Pictorial HD: Untangle The Mystery

If there is one category of games that’s entertaining to young and old alike, it’s puzzle games. Unlike the name indicates, today’s puzzle games are far removed from their former analog counterparts. It’s not about matching tiles which each other anymore to reveal an image or form a shape — puzzle games come in all sorts of variations and styles.

But at the core you always have to solve a mystery: find something hidden, no matter if it’s an object to spot among a thick forest or a shape that will materialize once you align dots the right way. Pictorial HD falls into the latter category. It might not be the most challenging game you’ll ever play, but it certainly is one of the more beautiful and relaxing ones. Let’s take a closer look …

When Things Suddenly Line Up

As with all puzzle games, you have to solve a mystery in Pictorial HD. The game is divided into five levels, which are essentially themed worlds named Night Town, Arctic, Treasure Island, Fairy Forest and Halloween. Each of these levels holds thirty game plays, so there are 150 games in total. Even better, the developer has promised to release more levels, so there’s always something to look forward to. For the first two levels you are gazing into the night sky and see bright stars shining back at you. Unlike other games, Pictorial HD doesn’t require you to draw lines between the stars to figure out what is shown.

Ease into the gameplay

Ease into the gameplay

The lines are already there, but hidden from your view. You have to rotate the cluster of bright dots until you can see the shape the lines are forming. The first two games are fairly easy: on-screen instructions tell you what to do and ease you into the gameplay.

Working Your Way Through the Levels

At first glance, the star clusters won’t make any sense to you. That might also not change immediately when you start moving them. You can rotate the cluster into any direction and at some point, you’ll see faint lines appearing between the stars. That means you’re doing something right. The more intense the lines get, the closer you are to the shape you’re supposed to find and you have to align the lines perfectly to complete the level. Don’t expect real constellations to form, though. Instead, there are things like a guitar, a house or a bear that will suddenly bloom in the sky.

Seeing faint lines? Your screen isn't broken, it's a sign!

Seeing faint lines? Your screen isn't broken, it's a sign!

Once you progress into Treasure Island, it’s no longer the night sky you’re looking at but a treasure map — how fitting— but the basic gameplay remains the same. The same applies to the Fairy World, where you’re looking at fireflies in a dreamy forest. Most of the time, the shapes you are supposed to figure out match the theme of the world you are currently in. That makes it easier from time to time, as not all images are easily figured out.

Themed levels and matching images

Themed levels and matching images

Overall Design & Scoring

Pictorial HD really thrives on details. While the main screen remains virtually the same throughout a level, the theme itself is very detailed and a joy to look at. It changes when you enter a new world and if you have time between puzzles, you’ll notice the dwarf hiding in the Fairy World and maybe you’ll spot more hidden gems in other places.

Also, the music matches the current theme while remaining soothingly in the background and not distracting from the gameplay or even pressuring you (which I like a lot because I usually have to turn the music off).

But just because you are enjoying your surroundings doesn’t mean you should let your attention slide since you are constantly running out of time. With every new game, the game clock starts at 1,000 points and counts down so you better get a move on to find out what shape is hidden.

If you can’t see it, no matter how hard you try, don’t despair. A small red button with a question mark appears soon and once you hit it, it will align the dots for you so you can see the shape.

Help will be given to those who're stuck

Help will be given to those who're stuck

Mind you, it will revert back slowly to mumble-jumble after a second or two (during which you will not be deducted points) so you’ll have to finish the game yourself.

Verdict

If you’re looking for the most difficult challenge, Pictorial HD will probably not meet that demand. But if instead you’re on the lookout for a very low pressure puzzle game, which is easy enough to serve as a distraction for grown ups and a mild challenge for kids, Pictorial HD might just be up your alley. It’s easy to understand and provides a lot of satisfaction when puzzles are solved quickly and often. The beautiful design and soothing music play their part in making the game enjoyable and relaxing.

What kind of puzzle games do you like to play? Let us know in the comments.


Summary

Untangle clusters of linked dots to reveal images in the night sky, on maps or magical forest. A puzzle game for all age groups

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