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Friday, March 19, 2021

Review: Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S (Nintendo Switch)


Review by Matt S.

I was expecting Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S to be a fairly standard port of the previous Miku puzzle mobile title, MikuLogi. Why wouldn't it be? The mobile game is excellent, with plenty of colourful puzzles, a good rewards loop (one new Miku artwork for every puzzle completed!) and it worked just fine as a nonogram (Picross) game. Apparently, that wasn't enough for the developers, however, because Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S, for about $Aus13 on the Nintendo eShop store, is a ridiculously good-value celebration of Hatsune Miku and her vocaloid pals. 


The number of puzzles in this package is obscene. There's something like 520 of them, spread across a number of different difficulty settings. That's more than double what's on the phone app, and that's more than enough reason for fans double-dip on its own. Furthermore, rather than just rely on standard nonogram play, the developers have even come up with a neat way to expand on the basic idea of filling in puzzles to complete a picture. In Logic Paint S there's a special "giant picture" mode, where you need to complete a grid of 5 x 5 (so, 25 total) separate nonograms to complete one giant picture. MikuLogi on the iPhone had a tiny few of those, but here there are nine individual sets, each with 25 puzzles alone, and completing each and every one of those is a joy. A little like a jigsaw puzzle becomes cathartic as the picture starts to take form, really.

Overall mileage will naturally depend on how quickly you can solve puzzles. The first dozen or so are mindlessly easy and can be solved in seconds, but the more complex puzzles should challenge even veterans. If you assume a 10-15 minute average for the majority of them, overall, then completing all of these puzzles will take you around 80 hours. There won't be much to do once you've finished that final puzzle, but if you're baulking at $13 for 80 hours of top-quality puzzling, then your expectations for video games are seriously skewed.


It was also nice to see the developers at Crypton go that extra mile to turn MikuLogi into a "proper" Switch game, rather than just port the iOS experience. The full screen is used, for a start, with an adorable little chibi Miku cheering you on from the sidelines as you play. On the phone, it's a fairly mundane presentation of just the puzzle itself. The menu system has also been completely redesigned to be much more charming than simply functional, and in addition to the art gallery unlocks, in Logic Paint S there are up to 16 music tracks you can also unlock and set in the background. I did find it a little odd that MikuLogi on mobile didn't feature Hatsune Miku music at all, given that music is what she's known for (she's a literal musical instrument after all). That the developers have remedied that here shows that they were either listening to feedback, or had far greater ambitions than that the scope of the mobile release allowed them.

More than the quality of the puzzling and the presentation, however, the thing I love most about Logic Paint S is how effectively it plays into the grand communal experiment that is Hatsune Miku. Crypton has always been careful to make it clear that a "canon" Miku doesn't really exist. The community define her. Beyond that, Crypton actively works with a wide range of artists, musicians, and creators to produce Miku stuff, and you see that play out as you complete puzzles and unlock elements in the gallery. There's no consistency in the art, because the artists aren't working to a brief. They're creating their personal vision of Miku, and Crypton embraces and supports that. It's the most feel-good use of intellectual property that we've ever seen come out of Japan, and because of it, Hatsune Miku is arguably the largest community-driven art project in history.

There's not much else I can say that hasn't been covered in my review of the mobile original. At the end of the day, it's a collection of nonograms, which play well on Switch. However, factor in that there are so many of them, that they're presented in an engaging and interesting way, and you're rewarded with something meaningful for every single puzzle completed, and Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S is well elevated beyond being "just" well-made nonograms. The Picross titles on Switch offer well-made nonograms. Logic Paint S is so, so much more than that.



- Matt S.
Editor-in-Chief
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb


Review: Hatsune Miku Logic Paint S (Nintendo Switch)
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