There’s nothing quite like classic logic puzzle games that present you with a scenario, and then a series of clues to figure out the answer. The puzzles rely on a grid array where you mark down what you know, and cross out what can’t be, and then whittle down the possibilities with deductive reasoning. The style is also similar to a game known as Picross, which has a similar set-up, but uses numbers to make deductions to color in square to make images. Paint It Back is a new iOS game in the Picross style, but while that can be a selling point to some, you don’t need to be familiar with it to be at home with the logic puzzles that Paint It Back provides.
There’s a storyline to Paint It Back to give you reason for what you’re doing, and all the art has been scared away from a gallery by a ghost leaving you to paint it back. There are 140 paintings to solve with the first 30 available for free, and the additional available for a single $2.99 in-app purchase. The puzzles build up at a great pace beginning with a very friendly tutorial so that you understand the logic based practices at work. There are numbers on the left and top of the grid indicating how many squares are filled in a respective column, or row. There are simple deductions to make off the top that then helps unravel the full puzzle, and you can either paint in a square, or mark it with an x if you know that square is not to be painted. The best thing you can do is not guess, otherwise all of the other marks you make on the board aren’t guarantees, and it can mess up an entire puzzle.
Every part of the game is made player-friendly to let you focus on the puzzle at hand. Slowly but surely the grid becomes larger, but you’re always prepared as you’re building upon the basics, so there’s a steady dose of challenge without ever feeling too easy, or overwhelming. The game includes the ability to save your progress on a puzzle, six player profiles on one device, iCloud syncing, either orientation setting on iPad, and an endless challenge mode. There are so many puzzles to figure out, and it’s great how a blank canvas becomes pixelated art, square by square. The puzzles are simply engaging to keep you playing, and that’s the most important part of any puzzle game. You need to be prepared for some real head scratchers, especially as the grids expand, but it’s so rewarding when you solve a painting.
Paint It Back (Free, Universal) is a finely crafted logic puzzle game that is well worth $2.99 for the full game, and you’ll end up appreciating every single square you fill in.