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Tents and Trees screenshot

Tents and Trees review – Gloriously chill puzzles for Picross fans

I’ve played games like Tents and Trees before, but never in a package as beautiful as this. This logic puzzle all about figuring out where to place tents amongst trees is an absolute stress-relieving godsend for us puzzle lovers and honestly, I can’t get enough.

I find with simple puzzles like this, it’s all in the presentation. Tents and Trees is smooth, minimalistic and modern-looking. There’s no faff or clutter; menus are easy to navigate and it focuses on what’s important: the puzzle at hand. And there are so many of them. Starting out with easy, small grids that can be solved in seconds, Tents and Trees eventually ramps up to include huge puzzles that you’ll be poring over for the best part of half an hour.

The goal is simple: you need to figure out where to place tents. Numbers down the sides of your grid, just like Picross, will tell you how many tents are on each row and column. And a couple of general house rules will help you figure out where to place them: tents can’t be touching, even diagonally, and each tree needs to have one tent ‘attached’ to it. Once you’ve got one or two tents placed, then, the others typically fall into place.

Tents and Trees screenshot
Image: Frozax Games

If you get stuck, Tents and Trees has a hint button, which you can press without being punished. Hints are intelligent and randomised: I particularly like that it gives you a reason why a certain box should or shouldn’t have a tent in it. I’d even go as far to say as using a couple of hints may help your strategy going forward.

Related: Time Rift review: A fiendish, fast-paced puzzler that’s going to test your brain

There are hundreds of levels to play through in Tents and Trees, which are doled out gradually. They’re not all unlocked from the beginning: you’ll need to hit certain milestones before you unlock more. It means the hardest levels will only be available to you when you’re ready for them, but you can jump forward a little if you find the smallest levels too easy.

Tents and Trees screenshot
Image: Frozax Games

There’s also a daily mode to unlock, which will give you new puzzles to play each day, essentially giving Tents and Trees an endless amount of content. It’s a substantial pack each day, too, providing puzzles of all difficulty levels. Colour me impressed at the sheer amount of content developer Frozax Games has included here — and all for less than a tenner (£8.99, in fact).

Tents and Trees doesn’t reinvent the wheel: I’ve played the same types of puzzles before under a different guise, in puzzle books and on mobile apps (The ‘Charge Up’ puzzles in Puzzle Page, if you’re interested). But none of them have been as elegant and beautifully presented — and downright plentiful — as Tents and Trees. This is the type of thing I can see myself diving into night after night, as a way to unwind (and challenge my brain) before bed. And if you’re a puzzle fan too — particularly of Picross and its ilk — I’m rather certain you’ll love this.

This review of Tents and Trees is based on the PC version of the game, with a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PC and Switch.

Tents and Trees review - GameSpew's Score

Tents and Trees
8 10 0 1
A puzzle game with a simple premise, Tents and Trees is absolutely engrossing — especially for fans of puzzles like Picross. Beautifully presented and with an endless amount of puzzles, we can't get enough of it.
A puzzle game with a simple premise, Tents and Trees is absolutely engrossing — especially for fans of puzzles like Picross. Beautifully presented and with an endless amount of puzzles, we can't get enough of it.
8/10
Total Score

We like...

  • Beautifully presented
  • An endless amount of puzzles!

We don't like...

  • The most challenging puzzles aren't unlocked straight away

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