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Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons review — Where farming meets picross

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons screenshot
Image: Rainy Frog

There’s a new Story of Seasons game on the scene! Well, sort of. This isn’t your typical Story of Seasons game, though. Forget farming, taking care of animals, growing crops and getting to know the town’s residents. Instead, this is a picross game, all about solving picture puzzles. For fans of picross, it’s an absolute treat — and it’s even better if you happen to like Story of Seasons.

If you’ve played a Piczle Cross game before — or even any picross game — you’ll feel at home with Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons. Here, there are 350 puzzles to complete of varying difficulty, with the pictures you reveal all relating to Story of Seasons. You’ll uncover various farm tools but also portraits of well-known characters from the series. It’s perfectly playable if you don’t know anything about Story of Seasons, of course, but you’ll get more of a kick out of it if you are a fan.

We say “varying difficulty” but don’t expect to find any giant puzzles in Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons. The largest grid you’ll find is 20×25 — but then again, massive picross puzzles can be a little fiendish to view on the Switch’s small screen. The majority of puzzles are around 15×15, but you will find later ones trickier to solve than early ones even if they are still the same size.

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons screenshot
Image: Rainy Frog

If you’re not familiar with picross puzzles? You might know them as nonograms, hanji, griddlers, pic-a-pix or even Japanese picture puzzles. Essentially, you’re given a grid with numbers along the top and down the left-hand side. Those numbers dictate how many squares are coloured in along each row and column, and it’s your job to figure out which ones should be coloured in.

Related: The best picross games on Switch

There’s a ‘how to play’ mode built in to Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons, so if you’re new to these types of puzzles, that should get you up to speed. And by starting out nice and easy, you’ll be getting plenty of practice in.

Playing a puzzle in Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons is a pleasant experience thanks to intuitive controls. Move your reticle around with the left stick, press ‘A’ to colour in a square and ‘B’ to mark a known empty square with a cross. That’s all there is to it. You’ll find some helpful tools in the options, like the ability to turn on hints, and an autocorrect which will fix any mistakes you make.

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We also like that you don’t have to play the puzzles in any given order. Jump straight to the most difficult puzzles right at the end if you want, or pick some from the middle. It’s entirely up to you. What’s neat is that, as you progress through the game, the seasons will change and you’ll see your farm change in the background. From the menu, the press of a button will show you your farm in action. You can’t interact with it, but it’s a nice touch to see it being worked on.

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons screenshot
Image: Rainy Frog

Along with standard puzzles, there are also a number of large collage puzzles in Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons. These are made up of around a dozen smaller puzzles that, when completed, form together to create one large image. They’re not necessarily any trickier than the single puzzles, but working towards a larger goal is at least a meatier challenge.

Picross isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of these taxing logic puzzles, you’ll love Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons. There’s no farming sim elements here: just hundreds of well made, fun to solve puzzles. And for a picross game, that’s exactly what we want.

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons review – GameSpew’s score

This review of Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons is based on the Switch version of the game, with a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PC and Nintendo Switch.
Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.