I'm talking about Picross 3D!
Coincidentally, I noticed Patrick Klepek talking about Picross 3D on Twitter the other day. I was both amused and sympathetic as I watched him spiral into a "Just one more!" cycle of cubic obsession. I guess I'm not the only one that one that got hooked on the game.
Like most folks who fancy themselves video game critics, I spend most of my time playing and analyzing games whose narrative structures resemble other traditional media. Most single-player games have a plot structure and characters meant to impart certain themes. Because of this, analysis often stems from how these plot and character-based elements relate to the messages conveyed by the game mechanics and dynamics.
In hopes of breaking out of the old routine, I decided to take a closer look at Picross 3D, a game without a "story." Fortunately, despite not using a plot or dialogue to communicate its messages, the game contains a number of interesting themes. Things spiral off into wacky territory towards the end, as I touch upon everything from Mount Rushmore to industrialism. Sometimes a little creative interpretation is fun; hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did.