzzle sea.

Ahem. Yes.
Well. Yeah.
Don't mind me.

"It may be just a little confusing since "New Puzzles" is selected by default and there's nothing to click.

Perhaps have "Apprentice" be the default instead?"

We considered that option, but while we agree that it would be less confusing to new players, the "veterans" will mostly be interested in the puzzles found in "New Puzzles" and would be forced to click it every time they loaded the game.

An easy and appropriate solution to that would simply be to remember the last selection the player made and always return to that one every time the game is loaded.

That's a good idea. We'll implement it as soon as possible.

Thanks!

October 13, 2009 4:30 PM

I hope you don't think me an annoyance, but this game should be rated yellow. The "How to Play" section has the d-word in it.

I notice Moonberry Studios has been posting in the comments... I'd like to ask them if the swearing really enhances the atmosphere of the game enough to compensate for making it inappropriate for younger and more conservative players. Just a thought... other than that word, it's a good game; I just don't play anything I wouldn't want my little sister to play.

October 13, 2009 4:43 PM

OtherBill: "It works under IE6.0 for me just fine"
Well congrats to you, but we have IE7 here. Not 6 or 8.

We had heard of the concept of the f-word, but not of the d-word.

We were not aware of such issues right about until now and are having some difficulty in grasping them. We are from Europe, where the "d-word" is not actually considered a swear word. We use proper swear words around here. ;)

We are sorry that you feel offended by the outburst of the Dwarf at the malfunctioning device, but we hardly believe that's a valid reason not to allow a child to play the game.

We use IE7, and the play window was truncated wierdly to the size of my browser window. I found that if I tried to highlight everything on the page with my mouse (left click and drag), I could maneuver the window such that the play space was entirely visible. It's not the most convenient, but I don't have the option of upgrading the browser version at work (alas!)

Once I found the 'free' option, it became a very fun game. I'm vaguely surprised that isn't the default mode, but then I'm a picross/nonogram junkie, so I'm prejudiced :)

You know, the reason I play picross puzzles online rather than on paper is so my marks don't look like messy shapeless scribbles. XP

Otherwise, it's a great implementation; very solid. However, there's really nothing here that would make me want to play this over, say, Conceptis or Picross DS.

If I may make a suggestion, I didn't really like how the game constricts you to drawing only a straight line in a single mouse stroke. I also realize that most people probably disagree with me here. An option to toggle this behavior would still be nice, though. =)

I didn't know picross was this fun. I liked this game a lot.

October 13, 2009 6:31 PM

When the window opens, only a fourth of the game screen loads. The rest is just blank. Is it supposed to do that? :|

I love Picross :P

Doesn't work for me. *shrug*

I don't know why sites like this bother with these puzzles anymore, since they only offer, what, 120 of these puzzles. Another site offers 80,000 puzzles. It's hard to compete with that.

I'm a pretty decent fan of picross, and I love the color concept, but I have a major peeve when it's not possible to solve a puzzle without guessing, and I've hit two puzzles in the second set that seem to require it. It's possible that extended extrapolation might help, but it seems like a low difficulty for that to need to come to play.

Hmmm...requires registration? Nothing works--can't click on anything. It's all faded out. Conceptis has me spoiled--I love picross games more than almost anything, but this seems like too much work to access.

@ninti
While it is indeed hard to compete with established sites/games our "world" would have a lot less games if none tried to do so. When World of Warcraft was released many thought it would never be able to truly compete with the existing MMO's. ;)

@LoZfan0
We attempted to vary the difficulty of the puzzles even within each set. As far as we know all the puzzles are possible to solve by using logic alone, but we may have made a mistake somewhere. If you could please let us know what puzzles you refer to we will look into it.

October 13, 2009 9:35 PM

I've been looking for a good picross game, and this seems it. The multicolour definitely adds something. Sadly, it also sometimes adds trouble for colourblind people (Journeyman 21, for example).

Other than that, fun game!

'easter egg' for jayisgames' fans in the new puzzles! ;)

I really like this game. I actually didn't know of Picross until now.

However, I have a slight complaint about the colors of the numbers. When there is more than one color, it's sometimes hard to distinguish them, e.g. purple and black, or silver from the background. It may be due to my screens brightness, but if more people have the same problem you might want to look into that.

October 14, 2009 2:47 PM

This is a solid Picross interface and I'm enjoying it thoroughly, thank you.

The Good:
* The graphics and music are pretty
* I love the fantasy theme that a lot of the puzzles have, and the names of the puzzles are clever.
* I like how you can't accidentally drag our cursor into another row/column if you're dragging some X's.
* "What if" mode is awesome if you're stuck and want to guess or if you screwed up and want to try to fix the puzzle without messing it up more.

* It can be hard to tell the colors of the numbers.
* Numbers are hard to read if they hover over filled in squares (on larger boards this happens more)
* There seem to be some slight bugs in how the numbers are grayed out when rows are completed.

Also, I'm not concerned about a single instance of "the d-word".

A pretty good game. I had fun solving all these.. till I came to a puzzle that can't be solved without guessing. Personally... I don't think it's a REAL picross game if you are forced to guess. Picross is a game of logic. It's not a guessing game. But that's just me. So there is a warning that there ARE puzzles that force you to guess. Not fun for me. ^^;

Kovu, I haven't found any puzzle so far where guessing was required. Which puzzle are you referring to?

"Numbers are hard to read if they hover over filled in squares (on larger boards this happens more)"

This is an issue we will try to resolve soon. :)

BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD version of Picross: it friggin' autocorrects mistakes! This is the worst possible thing a picross game can do, worse even than forcing players to remember multiple hotkeys instead of doing a simple toggle. Oh, wait, this game makes you remember multiple hotkeys. Whoops.

[Edit: It's been pointed out that you can turn off auto-correct. -Jay]

When I try to work on a puzzle, it is constantly blocked by the Game Paused screen, until I click the mouse, and then I can see the puzzle as long as the mouse button is clicked. Pity, as I love Picross puzzles.

I'm glad they will be working on having the numbers move into the playing field. This gets especially frustrating on larger boards where the two columns of numbers intersect. While I understand having the game at a certain size for people playing at lower resolutions, the other part of me is going "You have the infinite canvas of the internet! Why are we having this issue?"

Also, am I the only person who is annoyed that the game pauses when I move my mouse outside of the playing field? Much like not liking the custom cursor, it is a minor gripe, but it does bug me slightly. I think I would just prefer a pause button. Or is there one and I am not seeing it?

Otherwise... oh gosh I love picross. This is making me question why I ever returned my PicrossDS game to GameFly when I rented it. I also appreciate the effort these guys are making into their new gaming site. Very good graphics and an interesting theme. I look forward to seeing more!

October 15, 2009 3:15 AM

So, do I really have to lose cash in order to play this?

'Cause somehow it doesn't seem worth it.

"So, do I really have to lose cash in order to play this?"

There are 120 free puzzles available, with a few more seasonal sets being available for a limited time (such as the 12 Halloween puzzles that will be available during the first week of November).

Creating one puzzle will also give you access to three new ones.

Great game. Been playing it for 2 days straight now. I loved Picross before, have played it alot, and have gotten gold on every puzzle I played, first time.

I do think the Supervised Mode being default may scare off alot of people. Most don't go to options straight away, or read how-to-play. They just start playing and notice that when they make mistakes the game fills it in. I think it should be optional, instead of default, but that's just me :)

I also absolutely love the What-if mode, though I've spotted a minor bug with it. When I DISCARD the tiles I've painted in What-if, the numbers will still be faded-out. For example, if I what-if a column that only has a '3' in it, the 3 would fade out. Discarding this, will not make the 3 fade in again.

Otherwise, lovely game. Too bad the bigger puzzles look a little messy.

The Journeyman Puzzles, bottom row of first page, 3rd from left (more precise instructions in spoiler!)

between lowlands musk lizard and potion of shadow power

I'm having trouble solving this without guesswork. Anyone manage it?

@clickety6

Yes, I had trouble too. I can fill in 8 squares and 4 x's without guessing/clues. The puzzle's name is:

Spanner

Another I had trouble with is Expert, 2nd page, 2nd row, 3rd column. Puzzle name:

Can you repeat that?

@clickety6
I have the advantage of having solved that one before I realized auto-correct could be disabled, but it's quite solvable with the use of 'what if' mode.

@Zetsumei

I guess it depends on your definition of "guessing". You can solve both of the ones I mentioned with What-if mode, absolutely.

@Kovu
I too have found some puzzles where you couldn't solidly figure anything out from the beginning, but I have a solution to those other than guessing; Use the coin.

Also, how do you access the Natural Wonders puzzles? They're just grayed out and I can't click on them.

@Jodabomb

The 120 free puzzles are contained in the five first sets, ranging from Apprentice to Grand Master.

You can play other puzzles by either creating a few (each puzzle you create and is approved earns 3 credits) or by purchasing a subscription.

I like this game, but not being able to see the entire grid at once (on the higher level puzzles) is infuriating. Picross games MUST be easy on the eyes. This one is not - the numbers are too light, the grids to hard to see when filled in with the pencil shading... Wish you could cross off the numbers you have entered manually... I LOVE the multicolored puzzles, but the execution should be better. Three stars.

October 17, 2009 2:31 PM

When I first saw it, I though it would be very neat. However, I was only into the 5 by 5 grids when I realized YOU CAN'T ACTUALLY LOGICALLY SOLVE THE PUZZLES!!!
It was a disappointment. I thought it would be really neat and I like the interface and concept... but the auto correct along with the fact that you can't figure out some of the grids without guessing. It defeated the whole point of it being a picross game, or at least that is what I thought.

I just love this game! Even though it has a few problems, like the numbers being hard to read, and not being able to see all the grid, it is still so much fun.

After 52 minutes and 54 seconds, I completed the Grand Master 50x50 puzzle.

For those of you to lazy to do it:

It is a Gryphon

I feel so good about finally completing that puzzle!

It was hard to complete though. On the most zoomed out view, I could only see 30x30, and the numbers overlapped on blocks, making them hard to read. There was also some lag, but only a minuscule amount.

which puzzles where you having trouble with? I did all of the 5 x 5s and they seemed logical to me. I also turned off the auto-correcter on the options page.

I did not like the larger puzzles for many of the reasons mentioned previously;

1) clues are not always apparent; and when they show up on rollover they can be hard to read.
2) cannot zoom out to see the whole puzzle at once
3) cannot check off individual clues, only by completing squares around clue (this becomes especially important on multicolored games where you cannot be sure that a space comes next.. so there's no way to check off an individual clue)
4) no counting spaces that you've drawn in (this is something that conceptispuzzles does and i find quite handy on bigger puzzles)
5) also something i find handy on cp is place makers, that i use to visually hem in certian colors.

However, they have a lot of great beginner puzzles, and the art/music/sound are lovely. if they fix the big puzzle issues, (and they have a wide selection of big puzzles) i could see the value of subscribing.

Also, did jayisgames give picma the award icon to use? it's the first time i've noticed it.

Hey, does anyone know what those coins mean for the complete puzzles (they show up to the right of the title of the puzzle if you complete it... fast enough?)

If that's the case, does anyone know the times for each puzzle?

Yeah, a more obvious hint button would be better. I didn't remember that from the tutorial. And it would also be nice if I could look at the filled-out grid, after finishing it, not only at the little picture.

Yes, I understand what the coin does in the bottom right corner. I'm talking about the coin that appears in the title sometimes after completing the puzzle. What is it for?

@Viatas:
From Gameplay FAQ: "How do I win medals?

Gold medals are given if your time is 30% better than the average, silver for 15% and Bronze for 5%."

Love the game!

I've finished every level on free mode (kongregate cut version), except one, first in third column on grand master. Is it possible to do it logically (i.e. has anyone done it without guessing)?

October 26, 2009 3:32 PM

I would love to play this, if the other 3/4 of the page would load. Never had this problem before, and I will not be 'forced' to upgrade my browser to play a game. I guess this is one I'll just miss out on.

Does anyone know if it is possible to move cache data from one computer to another. And if it is possible, is it possible to move it from a Windows to a Mac, or is there no difference.

November 29, 2009 6:40 PM

While I, too, am picross addict, I have yet to find a flash version that I actually enjoy. Maybe it's because it forces you to play levels that are way below your skill level. Maybe it's because autocorrect is a common option. Maybe it's because many of them don't allow you to mark squares as `not right`. I don't know. But I have to say that once again, I will be sticking with griddlers.net. It is truly the best place to play picross games.

I really like the game but have been stumped by one! More specifically I filled in the entire puzzle and all the numbers are now grayed out, and yet the puzzle is apparently not correct because it won't tell me what it's supposed to be. I'm not sure which one it is in the menu but it's in the Masters section, a 20x20 puzzle monocolored (just black) and has three 20 columns (completely filled).

I just thought it was odd that this puzzle didn't have a unique solution.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Picross. I've been looking everywhere for the perfect implementation of Picross. I think Picma is it. I think the interface is cute. The music is nice, and I even like that it auto corrects. 120 Puzzles should be fine for awhile, but soon I'll have to start creating puzzles. I have one question, though, eventually I'm going to want to subscribe, most likely next month, how many extra puzzles will that get me? Will it depend on how much I give?

I registered, and am logged in with 0 crystals, but I keep making new games (that get validated and then submitted) and don't seem to be getting my three credits each for new games to play!

Unless I'm just looking in the wrong place for my credits...? None of the other game folders will open for me anyhow.

So... how does a person get new playable games after creating their own?

Thanks!
Emily

March 22, 2011 9:12 PM

Say it ain't so! Just came across this game, and the links don't work; they just give me a "page not found" error message.
(Sigh.) Guess I'll have to go back to the pic-a-pix website...unless the brilliant Jay has a suggestion...?

[The links should be fixed now. Thanks for the note! :) -Jay]

A couple of the levels are bugged (6th expert puzzle definitely, I've read a few others are as well but haven't tried myself yet). If you run into a level that you keep borking in the exact same place, go find a walkthrough video. I guarantee that you will find that the clues listed on the grid are wrong in a couple of spots.

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