Use logic as your paintbrush to restore lost works of pixel art. Try the demo!
User reviews:
Very Positive (13 reviews) - 100% of the 13 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (184 reviews) - 99% of the 184 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 14, 2015

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Recent updates View all (9)

August 22

Bonus room "2016 US Election" Added + all paintings now solvable without guessing

The US presidential election is coming! Still haven't decided who's gonna get your vote? Maybe these 10 pixel portraits of the candidates in the new room "2016 US Election" can help you decide.

Also - fixed the paintings "Panda Caught in a Lie", "Hazardous Love", and "Unsportsmanlike Conduct at the Chess Match" to be solvable with regular gameplay logic (you won't need to use the Marks Mode.) So all paintings in the main game (not the Workshop) are now solvable without guessing or using the Marks Mode!

3 comments Read more

April 26

Voting and Ratings added to Workshop Level Player

Now you can vote on paintings from within the Workshop level player, AND you can see their average rating. The more votes the better the curation, so thumbs up the good ones and thumbs down the rest!

So what are "the good ones?" My definition: the image looks ok or better and it plays more fun than just mindlessly filling in the spaces. Easy paintings are fine, but there should be at least some thinking to them.

0 comments Read more


“The game is so addicive and it's because this game is fun for everybody and their grandmother”
The Indie Motel

“I enjoyed the hell out of playing it.”
The Linux Gamer

“Addictif, c'est parfaitement le petit jeu de puzzle que j'apprécie pour m'occuper.”
Game Guide

About This Game

The art has disappeared from the gallery! Can you paint it back?

Recreate lost works of pixel art by using brainpower.
Use logic as your paintbrush to solve each painting's unique puzzle.

Try the free demo!

  • 150 paintings to solve!
  • 15 rooms to unlock.
  • 20 achievements.
  • Logic puzzles similar to picross, sudoku, nonograms, paint by numbers and griddlers.
  • Endless "Mystery Masterpiece" challenge mode.
  • Play paintings in Normal, Pro and Master difficulty modes.
  • Undo and redo buttons.
  • 6 player profiles on one computer (the whole family/commune/coven can play!)
  • Steam cloud and achievements.
  • Play with mouse, keyboard or game controller. Also great on touchscreen PCs!
  • Hours of puzzley fun!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: Intel Pentium M 1.7GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any 3D capable card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 195 MB available space
    • OS: XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any 3D capable card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 195 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or newer
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any 3D capable card
    • Storage: 205 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or newer
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any 3D capable card
    • Storage: 205 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 32/64-bit or Ubuntu 12.10 32/64-bit
    • Processor: 1GHz processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible video card with 256 MB shared or dedicated RAM (ATI or NVIDIA)
    • Storage: 225 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 32/64-bit or Ubuntu 12.10 32/64-bit
    • Processor: 2GHz processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible video card with 256 MB shared or dedicated RAM (ATI or NVIDIA)
    • Storage: 225 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (13 reviews)
Very Positive (184 reviews)
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131 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
45.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
I initially reviewed Paint It Back as a demo and at the time, I gave it a "thumbs down." After playing the actual game and making a real effort to learn it, I've decided my original assessment was flawed.

PIB is a very complex and not easily understood puzzle game. It requires you to push yourself to learn the game, as opposed to most games (puzzle or otherwise) where figuring out how to play is often very quick and easy.

I'll admit, the learning curve is an obstacle and not one every gamer will wish to tackle. I know I certainly didn't when I reviewed the demo. That said, if you stick with it, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

The basic game mechanics are simple: there are numbers on the left and on the top. Those numbers denote how many squares need to be colored in. If there's more than one number on any line, it means there's a space between those two numbers.

Where this game goes from simple to complex is that unless the number listed corresponds to ALL spaces in any column or row, you won't immediately know where to place a mark. Even more challenging is knowing how many spaces are between multiple numbers.

Now add in paintings that can be huge (especially on harder difficulty levels) and you've got yourself a very daunting task.

Fortunately, there is usually some clue somewhere to help you begin and to work off of. What may throw new players is that these clues aren't very recognizable unless you've played this game for a while or similar titles elsewhere.

So would I recommend Paint It Black? Yes, but do make sure to check out the demo first and try to be in the right mindset to take on a challenging game like this. Don't expect to figure it all out quickly, because that'll just lead to frustration. Take your time and learn it as you go and eventually (likely sooner than later) you'll have that "aha!" moment where it all makes sense and the game becomes far more enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
56.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Plenty of puzzles, low price.
Good quality interface and visuals.
Has a save feature for stopping mid puzzle.

Puzzles can be played in "normal" mode a section at a time or "pro"/"master" mode for the full puzzle at once depending on the size.

And there is some silly humor in the puzzle art themselves.

It's clear a good amount of work went into making this game, much higher than the average for those type of games. Great value.

NOTE: You can change the markers to (always every 5 lines) or ( 4&5 depending on width/height ), default is 4&5 which is probably easier for beginners but bugged me until I looked for the option.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
One you paint it black, you'll never paint it back
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
65 of 70 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
36.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2015
I have been a fan of the Picross puzzle games for almost a decade now, having completed all the Nintendo-produced titles on the DS and 3DS and even going back and playing Mario's Picross through the 3DS's Virtual Console. I love the simplicity of the format and how they can, at times, seem impossible to complete until you find that one tiny, little detail you missed and the rest of the picture comes into play.

Paint it Back is missing a couple of the smaller details that makes those Nintendo games special but it includes a ton of puzzles, has much bigger puzzles than any of the Nintendo titles, and presents all of them with a great amount of polish, from snappy menus to configurable control schemes to solid performance. This is a really freaking good Picross game on the PC. If you like Picross games then that should really be enough to convince you. If you want more detail, I have lists.

  • The game runs well on Windows 7, 8 and 10, with no noticeable load times or crashes (so far).
  • It works with multiple controllers right out of the gate, including the Xbox One pad, which is how I played most of the time.
  • You can switch between a mouse/keyboard combo and a controller at will, even mid-puzzle, and it only takes the game a second to figure out what you're using.
  • It's very challenging in spots, even more so than the hardest puzzles in Picross DS. Some of the sets are massive, going past 30x30 in size. This is where it's great to have a big screen. My PC is connected to my 40" TV and it was so nice to play wider puzzles that took up the length of my screen, all while lying on my couch.
  • The bigger puzzles can be broken down into bite-sized pieces, making them easier to digest. Instead of doing a 20x20 puzzle, for instance, you can do four 5x5 ones. You get a different amount of ribbons (the game's way to measure progress) based on whether you tackle the whole thing at once or in parts.
  • There's enough content to last over 20 hours, at the very least, and a good variety of difficulties from easy to moderately challenging to bang-your-head-against-the-wall hard puzzles, all of which you can save and come back to later if you get too burnt out.
  • Columns and rows highlight to help you navigate, which doesn't really matter until you get to the latter puzzles, going past 25x25 or so, but when you do it's super helpful.
  • It's a small download and doesn't require a ton of resources so you can play on a laptop without much of a challenge. I found it just as fun to use the arrows and the z/x button combo as the controller.
  • it's Picross on your PC. That, in and of itself, is an amazing thing. Even if the game wasn't built well I'd still be happy. Fortunately enough, it is really polished.

  • There's no mode or option that you can toggle that'll mark when you make a mistake (at least that I could find). Meaning that if you screw up with a fill instead of an X or vice versa, you won't know it until later when things don't add up. Most of the time I didn't mind this, since you're filling in tons of squares and a simple slip of the thumb might happen, but the option, perhaps in a different mode, would have been welcome.
  • For better or worse, not all the achievements have detailed explanations.
  • I would have liked more of the wide puzzles and less of the tall ones, since my TV is widescreen, as most monitors are, and it fits better.
  • The music gets incredibly repetitive after a couple hours.
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38 of 38 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
44.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 22, 2015
It might be one of the best nonogram (picross) games ever, the best on steam for sure!
Variety of puzzles, controls, amount of content, humour, everything is of highest caliber.
Excuse me, but time is short, I have some things to paint back.
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38 of 39 people (97%) found this review helpful
105.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2015
Puzzle Lovers delight!

In the past I've only tried this type of puzzle on paper in puzzle books, but did not get very far with them because of having to erase mistakes, but there would still be some shading left from where I erased and it got confusing. But with this game I can paint and erase with the flick of a mouse. Much easier.

For those who have never encountered this type of puzzle before I'm gonna quote from wikipedia:

"Nonograms, also known as Hanjie, Picross or Griddlers, are picture logic puzzles in which cells in a grid must be colored or left blank according to numbers at the side of the grid to reveal a hidden picture."

It's kind of like a binary sudoku. If you love logic puzzles, you will like this. I quickly got addicted.

How does it work:
You've got a grid of squares and you are told how many spaces are supposed to be colored in on each row and column. Use logic to choose what to color in. When you are finished it forms a picture. You only use black and white, but there is a colored painting that appears as you work on the puzzle. You don't actually have to choose colors yourself, it does it automatically.

Difficulty Settings:
There are 3 difficulty levels. The beginning puzzles are only on the easiest difficulty, but as you progress in later galleries you can choose which difficulty level you want for each painting. And even after you finish a puzzle you can redo it on another difficulty level.

The puzzles also come in different sizes. From 10x10 to 30x30 and other odd sizes. The easy difficulty splits the large puzzles into sections, so you might have to do 4 sections to complete 1 whole puzzle picture. The hardest difficulty is just one giant grid.

How many puzzles:
Puzzle paintings are organized into Galleries with themes, such as Portraits, Sports of Sorts, Animals, Home Sweet Home, etc. If forget exactly how many puzzles are in each gallery, maybe about 8-10 or so. You unlock more galleries as you complete puzzles are get the medals. You get more medals for solving on higher difficulty.

Help Tools:
If you need help there are some in-game help tools that you can activate, though you might not get a medal for solving that puzzle.

Yes, a puzzle game with a story! There is a cute little story scene in the beginning. And a small one once you complete all the puzzles once on any difficulty.

Cute and colorful.

Nice effects like paint splat sounds when you mark a puzzle. The background music has several tracks that loop continously.

I used a mouse. No problems.

Replay value:
Once you get pretty far into the puzzles you unlock Mystery mode. Where you can try to solve a random puzzle (from one of the galleries) only it does not show you the progress in the little picture and doesn't tell you the title, either. So you have to do it by logic only, no guessing! You can choose any difficulty level in Mystery mode.

All of the achievements are easily doable, just takes some time. There aren't any super hard achievements (so far).

A Painter is Never Satisfied with his finished product.
The developer listens to the fans and has made updates with new features based on ideas from fans. It's always nice to see a dev willing to tweek his game if the fans want something.

I can't remember how much it cost but it's well worth it. And I actually bought my copy, unlike some people who got free review copies.

That's all I can think of to say. Just about the perfect puzzle game. A little story, nice puzzles, lots of options for difficulty. Oh and there is humor as well. Some of the painting titles are puns on famous paintings or pop culture references. If you like logic puzzles, you can't go wrong with this game.
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
36.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2015
A refreshing take on Nonograms/Picross. The core gameplay is nothing new, but the presentation is just superb.

It has a lot of pictures to solve (all of them original) and some additional challenges, for example limiting your use of crosses.

The few flaws that the game had were addressed by the very responsive developer.

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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
87.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2015
While it's hard to go wrong with a casual picross/nonogram game, this game makes a lot of decisions that I like. Puzzles are non-linear, the difficulty varies from very easy to very hard based on user choice, and there's no time restriction. While the storyline is tenuous, let's be honest, you're not buying this game for the story.

Simple game structure, but a large variety of puzzles for any skill level.

Would definitely recommend.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
34.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2015
This is a good nonogram puzzle game.

It has 150+ black and white nonograms, but the picture they encode are in color (upper left on the screenshots), so the shapes are not always obvious. Sizes range from 5x5 to 40x30. For the larger sizes, there are options to break them up into smaller parts to make them easier to solve, but you get less rewards. There are also rewards for not using X marks, for not making mistakes, and for being fast. Because there's a challenge mode where it will select a random puzzle of the whole set for you to do without telling you which one it is, there is limited replayability. The interface is ok.

If you like these types of puzzles, you can confidently buy this game. (There's a demo, too.)
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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
its picross

do you like picross?

you'll probably like this then
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Recently Posted
63.8 hrs
Posted: September 24
Great Picross game. The best one I've played so far. Makes it easy for beginners to learn with chopped up sections and has helped me make puzzles above 20x20s something I can tackle instead of this unconquerable thing that it was in Pokemon Picross and other types of this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
29.4 hrs
Posted: September 19
Nice Picross/Griddler/Nonogram game. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the game. There were more puzzles than I expected, and the flexible difficulty level was a nice unexpected feature. Once I got a feel for the interface I went straight to the highest difficulty level for each painting, which for some paintings was quite challenging. Replayability is heavily boosted by the ability to replay a randomly-selected unknown painting.

Now that I've solved the paintings and won the in-game achievements, when I want to play next it'll be a toss-up between exploring some of the player-supplied games and just playing a few rounds of random replays.

Con: If I could improve one thing about the game, it would be to allow for multi-color games. Though the paintings are generally colorful once solved, the game itself just has you placing black on the background, where the black resolves into all of the needed colors once you're done. That's a good way to play, but the multi-color solving is good too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Duck Zora
56.3 hrs
Posted: September 12
If you're into Picross/Nonogram games, this game is an absolute must. If you're not, I hereby wholeheartedly recommend dipping your feet into this excellent crossword title. There are tons of levels and most of the harder ones offers three levels of difficulty, which is very awesome new players to this type of game.

Paint it Black is absolutely great. Thumbs up from here. Love it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
181.4 hrs
Posted: September 9
Paint it Back is a solid casual picross/nonogram pzzule game, and the workshop content allows for some fresh content to be delivered from time to time. Note that the game offers a demo, which is almost unheard of these days, thumbs up for that alone!

- Simple, but solid picross/nonogram game
- Has a demo
- Multiple exhibitions of paintings
- Controls that simply work
- Steam Workshop support

- May feel short for the most enthusiastic players
- Last game mode doesn't add much real longevity
Helpful? Yes No Funny
113.0 hrs
Posted: August 26
A really fun game for everyone. My wife and kids also got addicted to it. Now that they've added in a fix to allow solving the painting without guessing (which is sometimes needed on the later really hard paintings) the one frustration I had with the game is gone.

Highly recommended.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
25.5 hrs
Posted: August 26
Outstanding game and an absolute Jewel, that offers a big lot of worth-
Many puzzles with different difficulties, beautiful art, great and intuitive interface, optional help, workshop support, regular patches and a huge lot of fun!

Im having a blast and am training my brain, patience and focus at the same time-
Which makes "Paint it back" a part of my freeetime and life, that i wouldnt want to miss anymore!

Definitely one of the best boughts ever, and one of the best game i have ever played!

Absolutely recommended!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.0 hrs
Posted: August 25
Charming, challenging, cheap. This is without a doubt the best picross game on Steam. Picross lovers, look no further. Newbies would also find this to be a good introduction to the puzzle genre as there is a solid tutorial and plenty of easy levels which slowly ramp up in difficulty. Highly recommended to any fan of puzzle games!
Helpful? Yes No Funny