Piczle Cross Adventure
Developer: Score Studios LLC
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Genre: Puzzle, RPG, Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 16/04/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Though some of you may recognise our orange heroes Score-chan and Gig, this was actually my first time delving into the Piczle universe. The Piczle series focuses on nonogram logic-puzzles, in which you have to fill a certain number of squares within a grid to create an image. Similar to Sudoku though, you need to make sure there are no clashes and that the numbers correspond both horizontally and vertically.
With the original Piczle Lines game released in 2010 for iPhone, the game has ventured through different art styles and made its way onto Nintendo Switch and Steam. Piczle Cross Adventure however, has its own unique spin.
In this addition to the series, Score Studios have opted for a pixelated art style and transformed the Piczle genre into an RPG style title.
Don’t Cross Score-chan!
The story revolves around Score-chan and Gig being sent on a quest by Professor Matrix to save their home. The villain, an evil monochrome woman, is determined to turn the world into black and white, so sends out a robot replica of Score-chan to pixelate everything in its path. Your job is to restore the missing objects and people by solving nonogram puzzles!
Though Piczle Cross Adventure is described as story-driven, it’s not a full blown narrative. Rather, it contextualises why you are solving puzzles and lets you wander through the world. I think this combination worked really well, as it gave a purpose to doing the puzzles while also remaining a fun, relaxed game. Keeping the story simple allowed you to play the game how you wanted with no sense of urgency.
There wasn’t just the puzzles to solve, but certain objectives to complete to progress further. For example, you needed to restore all the items in a supermarket before the clerk would give you a map. Or, you’d need to be a certain level to go solve a puzzle blocking a path. All simple RPG elements which just added another layer to the game!
The closest puzzles to the nonograms in Piczle Cross Adventure I have ever done have been Sudoku, so it took me a while to learn the tricks! Fortunately, there’s an optional tutorial at the start to help you, and you start off with relatively easy puzzles. These increase in difficulty as you progress and level up, the grid increasing in size.
The puzzles can be adjusted to how you like them though; let the game fill in completed rows with crosses for you, hide the timer, or start off the puzzle with a random clue. This accommodates for players of any level, and I felt comfortable knowing I could change these options whenever I liked.
Some puzzles would even have separate parts to it to build one large object, like a ferris wheel. Because of the variety of objects you were making, I didn’t find it repetitive at all and actually became quite addicted. Though the puzzles can be quite hard and take some time, I found myself picking up the game when I had a spare half hour. I could also play for a couple of hours quite easily too!
From Woodlands to the Desert
The retro pixel art will definitely be appreciated by many, especially with the CRT filter casting you back to big box monitors. At first I found it quite odd, hurting my eyes a little and making me focus too much on the lines across the screen. However, I soon grew accustomed to it and it can be switched off whenever you please.
The colours were bold and bright, and I loved seeing the details in the different environments with varying colour palettes. A nice touch was the background of the puzzles being different to whichever biome you were in. This ranged from vibrant green forests to sandy deserts to tarmac pathed towns.
Though the 8-bit soundtrack blended well with the retro atmosphere, it did get repetitive and a little annoying. Instead of having the same couple of tracks on loop, it would have been nice to have themed tracks for each place. There were also some sound effects in the theme park location, such as screaming and rides, that played over the music a little too loudly and clashed. Luckily I could switch those off in the settings!
With over 300 puzzles, you are getting your money’s worth and then some; I’m around 20 hours in and haven’t come close to halfway yet! I can see myself grinding this game when I can each day to complete it. The RPG elements take it to a new level and they are simple enough that they keep it a fun experience.
I like the inclusion of being able to switch back and forth between settings so it’s tailored to you. Once you have finished Piczle Cross Adventure I’m not sure you’d want to replay it, unless you missed some of the trophies earned throughout the game. However, it’s guaranteed that any skill level puzzle fans will spend tens of hours on it, and being portable on the Switch is an added bonus!
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Piczle Cross Adventure for Nintendo Switch at the following store: Nintendo eShop.