Who doesn’t love a good puzzle game? Pop some average TV or good music on, grab your handheld device and just whittle away the hours letting your brain relax and focus on something simple. When stressed it can be ridiculously relaxing to focus on something else and puzzle games can be a great solution. When this little Hatsune Miku puzzler popped up on the eShop I was intrigued. I’d never heard of Logic Paint before or the mobile original version of this game but a few screenshots later I realised it looked a lot like Picross. I think we’re now at a point in time where everyone has a rough understanding of how nonogram style puzzles work, you paint by numbers and slowly reveal a picture. Hatsune Miku is always a fantastic theme for a game so was Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S worth the impulse buy?
To solve a puzzle in Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S you paint the blocks by using the numbers on the sides until all the relevant squares are filled in. Once the squares are filled, the picture is revealed and you get your results on how well you did. If you’ve played Picross before you’ll be right at home and I’ll admit I’m not up to date with the latest in that series but Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S has a unique mechanic where if you clear a number it will change the colour to indicate you’ve found it. In other words if you have a column with 1432 and you happen to find the 4, that number will change colour so you’ll know that the next squares you find on the right are either the 3 or the 2. This makes bigger puzzles a lot easier and encourages you to push on through the puzzle, trying to pick up a faster clear time.
Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S has a lot of puzzles to clear with each being categorized by 3 difficulties; Easy – Lv1, Medium – Lv2 and Hard – Lv3. Each puzzle has a ‘best clear time’ and 3 stars which you can achieve by clearing the puzzle, making no mistakes and not using any hints (3 are available per puzzle) There are also Special Puzzles where a bigger picture is unlocked by solving multiple puzzles. You’ll breeze through the easy puzzles in no time at all but given there are 45 easy, 150 medium, 150 hard and 8 special puzzles you’ll be getting good value for money. The harder puzzles still take me roughly 30 minutes or more to clear and when you make a mistake you’re encouraged to quickly reset the puzzle and try again. You’ll find yourself making sure to remember a few important areas so you can quickly catch up to where you were and the ability to suspend puzzles allows you to come back at a later time to finish it entirely.
Everything looks great in Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S. There’s a nice clean 2D anime vibe to the design and everything is clear and easy to read. Even the short loading screens with their quick rainbow sparkles adds a pleasant charm to the presentation. Each time you clear a puzzle you are rewarded with a variety of artwork of the various vocaloids and although this is a nice reward for solving a puzzle, the gallery to view them in is very surprisingly limited. You can’t zoom in or rotate, simply select each slightly low resolution image and see it in the set border and that’s it. Thankfully the main puzzling controls are fantastic. You can’t use the touchscreen but both the analogue stick and buttons work for direction control and you’ll be swiftly zipping around the puzzles marking, checking and painting without issue. It also works fine in both handheld and docked although this is the perfect puzzler for handheld mode.
The most surprising aspect of Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S is how limited the music and sound effects are. You can unlock songs as you progress using the stars for puzzle solutions but the sound effects for moving around the puzzles and painting can be really grating. There’s no translation for the Japanese track titles and a lot of the BGM selections are just short instrumental loops. You can go to the stereo on the main screen and listen to short clips of the 18 songs but there aren’t any of Hatsune’s most familiar tracks. You’ll navigate the awkward settings to change up the background but after a while you’ll either tune it out or just simply mute it and listen to something else. It’s a shame there’s no option to simply have it play them at random or simply skip to the next per song but you can only lock one option each for the home screen and puzzle screens.
Despite its shortcomings Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S is a fantastic little puzzler. A lot feels like this is a Logic Paint game covered in a Hatsune Miku coat of paint, it doesn’t really use the licence for more than unlocks and a colourful theme but that largely doesn’t effect the enjoyment of the core puzzles. The difficulty can spike at times with some puzzles hiding numbers but everything feels like there’s a logical step to its conclusion (which makes sense given the title) It really is great value for money if you fancy a nice little puzzle game to slip away the hours to. Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S is a brilliantly colourful distraction. Just don’t have the audio on too loud.
7/10 – Using logic to paint Hatsune Mikus
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