I must admit, that I honestly don’t care much for farming sims. I’ve tried playing Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, but I just find myself getting bored of them. It’s strange as I love management sims, but tending to a farm just seems slightly tedious.

However, I am rather fond of nonogram puzzle games, which is why I jumped at the change to give Piczle Cross: Story of SeasonsĀ a shot. After all, as long as it provided some neat puzzles in a good presentation, it’d make it well worth the cheap price of admission.

Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.

As the name implies,
Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons is a puzzle game fused with the aesthetic of Story of Seasons in which to frame its puzzles. How it does so is mostly superficial, with puzzles typically relating to things you may find in the series, and solving some of the puzzles will add things to your farm in order to make it grow.

It’s a cute gimmick, and seeing your farm expand as you solve puzzles is particularly rewarding, but there’s no way you can actually interact with the farm other than seeing the NPCs doing their work in the background. It is unfortunate that there was no way to pluck fruit or otherwise tend to your farm in simple ways to help make this feel more like a crossover, but it’s still pleasant to look at, at the very least.


Gameplay is pretty bog-standard as far as nonograms go. The idea, for those who have never played one before, is that you need to fill in boxes according to the clues at the side. Seeing a 5 means that there are 5 coloured squares in a line, whereas something like 3 1 1 means that three are together and there are two individual blocks apart. It’s a simple premise that feels a little bit like a cross between sudoku and minesweeper, and is pretty relaxing once you get used to what you need to do.

For those new to the gameplay style, the game offers a few things to assist you. Namely the inclusion of a ‘clue roulette’ that will randomly fill in a bit for you at the start, and the ability to check for any errors you may have. Veterans will no doubt bother with either, but they’re a nice inclusion for anyone getting to grips with the puzzling. Of course, other standard features are here, so you’re still able to mark any squares that are almost certainly not filled in too.

Of course, as any true nonogram fan will tell you, these games really live and die on the pictures themselves, and this is where the game can be a little bit more hit and miss. Some images resemble what they are supposed to be, but others require some very generous squinting in order to see what it is. Bigger pictures tend to be better, especially those that form part of a larger image, but I did find that quite a fair few suffered from ‘squint syndrome’.


Not that it’s all that much of a problem though when the game is so well presented. The visuals are sharp, and everything runs really smoothly. I do wish that it did have touchscreen support, which feels like a massive omission, but otherwise it’s simple and intuitive to use.

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons is a really well presented nonogram game that fits well with the Story of Seasons theming, even if its inclusion is mostly superficial. Lack of touchscreen support and some questionable images are unfortunate, but anyone looking for another puzzle game could do far worse.