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Math Games
» **Math Puzzles** » Picross Quest

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Picross Quest is the kind of math game you're going to start playing and not want to stop. Far from the typical math game, this game is really a math game in the loosest sense of the word. There are no complicated equations to solve, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, for this one you're going to be using your logic and reasoning skills to solve the puzzles presented to you. That's a big part of what makes this game so appealing. It challenges you to think. It challenges you to develop a strategy. It challenges you to learn as you play and to improve your skills without feeling like it's trying to teach you anything. Instead, you just learn as you have fun and play an addictive and engrossing game.

The goal on Picross Quest is to fill in the squares in the grid to reveal a hidden picture using the numerical clues associated with each line and column that makes up the gird. The numbers represent how many consecutive blocks there are in the given row or column. Numbers are given in the order of appearance. For example, if a row has a '2' and then another '2' beside it, you know there are two sets of colored in blocks somewhere on that row. Those sets will be separated by at least one empty square. If you are working on a 5x5 grid, figuring out where those sets are isn't really that hard. You'll have one set on one end of the row which you can color in, then an empty square you can mark with an 'x' and then the other set. That will complete the row. Once a row has been completed, the numbers will fade out to let you know there are no more colored squares in that row. Solutions aren't always that obvious, but if they were, the game wouldn't really be that much fun.

The tools you'll be using in Picross Quest are pretty easy to understand. Your tools are shown at the top left side of the game screen. On the far left you have the pencil tool. You'll select this to fill in squares. To the right of that, you have the 'x' tool. You'll use this one to mark empty squares. While marking empty squares isn't all that important in the easier puzzles, you'll definitely need to make use of this tool when things start getting more difficult. Finally, on the far right, you have the 'fill' tool or the '123' tool. This tool will fill in all of the blocks in a row or column. You won't need this for the game's smaller puzzles but it will definitely make things easier (and faster) when you get to the bigger puzzles.

When you make a mistake in Picross Quest, your mistake will be corrected but it will also cost you a time penalty. That's about the only thing this game shares with many of the other math games online. The time penalty increases with every incorrect move you make so you really need to be careful and think your moves through. At the same time, this game has something many other math games don't - a time limit. You have sixty minutes to complete each puzzle. If you take longer than sixty minutes, you will get a 'time over' penalty. You definitely want to avoid that if you're trying to get a good time on your game. The best way to avoid those time penalties is to think about your moves before you make them. The best way to avoid the time over penalties is to avoid wasting a huge amount of time agonizing over every move. There is definitely a strategy with this one but you'll have to figure out what strategy works best for you as you play.

There are two different sets of puzzles to choose from in Picross Quest - easy and normal.The easy puzzles range in size from 5x5 grids to 10x10 grids while normal puzzles are 15x15 grids. Math game fans who have never played this particular type of math game should start out with the easy puzzles. Get used to how the game is played. Figure out your strategy. Work on building and developing that strategy and then move on to the normal puzzle sets. There are only fifteen puzzles in the easy puzzle set but even if you're not feeling confident enough to tackle the harder sets by the time you're done, you can go back and play the easy puzzles again. As for the normal sets, there are four sets of fifteen puzzles. Each one is a little more difficult than the last ensuring the game stays interesting and engrossing from start to finish.

The best way to do well in Picross Quest is to look for the easiest solutions first. This is where the real math part of this math game comes in. When you get to the larger puzzle grids, math is definitely going to come in handy. Obviously, on a 15x15 grid, it's easy to tell what cells will be colored in if there are fifteen colored squares in any given row or column. It's a little more tricky to figure out the rest which is where your math skills will come in handy. Add the numbers for any given row or column together. The sum of those numbers will tell you how many squares out of fifteen will be colored in. Take that number and subtract it from fifteen. That will tell you how many empty cells there are. To use an easy example, if there is a column that has a 13 and a 1, you know that there will be fourteen colored in blocks and one empty space. If the thirteen appears first (either at the top of the list of numbers for a column or on the left of the list of numbers for a row) you know it will appear first in the puzzle. Start with the first empty square at the top of the column and fill in thirteen blocks moving down the puzzle. Mark an empty cell and finish it off my filling in the last square. If there aren't any solutions that are quite that obvious, just start with the biggest groups of numbers or the groups that have the largest numbers. As you move through the grid, you'll find clues just by filling in what you can.

Overall, Picross Quest is an excellent math game that will help you improve your logic and reasoning skills while keeping you entertained. There isn't a single puzzle in this game that can't be solved so be patient. You will get it. If you're struggling right from the beginning, check out the in game tutorial (under 'instructions' in the game's main menu) and read through it carefully. This math game isn't nearly as complicated as it appears and you will improve as you play. Try not to get frustrated, don't rush yourself and enjoy the game.

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