Travel Mosaics puts a Parisian twist on Picross. For the uninformed, Picross puzzles are logic puzzles (also known as Nonograms) which provide a grid and a set of numbers to create a picture. The interaction of these numbers allows you to fill in the puzzle, before sitting back happy and smug while marvelling at the chunky pixel-art style image you’ve created.
I must admit, I really like Picross. I have been playing through Konami Pixel Puzzle Collection on iPad recently, which is fantastic and free. So how can Travel Mosaics compete with free? Well, for one, Travel Mosaics switches it up to include multi-coloured puzzles, and the implementation is probably the best that I’ve seen. Each colour is a separate screen, and you can switch between them with L and R. It’s satisfying and easy.
Travel Mosaics also leans into presentation. Everything is bright and breezy, and it’s packed full of options. It’s possible to choose block designs and backgrounds, and the animation is playful and cute. Blocks cartoonishly click into place and everything has a nice sheen. It’s a nice contrast to a lot of Picross games that go for an 8-bit aesthetic. There’s a choice of difficulty too, so if you’re finding the different colours a hassle, you can turn them off.
Upgrades and special abilities help spice things up. Unique powers recharge with time, upgradable with points earned from completing puzzles. It’s nice to know that if you’re completely stuck, a press on the D-Pad will provide more options.
What really impressed us, though, was docked mode. Now I know playing Picross on a TV sounds a bit crazy, but because the controls are so well implemented, it feels like the best way to experience it. Considerate UI touches are in abundance, like displaying how many cells are currently selected. I ended up playing through the majority of the 140 levels in front of the TV.
Travel Mosaics is a simple game executed perfectly, giving very little to moan about. It even has a few fresh twists. We especially liked that if you run out of lives, you can answer a question about Paris to get more.
Tres bien, JetDog Studios.