Pokemon Picross is an unorthodox Picross game, but makes sense in the realm of the Pokemon world. In most Jupiter entries, the game could display hints in blue, telling you which row has boxes that could be filled or crossed out, and offer the option to reveal entire rows of boxes at the beginning of puzzles to make solutions simpler to find. These elements are present here too, but only if you have a Pokemon that isn’t too tired to use such an ability.
Picking which characters to take with you for each puzzle is sometimes quite easy. Each puzzle has between three and four missions associated with it. The game will flat out tell you, “Set at least one Grass-type Pokemon” or “Use Scatter Reveal at least once.” But if you go in knowing it’s impossible to solve every mission at once at that moment, due to not having the proper Pokemon or skills, then your party composition is at your own discretion.
The good news is, it’s quite possible to almost always have your favorite characters around when you play. Pokemon Picross divides skills simply, making it easy to find one with an ability you want or need. For example, most of the low level Water-types have Blue Force, an ability that offers hints either temporarily or, in the case of Manaphy, for the entire duration of the puzzle. The numbers of rows with squares that can be filled appear in blue, allowing you to see at a glance if you’re missing something. Many Normal-types, like Eevee and Raticate, have Rising Reveal, which reveals a row of blocks at the start. Electric-types, like Pikachu and Jolteon, passively slow time.
Picking skills all depends on your abilities and what sort of challenge you’re searching for. If Pokemon Picross is the first Picross game you’ve ever played, you want something that will give you an edge. Start with a Pokemon that knows Blue Force, which can be activated at any time throughout the match. Oshwott, found in 1-3, is the first you’ll find with this skill, and his lasts 180 seconds. If you know what you’re doing, however, the first limited-time legendary you can catch is Manaphy in 2-5, and it has a Blue Force skill that will last for the entire puzzle. Manaphy also works on puzzles up to 20×15, while Oshwott only works on 10×10 or less, so you’ll want to try and upgrade as soon as possible. Though, if Manaphy is too challenging for you at the start, Vaporeon is at stage 7-6 and has a Blue Force that works for up to 300 seconds on puzzles up to 20×15.
The second most important skill for beginners is some sort of “reveal” ability. Depending on the type, it can either be used at the start or anytime during a match. The first Pokemon you’ll earn with a reveal ability is Poochyena with Scatter Reveal. It only reveals five spaces, total, on puzzles up to 10×10 and takes effect at the start of a puzzle. However, it also has no recovery period, which is helpful at the start. But your best bets are to get Fire or Dragon-types with Cross Reveal or Square Reveal.
The first Cross Reveal character is Tepig in area 3-2. You get 2 horizontal and two vertical lines that intersect at some random point in the puzzle. It takes an hour to recover and only works on 10×10 puzzles, but does a fantastic job of clearing out an area to make Pokemon Picross easier. Given it’s power, it takes quite a while before you find a more powerful Pokemon with a better version of the skill. Talonflame, in 9-6, has a version that works in 15×15 puzzles, which helps, but you won’t find one that has a four space reveal size and works on 20×15 puzzles until Heatran at 13-7.
That makes a Dragon-type with Square Reveal more appealing. The first you’ll encounter is Goomy in 4-3. He knows Rising Reveal, which has a cooldown time of one hour. When activated at the start of a puzzle, it reveals a 4×4 grid of blocks randomly in 10×10 puzzles. It isn’t as handy as a Cross Reveal could be, especially if you happened to have the Cross Reveal happen at the corners of a puzzle, but it’s still a big help. The best Square Reveal you can get early on is Zygard 50% Forme at 5-6. It’s a difficult puzzle, but you’ll get a Pokemon who can reveal a 7×7 square of blocks in puzzles up to 20×15. It has a 30 hour cooldown time, but still. This skill is hugely helpful for beginners.
The final skills you’ll want most are from the Auto Fix family. Some Grass and Steel-types have Auto Fix or Auto Fix X abilities. Auto Fix will fix a filled square mistake a certain number of times automatically, while Auto Fix X will fix a filled or crossed out mistake a certain number of times. Oddish is your first with Auto Fix, found at 1-2. He can fix mistakes up to 7 times on 10×10 puzzles and has a 1 hour cooldown. I recommend using him until you get Klefki in 3-4, which fixes mistakes up to 3 times on 10×10 puzzles with again, a 1 hour cooldown. Use one or the other until 15-7, when you can recruit Metagross. It has an Auto Fix X skill that will correct up to 12 mistakes on puzzles up to 20×15 and has an hour and a half cooldown. There are better Mega Evolutions with Auto Fix X, but since you can only equip one Mega Evolved Pokemon at a time, it’s best to go with Metagross for your Auto Fix X needs.
Once you start picking up on the nuances of Pokemon Picross, you’ll be able to pick and choose whichever Pokemon you want to provide the challenge you need. But if you’re only just beginning, you can’t go wrong with Blue Force, Auto Fix X, Cross Reveal, and Square Reveal!