I See Art Missing, And I Want To Paint It Back [Review]

Paint It Back

Fans of Games Magazine will know the puzzles in developer Casual Labs’ Paint It Back as “Paint by Numbers.” Owners of the Nintendo DS portable system might recognize them as Picross, and giant puzzle nerds might know them as Nonograms for Non Ishida, the Japanese graphics editor who invented them.

Paint It Back by Casual Labs
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free ($2.99 full-game unlock)

The point is that Paint It Black is not doing anything new; this puzzle type, in which solvers use logic to determine which squares in a grid to fill in to make a picture, is readily available a lot of places. But that’s not to say that this app is a boring rehash.

In fact, whether you’re a fan of Nonograms or picking them up for the first time, Paint It Black has a lot to offer.

Paint It Back

The story — yes, it has one — goes that a ghost went into a museum (stop me if you’ve heard this one) and scared all the paintings away, leaving blank canvases. It’s up to a single painter to redo all of the art so each exhibit can open again.

What this means is that you solve Nonograms of progressively greater size and difficulty. The game lets you in slowly and introduces the core concepts of solving these puzzles one at a time and with a lot of demonstration. Novice solvers will find the learning curve gentle and easy, but experts will find themselves wishing the game would just hurry up because they know all of this stuff already. And as in every Nonogram game, the first pictures are so small that they don’t really look like anything.

Paint It Back has a lot to offer both fans and newbies.

Each grid has numbers on the borders representing how many consecutive squares in that row or column are filled in. You paint them in by tapping, and you can also switch to X’s to denote cells that can’t possibly be filled. The game lets you swipe to mark rows and columns more quickly, and on bigger grids, you can even break up the board and solve it a piece at a time.

Paint It Back has a lot of Nonograms to solve and a colorful and entertaining visual style to go with it. It’s at least worth a try.


Paint It BackGame Name: : Paint It Back
The Good: Nice art, a lot of puzzles, a good tutorial to ease new players in.
The Bad: People familiar with the puzzles will find the mandatory tutorial too slow and hand-holdy.
The Verdict These puzzles have been around for a while, but this game has a bunch of them and presents them well.
Buy from: App Store

Cult of Mac rating: 4/5

About the author

Evan KillhamEvan Killham lives in Nebraska and isn't interested in football, so he has plenty of time to play and think about video games. He has written for Bitmob and GamesBeat and sometimes, he even goes outside. But not too often because he's heard there are bees out there.

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