PictoQuest is a puzzle RPG with the combat based on picture grids. Each grid either fights an enemy, or opens a chest, or is some sort of challenge (“time limit”/”no mistakes”). One of the nicest elements is that when you finish a black and white grid, the picture turns to colour and animates. The pictures are all RPG related, from potions and weapons to monsters.
The basic mechanism involves filling out the grid, and as soon as you have placed all the black squares in a row or column, the monster takes a “hit” and their combat bar empties (wholly or partially). If you place a black square wrongly, the monster gets to hit you. Sometimes they miss. The game doesn’t recognise the red crosses you place to mark blanks, so if you mark them wrongly, it won’t harm you.
The grids start off fairly easy as 10×10 and gradually get bigger. You can choose between swipe controls or a virtual pad. Swipe is easier and quicker, but not usable on an iPhone past the first size of grid, as the squares get too small for you to swipe accurately. Time challenges are typically back to the 10×10 grids, so just switch back to swipe for those.
There’s also a shop where you can buy magic items such as potions to help you on your way. There’s no IAP, it’s a one-off purchase.