Mario's Picross 2 is a Japan-only game for the Game Boy and the sequel to Mario's Picross; it was released in 1996. It keeps most of the same elements of its predecessor, as it deals with a grid an solving number-like puzzles to form images.
To play, the player has to match boxes together and link them with one another to form images, and if performed successfully, the image will look right. The player also has the option to be given hints throughout the game as to how to make specific images. Mario and Wario both have different sets of puzzles to solve in the game, giving the player somewhat of a variety in gameplay.
The game features four modes: easy picross, Mario's picross, Wario's picross, and quick picross.
In easy picross, players solve a simple 15x15 puzzle; 30 minutes are allotted for each puzzle.
In Mario's picross, players solve more complex 30x30 puzzles, split into 15x15 quadrants, and players are penalized for mistakes in this mode.
Wario's picross is the same as Mario's picross, except players are not penalized or notified of mistakes. After clearing stage 6 in this mode, players are no longer notified if a quadrant has been completed, further increasing the difficulty. Players can also choose to turn off the time limit in this mode, however this will not allow them to unlock the 10th puzzle in each stage and it does not apply to quick picross.
After every three stages in both Mario and Wario's picross, players must solve a quick picross puzzle. In quick picross, players must quickly create kana from multiple 8x8 puzzles to form a sentence and clear the challenge. The amount of kana required ranges from 8-20 and players are allotted only one minute per character. Both characters have three quick picross stages with 10 possible solutions each.
Mario and Wario both have 10 stages with 10 puzzles each, however, the 10th puzzle of each stage can only be unlocked if the player has not quit or timed out on a puzzle in the stage. In stages 1-3, 30 minutes are allotted per quadrant, but from stage 4 onward, 90 minutes are allotted for each puzzle. The puzzles in each stage are also centered around a theme (e.g. stage 4 of Mario's picross features sports themed puzzles). After clearing stage 10, a final stage with a single 60x60 puzzle is unlocked; the puzzle is split into 30x30 quadrants (which themselves are split into 15x15 quadrants) and 30 minutes are allotted per 30x30 quadrant. In total there are 278 puzzles.
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