Piczle Cross Story of Seasons Review — Simple, enjoyable puzzling

When reviewing, I’ve come across some games that have made it hard to put my thoughts into words. Maybe they ended up being different from what I expected, or varied wildly in quality during their runtime. Piczle Cross Story of Seasons is absolutely not one of those games. I went in expecting nonograms with a Story of Seasons theme, and that’s exactly what I got.

What are nonograms?

For anyone unfamiliar with nonograms, they are a genre of puzzle that involve a grid and numbered hints. The hints on each row and column show how many squares should be filled, with the numbers determining how many should be filled in sequence. For example, a row that has “3 4” as a hint will feature a line that’s 3 squares long, then a line that’s 4 squares long at some point afterwards.

To complete a nonogram, you just have to follow the hints to keep filling in squares, with the finished puzzle creating a picture. Most of the strategy comes from figuring out which squares are guaranteed to be filled in, even if you can’t fully solve a row or column. Something fairly common is a line that’s longer than half the total row/column length, meaning some of the middle squares will always be filled.

In Piczle Cross Story of Seasons, that’s all there really is to the puzzling. No gimmicks or changes to the formula, just simple nonograms based on the franchise to chill out to. Even the maximum puzzle size is fairly small, capping out at 20×25 grids.

This makes it a pretty decent choice for beginners to nonograms. There are 270 basic puzzles, and 5 collage puzzles (groups of nonograms that are solved separately, but form a single image when all are completed).

Piczle Cross Story of Seasons is simple, but offers some nice QoL features

While it might not feature the hardest puzzles for nonogram veterans, there are a number of nice quality of life features that you sometimes don’t see in these games. On the time saving front, there are a couple of options to automatically fill in empty squares. One will auto mark a row or column that has no filled squares, while the other marks empty squares after you’ve already solved the rest.

You can also set the game to always show how long a line is, which is nice and convenient (with this option disabled, you can still access the grid counter via a single button). The additional measuring tool means that counting is less tedious too.

On the more beginner friendly side of things, you have a few options to make things easier. To get you started, it’s possible to have the game automatically fill in a row or column when starting a puzzle. In addition, while the game lets you mark squares incorrectly, this can be disabled for an easier time.

Piczle Cross Story of Seasons does mark which helper options you used upon completing a puzzle (only things like extra hints, not features like auto counting), but these don’t affect achievements.

A Celebration of Story of Seasons

As you complete puzzles, you’ll fill in the almanac. This features information on each of the Story of Seasons titles, such as their release dates and bios for each main character. It’s fairly simple, but ties into the themed puzzles nicely.

More pages (and even more music tracks) unlock from completing puzzles in each category, with there being over 100 pages to obtain. The puzzles change as you finish more of them too, with the seasons (and in turn the UI) changing every 30 puzzles. You also have a little farm in the background which progresses over time.

Story of Seasons vs Harvest Moon

It wouldn’t be a Story of Seasons review without mentioning the IP shenanigans in the west. In Japan, the series is known as Bokujou Monogatari ever since the original title for SNES. But in the west, when publishing of the franchise switched to Marvelous, the main games lost the Harvest Moon name.

This means that, while the series is still called Bokujou Monogatari in Japan, the western name was changed to Story of Seasons. What’s now called Harvest Moon here is not part of the Bokujou Monogatari franchise — confusing, I know.

In the context of Piczle Cross Story of Seasons, this limits which games are actually covered. Any title before Story of Seasons on the 3DS that didn’t get a remake is not included here, meaning a lot of fan favourite characters are not represented. Unsurprisingly, the Doraemon Story of Seasons spin-off titles are not present either.

Piczle Cross Story of Seasons Review | Final Thoughts

Piczle Cross Story of Seasons is a simple game,perhaps too simple for some. But if you like Story of Seasons and relaxing puzzle games, it’s absolutely worth giving a try. As a bonus, it’s also under £10 to buy, making it cheaper than the disappointing Pioneers of Olive Town Expansion Pass!

Our review of Piczle Cross Story of Seasons on PC was made using a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on Nintendo Switch.

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Isaac Todd
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