Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons Review

Classic nonograms meets Story of Seasons

By Paul Hunter

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons offers exactly what its title says: addictive Picross-style puzzles based on Marvelous' beloved Story of Season farming sim franchise. If you enjoy nonogram puzzles and especially if you also enjoy Story of Season, then this dream crossover offers dozens of hours of enjoyable puzzle-solving goodness.

This package has enough content to keep you busy with its 270 regular nonograms ranging from puzzles you can complete in seconds to larger, more complex puzzles taking upwards of 20 minutes to complete. For those who haven't tried nonograms before the concept is simple: you're given a grid, say 10x15 or other similar sizes, with number sequences along each column and row indicating the string of blocks you need to fill in. While you know how many blocks to fill in, the challenge is figuring out which blocks to fill.

To help you figure out which blocks to fill in, all those random blocks you fill in will eventually reveal themselves as pixel artwork that gets coloured in when completed. Since this game is themed around Story of Seasons, all the puzzles fall into familiar categories like animals, crops, villagers, tools and yes, the franchise's fan favourite bachelors.

There are five collage puzzles to complete as well, and these are gigantic puzzles that a divided into as many as 15 smaller puzzles that you have to complete to reveal the full picture. In all, this meaty package offers more than 350 puzzles, and to put that into perspective, after eight hours I had completed just over 70 of them.

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons can be enjoyed regardless if you're a beginner at nonograms or a seasoned pro. There's a nice variety of quality-of-life options in the settings, ranging from auto-filling columns or rows with 0s, autocorrecting should you make a mistake, auto-counting how many blocks you've selected, and you can turn hints on to indicate where you should focus your attention. There's also a helpful clue roulette option that gives you the choice of auto-completing one row and one column at the beginning of a puzzle. Veteran Picross fans can opt to turn off these helpful features for a traditional approach, and for young children or newcomers, the customizable accessibility features can adjust the difficulty as desired.

From a presentation perspective, Piczle Cross nails it. Whether it's the lovely Friends of Mineral Town soundtrack that plays as you complete puzzles or the lively farm you see in the background, Story of Seasons fans will feel right at how. In a neat touch, every puzzle you complete will fast forward the in-game clue one full day, and the puzzle themes will rotate through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, each with their distinctive colour palette. Completing puzzles will also add new items to your farm and it's wonderful to watch your farm grow and thrive as you progress through the puzzles.

There are a lot of bells and whistles that round out this package, including a Journal that keeps track of your play statistics like how many puzzles you've completed, how many blocks you've filled in, how many autocorrects you've used and so on. There are also a good amount of achievements to unlock for the Steam version, and while the Nintendo Switch doesn't have an achievement system, it's still fun to unlock the achievement stamps after hitting certain milestones.

Perhaps the best part about Piczle Cross is its 110-plus page Story of Seasons Almanac that slowly fills up as you complete puzzles. There are multiple almanac pages for mainline Story of Seasons games including hits like Trio of Towns, or the more recent Pioneers of Olive Town and A Wonderful Life. There are even almanac pages for the Piczle Cross franchise from Score Studios, which was great as I was less familiar with this property and it was nice to get better acquainted.

The Verdict

I've been thoroughly enjoying my time with Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons and it's an easy recommendation for anyone who's enjoyed Nintendo's Picross series or is a fan of Story of Seasons. Virtually anyone can enjoy this game given the myriad of accessibility options that lets you customize the challenge exactly to your likely. The presentation is sublime, offering charming and familiar Story of Seasons tunes to hum along with as you complete cute puzzles like turnips, clocks and kappas. With over 350 nonogram puzzles in all, plus a huge almanac to complete, this relatively low-cost game packs tremendous value.

Final Score: 8/10 - Great

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons details

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC
Developer: Score Studios
Publisher: Rainy Frog
Genre: Puzzle, Casual
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

A key was provided by the publisher.