Picross 3D is a sequel to the very popular Nintendo DS video game Picross DS. It was announced during Nintendo's October 2008 conference, and was released in 2009. The game's name derives from the fact that rather than being placed on a flat surface, the puzzle is separated onto various objects that start out as a cube. By depleting certain blocks on the cube (these blocks to be destroyed determined by the numbers) you'll eventually reveal an image, such as a puppy dog.
The gameplay is simple. At the start of each puzzle, you are given a cube or rectangular prism. Using logic, you need to chip away blocks that aren't needed, and paint blocks that you need so you don't accidentally chip them away later. Each puzzle also has a time limit, and a set amount of strikes. You get a strike by chipping off a block that is needed. If you get at least one strike, you sacrifice a star. If you get 5 strikes on a normal puzzle, you get a game over and have to start the puzzle over again. For the time limit, there are 3 sections. The green, where you want to clear, as you will get a star from it, the yellow, where you can still clear the puzzle, but you sacrifice a star, and the red, where you lose the puzzle and get a game over. Stars are rewarded based on how well you did. If you made no mistakes and cleared in the green, you get 3 stars. If you make a mistake, but clear in the green, or make no mistakes, but clear in the yellow, you get 2 stars. If you make a mistake and clear in the yellow, you get 1 star. Stars unlock Silver and Gold puzzles. These puzzles mostly just bonus puzzles, as they don't reward stars. There are 4 difficulties. Beginner, Easy, Normal, and Hard. Beginner and Easy are unlocked when you start the game. A normal difficulty level (not containing challenges) has around 10 levels, each containing 8 normal puzzles, a Silver, and a Gold Puzzle. Once you complete all 8 normal puzzles in a level, the next one is unlocked. Every few levels, a set of challenge puzzles are played. There are One Chance Challenges, where you must make no mistakes while solving the puzzle, Time Challenges, where you must race against the clock, while also earning more time as you solve, and Construction Puzzles, where you must complete the sections of a larger, more complex model.
Picross 3D has received very positive reviews from critics, currently sporting an 83 on Metacritic. Several critics have rewarded it with a perfect to near perfect score. GiantBomb gave it a perfect 5 out of 5, saying that "Picross 3D gets hard. But it never feels impossible, and it's the sort of game that causes afternoons to simply vanish. If you're looking to do a little time-traveling, Picross 3D is a great way to do it." Nintendo Power argued that the game wasn't as enjoyable as the original Picross DS, but saying that it was fun nonetheless.