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The sad state of iPhone picross

In the days when I used to live with my Palm Tungsten T3, I used to play a game called PictureLogic, an awesome implementation of picross. I got used to the features, so when I recently tried to find a good version for my iPhone, I was horrified to find that they all suck. Badly.

iLounge has an article with an overview of the different apps for sale. I played with the demo version of the best-rated one, Pixelogic, and I'm almost angry at all the features it's missing.

First, the puzzles are horribly easy. Even the 20×20 ones, the “tough” ones, are filled with row after row of large numbers of marked blocks. This is a challenge? But I shouldn't speak, since if you got a difficult puzzle, there are no tools to handle it.

No tools at all.

In PictureLogic you had

  • indicators that you could deduce block positions in a given row/column
  • indicators of not just entire rows/columns being solved, but individual runs within the rows/columns being solved
  • four pen colors
  • a puzzle solver

If you haven't done any serious puzzle solving, you won't get the whole pen color thing. What happens when you hit the wall, and you don't have anything that you can deduce? You switch pen colors, make an assumption, run until you hit a conflict and then revert having deduced that your original assumption was wrong. That's a required feature for solving any seriously-difficult puzzle. Even the pathetically-easy Shady Puzzles has multiple pens. Pixelogic? None.

Pixelogic also boasts that you can create your own puzzles. Yet it has no solver. Why does that matter? That means that it can't verify that your puzzle has a unique solution. The fact that a puzzle has a unique solution is an important tool useful in solving it. Without verification, it's a joke.

I'm still looking for a good app. In the meantime, I guess I remain spoiled by the old-school Palm. Here are two puzzles I composed in PictureLogic. Yes, they're both solvable. Yes, they're difficult. Good luck in doing anything like them in any iPhone picross app out there today.




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This might seem kind of sleazy, but would you happen to still have your registration key for PictureLogic for Palm?
I can't seem to find ANYWHERE to get one. I've tried all the websites and none of them have it...

I've just found your blog. I have just transferred from android to iPhone and cannot believe the have no decent picross type puzzles. I've been using colourme and it's brilliant and also use hanjie books. Have you managed to find anything decent on iPhone yet be grateful for advice. Thanks.

I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
I'll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more right here frequently.
I am rather sure I will be informed many new stuff proper here!
Good luck for the next!

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