Canceled Pokemon Picross Game Discovered in New Nintendo Leak

Published: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - 14:41 | By: Robert N. Adams
Lost Game Finally Found

The canceled Pokemon Picross game for the original Game Boy has been discovered as one of the many prototypes in a new Nintendo leak, finally showing us a rare Pokemon game that was announced but never launched.

Pokemon Picross was first announced in the Spring of 1999 in various game magazines according to Bulbapedia. Fans were surely disappointed to learn that it had been canceled, but we can now get a look at this lost piece of Pokemon history.

 
 

The prototype was revealed as part of a new leak of "lotcheck" ROMs — finalized files that were sent off to Nintendo prior to publishing. Today's leak is somewhat similar to the Nintendo Gigaleak that was first revealed to the world in July 2020, although smaller in scale.

There are a fair few other games as noted on LuigiBlood's Twitter. These games include quite a few Japanese exclusives that wouldn't necessarily be familiar to Western audiences, although there are some interesting titles in the mix. These other leaks include Hello Kitty Pocket Camera — presumably a branded version of the Game Boy Camera — and Lunar Chase, a 3D game on the original Game Boy by Argonaut Software that released in Japan as X, and was the predecessor to Star Fox.

Pokemon Picross slice

How Does Pokemon Picross Work?

This canceled Pokemon game is based on Picross, also known as a Nonogram. It's a little bit like Sudoku and a little bit like a crossword puzzle.

Here's how it works: each row and each column have a series of numbers. Those numbers tell you how many squares need to be filled in and how many need to be left empty. If you guess correctly, you'll be able to reveal a picture.

Naturally, this game had you creating images of Pokemon. As Pokemon YouTube Lewtwo details on Twitter, there are 150 stages in total. These levels can be tackled in any order you'd like, and they don't just include Pokemon — some levels also have you revealing sprites for various items from the game such as Rare Candy or the Poke Flute.

This game seems pretty cool, but there's one particularly strange aspect of this whole story: as far as Lewtwo can tell, this is a fully-developed game. For some reason, Pokemon Picross was completely developed but never actually launched for the Game Boy.

15 years later, Nintendo decided to release Pokemon Picross for the Nintendo 3DS. You can still get it today as a free title, but players can finally check out the original game that inspired it.

Would you have wanted to play Pokemon Picross on the original Game Boy? What's your favorite kind of puzzle game? Let us know in the comments below!


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A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!