More picross-style puzzles await in World Mosaics 3: Fairy Tales

If you didn’t get your fill of “picross”-style puzzles in the first two World Mosaics games, there’s plenty more where that came from in World Mosaics 3: Fairy Tales.

World Mosaics 3 continues from where the last game left off. While doing some research in a library, our protagonist comes across an enchanted book of fairytales that transports you into the pages of the book itself. In order to escape, you have to find 12 magical emblems by playing through 12 different fairytales – such as Frog Prince, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel & Gretel – and helping the characters.

I’ll have more to say about the story in a minute, but first here’s a refresher on the gameplay: each puzzle is a grid with numbers along the left and top, and a mosaic hidden underneath. The numbers give you clues about where to click in order to reveal part of the mosaic. For example, a “3” in one row means that somewhere in the row there will be three consecutive mosaic tiles to uncover. A line of “2 3 4” means there will be a set of two, a set of three, and a set of four somewhere in the row, each separated by at least one space.

 Fairy Tales

Using this information you can right-click with the mouse to uncover parts of the mosaic, and left-click to uncover an empty space. As you complete more rows and columns, the numbers will be crossed off until the whole mosaic is revealed.

The puzzles start of easy, with 5×5 grids, and gradually get larger and more challenging so that by the final levels you’re dealing with 20×20.

Each time you complete a mosaic, you get to read another snippet of the story. The mosaics are themed to the story as well; for example, in Princess and the Frog you’ll uncover mosaics like a crown, diamond ring, and of course a frog. It’s a nice touch, and the stories are well-written enough so that if you’re so inclined you can stop to read it in between levels, but tying in fairytales to mosaics seems tenuous. At least in the original World Mosaics you were supposed to be unearthing relics by “dusting off” the mosaics, which made more sense.

 Fairy Tales

That said, a nice feature about the game is that the story texts are self-contained on one page, and can be skipped instantly, giving players a choice. If they want to relax and read the story they can, but if they just want to focus on the puzzles and skip the story entirely, they can do that too.

In terms of what’s new in World Mosaics 3, there isn’t much. This game boasts more puzzles than its predecessors (125 to be exact, plus 100 extra puzzles that are unlocked when you finish the second story). Graphics are improved over the original game; music too. Each background is themed to the particular story; in the Hansel & Gretel levels you’ll see a witch’s gnarled hands holding a plate of gingerbread men over a fiery oven, for example. But all this is really just window dressing for what is essentially the exact same experience you’ve already had in the first two World Mosaics games.

If you’re a diehard fan of this type of puzzle game, you’ll be in heaven – especially since it’s the kind of game mechanic that hasn’t been done to death in the casual games space yet like match-3 has. Just don’t expect World Mosaics 3 to be radically different from what you saw in the first two games.