Color Cross Review

Welcome to the coolest Nonogram/Picross game on the iPhone.

Color Cross is one of those games that feels like it was destined for the iPhone from the beginning. It’s the latest “nonogram” or “picross” game from Little Worlds Studio. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the Wikipedia article here. It’s a simple-yet-challenging concept that some compare to Sudoku, just with less math and more pictures. colorcross1The great thing about Color Cross, is if you know absolutely nothing about this game, it comes with both a normal and video tutorial in game!

Color Cross takes picross to the next level with, well, colors! Normally picross games have you making simple two-tone images. Color Cross adds on many “layers” of color depending on the image. You can freely switch between the different layers at will, as each color will have different number values. Sometimes if you’re stuck it’s best to skip to the next color.

You fill squares in the grid by tapping. You can start filling an entire row by holding your finger on the screen and dragging. This was a really smart feature, as it helps for long rows of color. You can also mark sqaures that you know don’t contain any color. The end result is a icon-like colorcross2pixel picture relating to whatever category you are playing in.

It may sound boring, but it’s quite addicting playing to figure out what the next picture will be. For each puzzle you complete, you unlock one part of a larger picture. This doesn’t really mean much, but is a nice little incentive. You also unlock new categories as you go along. I’m pretty sure I’ve unlocked about 5 or 6 so far, each with it’s own set of 15 or so puzzles to solve. There are 10 themes, and 150 puzzles in classic mode, as well as 200 in arcade mode, which is solving one puzzle after another in sequence.

Presentation & Graphics
ColorCross looks and plays very well. The menus are very slick, and the animations through out the game are smooth and sexy. The game has great use of color in backgorunds and the levels themselves, and is all around pleasing to the eyes. The presentation is top notch from start to finish.

Very fitting and high quality sound effects. Music is great too, but there are only 2 tracks that I noticed. You can play your ipod music if you want, which makes up for this!

Almost perfect. Tapping and holding to drag and fill a row is extremely convenient. The farther you zoom out, the less accurate your taps become, so just be sure to zoom in when you are placing colors. The addition of different colors really adds a lot more strategy to the game, and makes the end picture look a lot cooler. There are occasions when you may accidently paint the wrong square.

With 350 total puzzles between classic and arcade modes, this is a game that will keep you coming back for a long time. It’s designed to be easy to pick up and play in short increments, and it works perfectly in this respect. It would be cool to see some sort of user created puzzles, but that’s more an extra feature for an already great game.



Quite frankly, picross on the iPhone doesn’t get any better than this. The game oozes with charm and polish from the moment you start to completing a puzzle. It’s highly addicting, and with hundreds of puzzles, will keep you entertained for a very long time. Other than maybe a few more music tracks, I honestly couldn’t find anything wrong with the game if I tried. Every potential issue was taken care of by the brilliant UI and excellent tutorials. Sure, picross games aren’t for everyone, but Color Cross is hard not enjoy. It’s an absolute steal at $3.99.

Color Cross – $3.99

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  • Jenea

    I am dismayed that this article failed to point out this program’s fatal flaw: no ability to save your progress on a particular puzzle. I assume the author only played a few easy levels, which can be completed in ten minutes at most. However, the interesting puzzles are much more difficult. There is no way to spend ten or fifteen minutes on a puzzle, save it, then come back later for some more. Do not consider purchasing this game until this fatal flaw has been rectified.

  • Matt Dunn, USA

    interestingly enough, didn’t just play the first few levels, as that would not be a fair review. I got quite far. I never had an issue because if I needed to put my phone down, I would just put it I standby. but I can see this being an issue if you receive a call. I didn’t think about this since it didn’t happen to me. thanks for the comment.

  • Jenea

    Thanks for the response, Mike. I didn’t mean to imply that you failed in doing your due diligence for the review. Perhaps you are just a lot better at solving the trickier puzzles than I am, and never wanted/needed to come back later? Would you say you still stand by your statement “It’s designed to be easy to pick up and play in short increments, and it works perfectly in this respect?”

    In any case, it’s a real shame because unlike many of the other nonogram apps available for the phone, ColorCross takes it to a new level. By presenting each color separately, the app adds a twist to the puzzle that would be impossible to recreate on paper.

    I am disappointed in their scoring method, namely instantly scoring incorrectly filled squares but ignoring marked “empty” squares. For one thing, I would argue that identifying empty squares is just as important as identifying filled squares in nonogram puzzles. Perhaps more importantly, it is ridiculously easy to make a “fat finger” mistake. For these reasons, I would have preferred a different method. However, this is a design decision that was made by all the other nonogram apps I tried as well, so it’s hard to really fault them for that. If you’re listening, nonogram app makers, please consider a different scoring method!

  • Morgan

    Important information : Auto-saving feature has been added by the developpers. :)

  • Morgan

    So now you can exit the game at any time or because you are receiving a phone call without any fear. At next launch the game will ask you if you want to continue.

  • Morgan

    Game price is now 99 cts! Cool!

  • aiwenne

    Hey, I play Color Cross on Facebook and I wanted to download it on my iPhone through your link but it seems broken… So I searched on web and found this link:

    But i found an other version: Animal Color Cross too:

    Finally I saw that a new version on Mac Store today will be available?? Someone has any infos please?