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# Picma Squared

• Currently 4.4/5
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Picma Squared is offering an experience that, especially in the multicolored format, just isn't being offered anywhere else yet. Established fans of picross looking for something new shouldn't miss this, and anyone who likes visual and logic puzzles will probably want to give it a try as well.

### Walkthrough Guide

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Picma Squared Walkthrough (updated)
The game was revised recently, and what follows is our updated walkthrough for the new version.

General Tips:

• Read the "tips" section in the game itself first, and do the tutorial, that covers all the basics.

• Always use [shift] to block out squares that can't be filled. This is probably the single most important part of solving puzzles.

• When you look at a number clue, focus only on the immediately surrounding blocks. Remember that as soon as you block out one square next to an 8, two squares next to a seven, etc, that all the remaining squares in that block will be filled. Don't think about the big picture, focus on the small aspects.

• If you get stuck in one area, go to a totally different part of the grid. You should never have to guess. If you truly feel like there is nothing you can deduce, either you are missing something, or you have made a mistake. You might want to start the puzzle over.

• I personally find that in multicolored puzzles, I find the "simple" visual style easier to keep track of than the "sketch" visual style. You can switch between visual styles in the options menu, so see which style works better for your brain.

Journeyman Solutions:

Expert Solutions:

Master Solutions:

Picma Squared Walkthrough (Kongregate)

joye also put together a walkthrough for those who are playing the Kongregate version of the game.

Journeyman Solutions:

Expert Solutions:

Master Solutions:

This type of puzzle isn't new--Conceptis has had these puzzles for years (under the name "Fill-A-Pix").

However, the multicolored puzzles are a great addition, and the interface is definitely snazzy and easy to use.

I ran into a puzzle in the last group where there wasn't a unique solution. That was kind of annoying. Overall it was fun though and I really liked the last puzzle.

@Brian - No puzzle has more than one logical solution. You may however be equating marked hints with correct ones.

Remember that for all intents and purposes when filling cells with a particular colour, any cells containing a clue of another colour can be considered empty. You should also keep in mind the following (from the "Tips" page found in-game): "A small dot appears next to any clues with the correct number of filled squares around them. The position of these squares may however be incorrect."

Actually, even in the Expert set of puzzles, there was a puzzle which had non-unique solutions. All the constraints were satisfied, but the puzzle was still "wrong" somehow. This was the ninth puzzle, if curious.

@Moonberry:
I define "valid solution" as "satisfies every clue". The last level of the tutorial has seven patterns that result in all the clues getting dotted:

RRRYY
RRRYY
_RRYY
RRYYY
RRYYY

RRRYY
RRRYY
R_RYY
RRYYY
RRYYY

RRRYY
RRRYY
RR_YY
RRYYY
RRYYY

RRRYY
RRRYY
RRRYY
_RYYY
RRYYY

RRRYY
RRRYY
RRRYY
R_YYY
RRYYY

RRRYY
RRRYY
RRRYY
RRYYY
_RYYY

RRRYY
RRRYY
RRRYY
RRYYY
R_YYY

Could you please send us a screenshot of your non-working solution to the puzzle to [email protected]?

We would like to clear this up.

@Konrad - Your first "solution" breaks one of the two rules of the game: "A cell that contains a clue is either empty or filled with that same colour."

I would also like to point out once more that the dots that appear near a clue do NOT mean you got it right, they only mean you got the correct number of filled cells around the clue, nothing else.

If a puzzle you "completed" doesn't end you can safely assume you made a mistake.

Ahhhhhhhhh... The empty/same color rule fixes the alternate solutions. Also makes the puzzles a little easier on the brain.

Woah, it is just like Fill-A-Pix. I never thought you could do a colored version though. Interesting addition.

Anyone else find the Xs the game uses to be too hard to see? Maybe I'm getting old...

Weird bug: In Firefox 4.0, when I press the Shift key, the grid slides left. This gives me a limited number of Shift-clicks before the grid slides off the screen.

Huzzah! finished the 50x50 puzzle at the end! It took 45 minutes but I did it. Now what am I going to do with my life?

Hint:

Its a logo everybody should be familiar with

Fill-a-Pix was always my favorite on Conceptis (and I started playing way back when you had to print out the puzzles to do them. I still find them sometimes tucked in with my college stuff).

I love the use of color with these. I think it definitely adds something to the game. I'm hoping there are going to be more puzzles (other Picma had some added at some point, right?), since I've finished them all already.

One minor thing I felt about doing these puzzles though was that they didn't get particularly harder with each grouping, they just got bigger. And even then sometimes a lot of the squares were already X-ed out (the last level for example didn't really feel like a 50x50 puzzle to me, as lovely as the final image is ;)). But I also get annoyed with these puzzles when there's too much guessing involved and you have to keep backing up to undo work and coming up with new possible combinations. I realize it's a fine line between too easy and too frustrating with these sorts of puzzles, but I wanted to mention it in case there is a new batch coming at some point. The puzzles available really are good, and I enjoyed them.

March 23, 2011 1:43 AM

Is there any easy way to cycle through colors on the palette? If so, what is it, you should mention it in the intro. If not, please add one!

Otherwise, I'm loving this. I play these every week on Conceptis, and even have their book of the puzzles so I can solve them not at my computer.

I could also use a "Reset" button for if I mess up and want to restart the level without having to exit to the selection menu.

@Dan & tigrita- We have over 1500 Picma Squared puzzles at our website (and over 4000 Picma/Picross ones). Those should keep you occupied for a while. You will find the link in the review.

Regarding the difficulty, I totally understand your point. Sadly it is near-impossible to predict a puzzle's difficulty computationally. However we will soon use the average comletion time as a guide to a puzzle's difficulty.

@Ezra - That is indeed weird. We tested the game on many different browsers but that wasn't one of them. We'll look into it.

@chibidani - You can cycle trough the available colours using the "Z" key and select them directly using the "1-7" number keys. We have this information on our webpage but seems we forgot to add it to the in-game help. We'll fix that!

Are there more? More? I just need one more. MOAR!

March 23, 2011 10:33 AM

I was wondering when this was going to be posted.

Just a suggestion, then - if one of the explicit rules states you cannot fill a numbered spot with the wrong colour, wouldn't it be logical just to disallow the player from doing so?

I was playing this and got quite frustrated, similarly to what has been stated above, and quit, as I seemed to have fulfilled all of the requirements yet the level was not progressing. I imagine many people would simply launch straight in, as I did, and would come at fault here, due to not knowing this rule.

Even if it is one's own fault for not reading the rules, it should perhaps be more obvious, was all I thought.

Funny thing - I just finished with the Android demo of Prisma Squared last night, so I went internet browsing for the developer site, and instead got the JIG recommend for the browser version. Serendipity! Especially since I can play flash games on the 'droid \o/.

I've been playing colored fill-a-pix for a while now, the program called PrismaPix. The main difference is, they separate the different colors into layers, not all on the same board at once like P2. Once I went to the training levels and hunted down the multi-color ones to learn how this particular program handled them, I was gold. Small puzzles, so not what I consider 'difficult', but they are fantastic bites of logic fun; I anticipate spending actual money on the 'droid version, especially if there is continued puzzle development.

@Setia - We crafted the interface so that accidental errors such as replacing/erasing a previously filled cell while working on a different colour wouldn't be possible.

Nevertheless at some point you must stop holding the player's hand and having the interface avoid non-accidental mistakes is a line we do not want to cross.

March 23, 2011 1:09 PM

OtherBill, Conceptis did have full color versions of Fill-A-Pix. They were my absolute favorite puzzles on the web. I miss their free content so much!! So I will gladly try these out to see if they come close, although I agree that the small size is disappointing. I remember some Fill-A-Pix puzzles that were too big to fit in the window, even at the most zoomed out option on Conceptis. Huger is better in these games!

@Jesslin - The difference between the free and pay versions of Picma Squared for the Android is simply the number of available puzzles. Both games are however "finished" and will receive no further updates (other than eventual bug fixes).

When we have the chance we will instead develop a new App that connects to our current site database, allowing subscribers to play Picma and Picma Squared using either a "desktop" computer or a mobile device. This is still a long way from fruition, so please don't hold out for it.

My personal advice would be to get a subscription at our website (linked on the review) instead of the pay version of the current Android App. While it's not really playable on a mobile it will give you access to several hundred puzzles.

March 23, 2011 2:24 PM

I've got a problem with Expert 2. There's only one color, and all numbers are showing correct, but it seems it's not the right answer. I have...

BB____B__B
__B_B_B_BB
__BBB__BBB
__BBB_____
B__B___B_B
B_BBB__BBB
_BBBB__BBB
_____B___B
BB____BBBB
BBBB__BBBB

Doesn't work, though.

@Moonberry: Thanks for the tip!

I do have one semi-constructive comment on the game: I never found an explanation of how the 'hint' function works. I think I found that you click it, then click a square on the board and the 9 square block is filled in correctly, but I couldn't be sure. Also, a step-back 'undo' would be nice if you feel like developing a new feature - especially if you got a 'hint' you didn't want :)

@William McDuff - On the 8th column, the one with 3 clues of 5, the one in the middle isn't marked as "completed". You made a mistake while solving the puzzle.

March 23, 2011 3:04 PM

@MoonberryStudios Aha! Thanks. Just couldn't see where I was missing.

I agree with Setia on a small check to disallow mis-matched fills. I agree that the application allowing you to make mistakes, but considering it's such a basic rule and so many people seem to be missing it, it's probably worth fixing it from a UI perspective. (As a case in point, you can't overwrite filled numbers in Sudoku, and I don't think I've seen an application that lets you make that "mistake.")

I'd appreciate a "highlight errors" function (e.g., show me the numbers that aren't satisfied). There are a couple times when I missed one number and spent a good amount of time hunting for it. But maybe that's part of the fun.

Otherwise, great game!

Is anyone else having problems with the custom puzzle validation? A message says my errors have been highlighted, but I don't see anything...

This is excellent. This is the puzzle I always wanted minesweeper to be! All the logic, with the seriously annoying luck factor removed.

Now that I've solved every puzzle, I'm back with more comments.

I agree with whoever said the X's were too hard to see. I feel like I have to squint or make the puzzle bigger to be able to distinguish them properly. Also, I wanted more color puzzles! I was already familiar with Conceptis' Fill-A-Pix, but I've never seen versions with color, so I was a little disappointed most of these were one color.

I also agree with Jesslin. I couldn't figure out how the hint feature worked, and it isn't explained anywhere.

I increased the size of the game window from 640x480 to 800x600 in hopes of addressing the complaint about the small size of the game.

While the resolution of some of the bitmaps suffers somewhat, overall I think it's quite playable in the larger size.

March 23, 2011 8:58 PM

Interesting puzzles, but I keep running into a bug where the "pen" doesn't stop drawing after a puzzle is solved, and it scribbles onto the next puzzle, rendering it unsolvable.

March 23, 2011 9:15 PM

I totally agree with all the comments expressing frustration with the marked 'hint' square = only one color possible rule.

A simple way to teach this rule easily without affecting the game play would be to build a tutorial level that addresses only this problem. For example, design a nine square cube, put a yellow 8 in the center and a black 1 in one corner.

OK, I do have one tiny complain. About the puzzle creation editor.

After spending some time drawing I clicked the button "validate" which told me my puzzle had problems and they were supposedly highlighted. But they weren't! So I've tried to find the "show problems something" button mentioned, which was nowhere to be found. I eventually clicked the "?" button, when I realized that this was just the tutorial, not related to what I was trying to find, I clicked "back" and my creation was gone :(

March 24, 2011 2:53 AM

Since the creators of this one seem to be reading this, I'll go ahead and explain the issues I'm seeing so hopefully they can be fixed:

When a puzzle is completed, I continue to hear the scribble sounds in the background as the puzzle completion sequence occurs. At this point, if I click anywhere on the screen other than the Finish button, the sounds for the puzzle completed sequence will play again, and the Finish button will disappear, leaving me stuck at this point and having to reload to play again.

If I click the finish button, the scribble sounds will continue, but I'll be able to start another puzzle. if the mouse runs over the puzzle while in this state, it will draw on it in whatever color was the last to be used (even if that's not a valid color for the puzzle) and again leave it in an unplayable state. if I click outside of the puzzle it will stop the scribble sounds and I can play the puzzle, but when the puzzle is completed it will get into the same state as mentioned above with no finish button.

Has anyone else run into this?

@Brian Lutz - That's a new one. We have had no other reports (yet) of such an issue and we were unable to reproduce it. Could you please let us know what kind of browser and OS you use, as well as the versions of the browser and Flash plugin?

@Various - We are currently working on an update to the game that will fix a couple of minor bugs and improve a few aspects of the game. We should have it ready in a few hours.

Also, it's worth the note that once you earn credits, they don't "unlock" puzzles... they give you the right to play it... once.

The game should a) tell you which puzzles are locked vs. unlocked, b) remember where you spent your credits, and c) confirm before spending credits.

@basseq - You should really double-check before reporting blatantly false information. Yes, credits do unlock puzzles and they always have. Once you play a puzzle it will always be available for you to replay, even when you have no credits or your subscription has expired.

You will find all of your previously solved puzzles in the aptly named tab of "Solved".

The game "remembers" where you spent the credits in the same tab, showing you a collection of all the puzzles you have ever solved.

Every puzzle other than those in the Free sets (which are marked by a green background), requires credits or a subscription. A "confirmation" would therefore be quite pointless and annoying.

I think I'm enjoying creating puzzles more than playing them :D

I have to note that, there isn't 48 puzzles...there are 60?

@DannyBoy - Yes and no. There are 48 free puzzles for Picma Squared and 60 for the "original" Picma (as well as a free daily puzzle).

One huge hint. Since you know any square marked with a number can only either be the color of that number, or empty...

At the beginning of every multicolored puzzle, cycle through each color and X out all the squares with clues for other colors. So for example, pick brown, then put X's on every square with a white, blue, or yellow hint. Do the same for all other colors. Speeds up solving immensely!

Or.. you don't do it since you already know it can't be that color. Speeds up solving even more!

Just finished the last one, the 50x50. Pretty good experience. As far as I've seen, no guessing or alternate ending whatsoever.

@baba44713

Ah, true, but if you color in multiples squares at once by holding and dragging like I do, it's really nice to have squares X'ed out so you can just drag over the whole 9-square block without accidentally coloring in squares you've ruled out. :)

New version now up. This new version (among a few other minor tweaks) has two main new features:

• Bigger puzzles

• The inability to break the "second rule" of the game.

Anyone who has "finished" the old version will now find more than a dozen new puzzles to play (replacing the old ones).

April 1, 2011 7:21 PM

It doesn't load for me anymore. I just see a white box.

[Thanks for the note, it should be fixed now. I had some issues with our content delivery network recently, but they should be ironed out now. -Jay]

Is there a walkthrough for the updated version? I see a couple puzzles that aren't up here.

Can anyone tell me which puzzles are on the kong version

April 9, 2011 9:54 PM

The pictures for the spoilers aren't showing up for me, anyone else have this problem? =(

Picma Squared Walkthrough (updated)
The game was revised recently, and what follows is our updated walkthrough for the new version.

General Tips:

• Read the "tips" section in the game itself first, and do the tutorial, that covers all the basics.

• Always use [shift] to block out squares that can't be filled. This is probably the single most important part of solving puzzles.

• When you look at a number clue, focus only on the immediately surrounding blocks. Remember that as soon as you block out one square next to an 8, two squares next to a seven, etc, that all the remaining squares in that block will be filled. Don't think about the big picture, focus on the small aspects.

• If you get stuck in one area, go to a totally different part of the grid. You should never have to guess. If you truly feel like there is nothing you can deduce, either you are missing something, or you have made a mistake. You might want to start the puzzle over.

• I personally find that in multicolored puzzles, I find the "simple" visual style easier to keep track of than the "sketch" visual style. You can switch between visual styles in the options menu, so see which style works better for your brain.

Journeyman Solutions:

Expert Solutions:

Master Solutions:

The hints don't do anything for me. I play this on Kongregate. Most of these walkthroughs have unrecognizable puzzles for me? Does anyone else have an issue with using the hint button?

[Then play the game here at JIG and the walkthrough will match the puzzles. :) -Jay]

Click hint then click the square you want it to solve for.

Still missing 1 puzzle. Probably one of those 2 that arent working.

April 10, 2011 9:44 PM

I have the solution to journeyman 12 if you need. It seems we dont have one here. I've saved the screencap if you wanna email me and let me send it. Whoever runs this thing.

[Actually, joye just uploaded the remaining missing images from the new set of levels, so I believe the walkthrough is all updated and now correct. Cheers! -Jay]

Seems like the solution to journeyman 12 isn't correct. Maybe there are at least a couple of different puzzles for that level as well?

April 11, 2011 6:52 PM

Anyone got the solution to the last one on kong? it's all i need for the hard badge

would also like a solution for the last one on kong. the only one i have left.

i think the walkthrough needs to be up dated again, cause the some of the pictures you show don't show up in the version i found.....

OMG! look below the 7 on expert level 4!
Triple 6! 0_0

I've found a solution for Expert 4 that satisfies all the clues yet doesnt get counted as complete.

How do I submit a screencap I took?

Uhg nevermind.... Just as I post this I notice the one place I made a mistake =\

This version didnt have a "show incomplete" button so I had to check them all for myself. Apparently I missed one =P

So where's the pic for last master puzzle on Kongregate? 50x50. Can't find it in the walktrough.

[We'll have a walkthrough up for the Kongregate version shortly. Please note that our JIG hosted version as 20 more puzzles than the Kongregate version does! -Jay]

Picma Squared Walkthrough (Kongregate)

joye also put together a walkthrough for those who are playing the Kongregate version of the game.

Journeyman Solutions:

Expert Solutions:

Master Solutions:

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