*JP:January 28, 2009
*NA: May 18, 2009
*EU: May 22, 2009
*AU: May 22, 2009
*CERO: A (All Ages)
*ESRB: E (Everyone)
*ACB: G (General)
*JP: Art Styleシリーズ： PiCOPiCT (lit., Art Style Series: PiCOPiCT)
*EU: Art Style: PiCOPiCT
*AU: Art Style: PiCTOPiCT
*PiCTOBiTS, PiCOPiCT, PiCTOPiCT (Offical names without the Art Style label)
Number of Players: 1
*Also available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop
*Announced on January 26, 2009. Released 2 days later along with Art Styleシリーズ： SOMNIUM in Japan.
*The game was available for 150 coins as a Club Nintendo reward in North America during May 2012.
Art Style: PiCTOBiTS is the way to go if you want a Tetris clone that pays tribute to past games.
Gameplay: The objective in Art Style: PiCTOBiTS is to reveal the hidden sprite based on characters from classic Famicom/NES games, to do so, you have a set of bits (also known as PiCTOs), which you use to eliminate megabits (a.k.a. Mega PiCTOs or Deca PiCTOs) that fall from above. You use the Stylus to put the bits, using your Pallete, on a way they can eliminate megabits by making group of 4 bits of the same color, be either in a row or at least a 2x2 sqaure, when a megabit part is removed, the remaining megabit will fall faster, if a megabit is eliminated before it hits the bottom of the screen, the player will be awarded with a Coin, if the megabit touches the bottom, it'll turn into a group of bits. Be careful, though, because sometimes the megabits have a permabit, bits with an X mark that if they're not eliminated, cannot be moved and they stay in their position, but if they're removed, they award Coins.
The game is over when a megabit cannot fall if its obstructed by bits and those aren't moved in time (in this instance, a DANGER! message appears), to prevent this, you can either move the blocks manually (your Pallete can hold up to 8 bits), or use the POW Block, which will remove the first 2 lines of bits from bottom to top, and will also make the bits fall to the bottom of the screen, but using the POW Block seals a Pallete square, but it can be restored with 5 Coins. Th sprite will be rebealed in the Top Screen as you remove megabits, when the sprite is revealed, this will show a brief animation, in some Stages, there will be more than one sprite.
Difficulty: The game starts very easy, but it gets progressively harder on later stages as the megabits fall faster and are removed faster, not to mention the fact that you get less time to plan where you'll put the bits, especially on Dark Stages. Most of the difficulty in this games comes from the often inaccuracy of the game on the detection of the Stylus, but as you get some practice on the game, this problem is quickly solved.
Graphics: The graphics in this game are made to resemble those of the Famicom, but the Menus' graphics are like those of the cover art of the Famicom 20th Anniversary Sondtracks.
Sound: The music in this game was composed by the Japanese chiptune band YMCK, and it features remixes of the classic Famicom games represented. The sound effects are also meant to be a tribute to that bygone age.
Extras: Besides recovering sealed Pallete squares, Coins can also be used to unlock Dark Stages (also knonw as Ura Stages (JP) or Remix Stages (PAL)), which are harder than normal Stages, and have different sets of sprites to be revealed. But not just that, Coins can be used to buy the music of the game in the Music section, when you purchase a song (a Stage song), there will be a more expensive "+" version (the Dark Stage extended version) available for purchase, additionally, as with other games like Kirby Mass Attack, SONIC RUSH ADVENTURE or Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (just to name a few), you can listen to the music if the DSi is closed while playing a song with a pair of headphones plugged, unlike other games, the music can also play through the DSi's speakers while the system is closed if there aren't headphones plugged.
Closing Comment: PiCTOBiTS is one of the best games on DSiWare, despite being a puzzle game, which DSiWare has a lot already, but this one is worth the 500 DSi Points, I just wish there were more stages, 'cause it only has 15 stages, I would have liked 30 normal stages, Nintendo has a lot of classics that could have easily made the cut for this game (like Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Kid Icarus, Urban Champion, Stack-Up, Gyromite, Mach Rider, or Clu Clu Land), but the Dark Stages more than make for it. And finally, a list of the games represented:
*Super Mario Bros. (5 Parts/Stages)
*Ice Climber (2 Parts/Stages)
*Baseball (2 Parts/Stages)
*Devil World (Referenced as "Devil World (Japan Only)" in the US version) (2 Parts/Stages)
*The Legend of Zelda (2 Parts/Stages)
*Super Mario Bros. 2/Super Mario USA (on the Credits only)
*The Early Famicom games sticker (seen in other games like Tetris DS and WarioWare: D.I.Y.) appears as well
And this review comes just in time, as it was published 1 day before Nintendo of America announced the May 2012 batch of free Club Nintendo games, which includes Art Style: PiCTOBiTS, coincidence? I don't think so.