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Picross 3D


Nintendo DS Game Card

Release date


What is Picross 3D?

Picross 3D is a brand new way to solve Picross puzzles – simply mark and destroy the cubes according to numbered clues to gradually reveal a fully animated three-dimensional model! If you haven’t played Picross in any dimension before then it’s time to discover the joys of this puzzle genre – think Sudoku crossed with battleships, then add a splash of colour and a bucketful of fun! To get to grips with the Picross basics, check out our introductory videos below!

The videos are taken from the Picross 3D in-game tutorials and are fully interactive when playing the game.



As the puzzles get bigger, you can tap vertical and horizontal arrows called “slicers” to collapse the block and solve any row or column from the inside out.


You’ll also start to see number hints with squares and circles around them. A circle indicates that the cubes that are part of the 3D solution shape are in two separate groups. A square indicates the cubes are in three or more groups. You can use these clues to work out which arrangements are possible for any row or column.

Themes and levels



There are over 350 puzzles to solve in Picross 3D and they all have different themes or subjects. Try to complete collections of similar themed puzzles such as “Beach” or “Sports” and then go to the Gallery on the Main Menu to view your Picross shapes and animations. Can you complete them all?



There are four main skill levels – Easy through to Advanced – and each level has several sections to complete. As well as being faced with larger and harder puzzles as you progress, you might also be challenged with some fun restrictions such as solving a puzzle without a single mistake!


You also earn up to three stars on each puzzle, depending on how fast you solve it and if you make any mistakes. Each section has special bonus puzzles that can only be unlocked by earning enough stars, so it pays to concentrate on successful solving!

Create your own puzzles

It’s great fun solving the puzzles that are already created in the game, but it’s just as much fun to make up your own!


You can store up to 300 puzzles on your Game Card and it’s simple to create your own unique Picross puzzle. Simply choose “My Picross” from the main menu and then the “Original” option. You can edit a shape that’s already created, adding your own colours and embellishments, or start one from scratch. It’s very simple to do and the best part is that the game does all the hard work by filling in the number clues for you when you’ve finished!


When you’re happy with your puzzle, you can send it to friends via local wireless connection or submit it to the monthly competition via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Find out more about these options in the "Contests and extras" section.

Tips for Creating Your Own Puzzle

Have you given up on the idea of creating your own puzzle because you think it looks difficult or you can’t make the shape you’re aiming for? Once you take on board the following tips, you’ll find you’ll be able to make any shape you want!

Beginner’s Course: The Basics of Shape Creation


Tip 1: Pinpoint Distinctive Features!

By identifying the distinctive features of an object and exaggerating them, it's easy to create a shape that really looks like the object in question.

Stick eyes on a 3x3x3 block, add two cubes as ears and you’ve already created a shape that looks more or less like an animal’s face – now let’s add a little something to it.



Let’s try making the ears longer. As long ears are a distinctive feature of rabbits, simply doing this makes it look a lot like a rabbit.



The distinctive features of a mouse are its big ears and pointy nose.



Just giving it droopy ears makes it look like a dog. By painting the cubes brown, you can give it even more canine character.



Let’s try exaggerating the characteristic long flat face a monkey has beneath its nose. Now you’ve got yourself a monkey!



Make the nose longer, add narrowed eyes and it’s looking a lot like a wolf. In this example, we’ve made the wolf blue, using a slightly stylised colour scheme.

As you can see, simply by tweaking postures and colour or by adding stickers, you can create something that resembles what you’re aiming at without needing to use a lot of cubes.

Tip 2: Build Up from Flat Surfaces!

Here’s a tip for anyone who has trouble knowing where to begin building their shape from: start with a flat silhouette. For this example, let’s make a simple animal.

Creating a Dog


This is a particularly useful technique if you’re making a symmetrical shape. In the case of animals, even after you’ve fixed an initial position for the arms or legs, you can adjust them to make the figure look more dynamic.


The body acts as a base to which you can attach wings. By adjusting the position of the legs you can make it look like it's flying.



The most important features are the large ears and tusks. By adjusting the shape’s angle, you can make it look like your elephant is sitting.


Top Tip! Be conscious of the completed shape’s size

Before creating your shape, take a second to consider your shape’s proportions in terms of height, width and depth. If you don’t do this, things could go badly wrong and you could realise while you're making the shape that you can't complete it within 10 cubes. If you’re creating a bird flapping its wings, the required shape is more or less a cube, whereas if you want to create an elephant where the overall length is emphasised, you’re best off using the full depth of a rectangular cuboid. If you want to make a high object, be aware of the size of the block you’ll need.

Tip 3: Cubes and Curves!

You might well think that it’s impossible to make round objects with just a small number of cubes, but it all depends on how creative you’re willing to be…

With a 2x2x2 Cube

There are no two ways about it – this is a block not a ball. With each side measuring only two cubes in length, you can’t remove any of the corner cubes. However…

basics_03_1.jpg   basics_03_2.jpg

Look what happens if you position it with a football player! Don’t you think it looks like a ball now?

With a 4x4x4 Cube

Just by taking away one cube from each corner, it still seems too distorted to pass as a ball.


The surrounding scene suddenly makes it look like a circus ball. It also helps to get creative with the colour scheme.


With a 7x7x7 Cube

Remove cubes from each corner uniformly. It’s very rough and uneven so how can it pass for a ball?


Now it looks like a giant inflatable ball or even a boulder.

Use the following images as a reference when removing cubes. Another method is to use a 3x3x3 block as the base and build on that.


As the examples above show, it's important to remember that even if a shape does not look like a ball by itself, the surrounding objects can make it look as if it is.


You can download the puzzles that have been featured on this page via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. (Puzzle Pack 1: from 5th March 2010)
After enjoying these puzzles, you can use them as a reference for creating your own original puzzles.

Advanced Lesson: Create All Sorts of Shapes

Shape 1: Making People

If you use a single cube for the head, you can create a person with plenty of room to emphasise its posture and physique. Using a 2x2x2 block to make the head gives you a cute figure with a large head. The most common type of human figure that appears in Picross puzzles are those with 2x2x2 blocks for heads.


1 Cube Head

This is the basic shape. As the figure is 4 heads high, it looks rather childlike.


  1. In this example, the figure is striking a pose. Just move a few cubes and it looks more dynamic.
  2. Add a large torso and the figure looks more adult. You can put the figure in various poses.
  3. Broaden the shoulders and make the chest thicker to give the figure a muscle-bound look.
  4. Further adjust the posture to give an even more powerful impression.



2x2x2 Cube Head

With its extremely small body, the figure looks a lot like a baby.
Add long eyelashes to the round eyes to complete the babyish look.

  1. Stretch the torso and change the eyes and the figure is now a child.
  2. Stretch the torso further to make the figure appear more like a teenager.
  3. Broaden the shoulders, thicken the chest and narrow the eyes to make a sportsman.
  4. Lengthen the face of the figure in the second image, thicken the body and position the eyes higher on the face to make it more adult.


  1. Change the clothes and hairstyle and make the legs shorter to turn the figure into a girl.
  2. Flesh out the figure in the third image, adjust the proportions and the waist looks narrower. The figure now looks even more muscular.
  3. Lower the jaw and open the mouth to give the figure a monstrous look. Enhance the eerie effect by curving the back and making the arms hang down.

Simply by adding these characteristics to a basic design, you can come up with all these variations. Adapt these techniques and you're sure to hit upon many more.
The human figure used above is simply one example of all the figures that are possible. See which other ones you can come up with.

Top Tip! Use stickers effectively

There are a total of 15 different stickers that you can use when creating puzzles, including eyes and noses. There is a limit to the number of stickers you can use in a single puzzle but by rotating the stickers, you can come up with a whole host of effects.


  1. Attach the stickers as normal to get this effect.
  2. A curved line doesn’t necessarily have to be an eyebrow.
  3. A large black circle can become a pair of sunglasses and a heart can be a mouth.

Shape 2: Making Vehicles

When you’re aiming to create a motor vehicle, the most important things are the wheels. In most cases, you won’t be able to spare a lot of cubes to create the wheels, so don’t worry about creating a full representation of a wheel. This can be covered up with skilful use of colours and positioning.


Let’s try using 2x2 blocks to make the wheels.

advanced_02_01.jpg   advanced_02_02.jpg

You’ve managed to make a 6-wheel truck. The size of the truck’s body in relation to the wheels is important.

Container Truck

Use a single cube for each of the wheels.

advanced_02_03.jpg   advanced_02_04.jpg

You’ve now got a colourful container truck. Even though they are just one cube apiece, they really look like wheels.


Hot Dog Stand

Not a vehicle as such, but it’s used in this example as it has large wheels. The size of wheel in the image makes it just right for a hot dog stand.


Failed Attempt

If you start with the wheels, you can end up in a real mess. The overall size of the vehicle should dictate the number of cubes you can spare to use on the wheels.

Shape 3: Putting Shapes Together

Using the tips you’ve picked up from the shapes we’ve made so far, you can combine a number of shapes for an effective way to create impressive displays.

Expressing Size

By positioning one shape next to another so it can be compared to it, you can successfully express the relative size of objects. In the case of the hot air balloon, we start by allocating the number of cubes needed to create a large balloon and then, in contrast, create an extremely stylised human figure with an emphasis on its small size.


Stone Age Money

By positioning a person beside it, you can emphasise the stone ring's size. Could this be the currency used by Stone Age man?


Hot Air Balloon

You can turn the ball into a hot air balloon just by adding the person in the basket. The right background helps achieve the desired effect.


Shady Tree

Under the luxuriant leaves of the tree, we’ve placed a person and a dog.

Use weird and wonderful shapes to create your own fun puzzles and send them to your family and friends!


You can download the puzzles that have been featured on this page via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. (Puzzle Pack 1: from 5th March 2010)
After enjoying these puzzles, you can use them as a reference for creating your own original puzzles.

Play Picross with the world!

There are lots of ways to get connected with Picross 3D:


DS Wireless Communications - share puzzles!

You can use local wireless communications to send or receive puzzles with a friend who also has the game. You can also send any puzzle you like to a friend who doesn't own the game as a downloadable demo – just go to “My Picross” in the main menu and pick the “DS Wireless Communications” option.


Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection - download puzzle packs

There are over 350 puzzles ready to be solved on your Picross 3D Game Card. However, with Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, you can take advantage of regular batches of new puzzles that can be downloaded as puzzle packs. Keep an eye on the Nintendo website news as we'll announce when new packs become available!


Competitions - get creative!

Fancy pitting your creative skills against the world? Then enter one of our monthly themed competitions by creating a suitable 3D puzzle and see how you stand up against other Picross fanatics in Europe! Once you’ve created a puzzle that you think fits the monthly theme, enter by doing the following:

1. Select "My Picross" from the main menu.
2. Tap "Nintendo WFC" to connect to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
3. Once connected, tap "Contests" and then choose the current contest (marked "open")
4. Tap "Submit" and select the puzzle you wish to submit!

You can enter the current competition and also download winning entries from previous competitions as separate puzzle packs, giving you even more fascinating Picross puzzles to try! Simply follow the instructions above and tap "Puzzle Packs" instead of  "Contests". News about monthly competitions and the winning puzzle packs will be announced in the News section of the Nintendo website, so make sure to check regularly.

Note: Either a compatible wireless router or a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector (sold separately) as well as active broadband access are required for online play.