SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons’, Plus the Latest News, Releases, and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 28th, 2024. In today’s article, we start off by catching up on the big announcement from yesterday’s Pokemon Presents. After that, we’ve got a review of Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons. I liked it! But how much? You’ll have to read on! There are a few new releases today (and one mystifying old one), and our usual lists of new and expiring sales for the day. Let’s get on it!


‘Pokemon Legends Z-A’ Announced for Release on Switch in 2025

Yesterday’s Pokemon Presents didn’t have a whole lot for Switch players to chew on, but the one thing it did offer is a big one. Pokemon Legends Z-A was the “one last thing" of the presentation, and it was announced to be coming to the Switch in 2025 as a worldwide simultaneous release. Details are obviously scarce at the moment, but the game seems to be at least partially set in Lumiose City from Pokemon X-Y and it looks like this version of the city is going to be massive. The trailer doesn’t give much away, but it does present a vision of the scale the game could be working on. Give it a watch.

Reviews & Mini-Views

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons ($9.99)

Used to be that a person would have to get by on one or two nonogram/Picross puzzle games in the full life of a console. And that was if you were lucky! These days, of course, we are drowning in such things. Jupiter is dropping a Picross game later this week with, like, three thousand puzzles available as DLC. We all have at least a few of these things on our Switch consoles. So what’s the case to add one more here?

I suppose the answer is right there in the title. Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons carries the name of the creator of the farming sim as we know it, the artist formerly known as Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons. Right out of the gate, I’m calling this a good thing. Nonograms are more fun when they have a theme, particularly one with recognizable characters and objects. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the more generic offerings. After all, solving the puzzles is the main source of satisfaction here. But a theme helps a game stand out, particularly if you have some affection for said theme.

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons incorporates the theme in a few fun ways. Obviously, the puzzle solutions are all somehow connected to the series. That’s a given. Behind the puzzles, you can see your farm slowly build up as you make progress. Solve a puzzle whose picture turns out to be a hoe, and now the characters working on the farm can use it. It adds an extra layer of progress to the game, and that’s appreciated. As you solve puzzles and the seasons pass, the puzzle UI itself will get some cosmetic changes. You’ll also fill out your almanac as you play, which is like a virtual guidebook to all of the Story of Seasons games released so far. Only the ones with that name, mind you. But it shows off all the characters, and even their likes and dislikes. Cool.

Cutting past the theme, Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons is at its core a very well-made nonogram puzzler. You get a wide array of options, including various assists that can make the game easier to play. Each of the four primary assists is represented by a certain tool, and you can see at a glance how long you took to solve any given puzzle and which of those assists you used. There’s a lot of flexibility here for the player to have things their way, and that’s all one can really ask for. There’s also a nifty journal that shows a bunch of stats, and I do like those.

Content-wise, you get over three hundred puzzles to solve here. That includes two hundred and seventy normal puzzles of various sizes and five “collage puzzles", each of which is made up of several individual puzzles. Enough to keep you going for a long while, and the incentive to complete the almanac and your farm is a strong reason to keep solving those puzzles until there are no more left. A fine meal for fans of nonograms, to be sure.

I only have a couple of nits to pick with the game, and they are relatively minor gripes. There isn’t any support for touch controls in this game and while I know they really aren’t practical for larger puzzles, there are enough smaller ones included that I would love to just be able to tap and swipe here and there when playing in handheld mode. I also wish I could adjust the cursor speed. It feels just a hair too slow for my liking, and it’s unfortunate given how many other things you can tweak.

If you enjoy solving nonograms/Picross puzzles and you have any love for Story of Seasons, this is a no-brainer purchase. It perfectly incorporates the franchise whose name it bears into the very solid Piczle Cross framework. I think it also works as a nice gateway to those who haven’t gotten into nonograms before, and its theme isn’t so overbearing as to turn away those who have no strong feelings one way or the other for Story of Seasons. Probably my favorite game of this sort since Jupiter got SEGA’s chocolate in its Picross peanut butter.

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases

Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster ($29.99)

Look, I use the screenshots they provide me. Anyway, this is a first-person Star Wars shooter. The very first such affair, in fact! Originally hailing from 1995, Dark Forces has been given the full KEX Engine treatment from the skilled folks at Nightdive Studios and is looking very spiffy indeed. With this release, we’re only missing one game from the Kyle Katarn saga on Switch. Will we ever see Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight? Well, let’s focus on this one for now. I’ll have a review soon for you.

Pecaminosa – A Deadly Hand ($9.99)

Oh, a new Pecaminosa adventure. Wait a minute. This isn’t new! This looks to be exactly the same game as the other Pecaminosa that is available on the eShop from the same publisher, as near as I can tell. Even the description is the same. This one is five bucks cheaper, so I guess that’s one difference. The file size is about 40 MB bigger? I don’t know, friends. I wasn’t super keen on the original when I reviewed it, and I don’t see anything to change my mind here.

TRUDOGRAD ($22.99)

So, remember ATOM RPG? A Fallout-inspired affair that released on Switch a few years back? This is the stand-alone sequel/expansion to the game, and it goes without saying that if you enjoyed ATOM then you’ll want to give this a closer look. It features another huge open world, hundreds of characters, plenty of quests to complete, and lots of enemies to battle. The rough edges are plentiful and it has just as many technical issues as its predecessor, but if you were able to look past it the first time I imagine you can do it again.

Dead End City ($14.99)

This is a vertical shoot-em-up where you’re controlling a car instead of a jet. You can pick from five different ones, in fact. In terms of how that affects gameplay, you need to keep on picking up fuel as you go. Cars need fuel, jets don’t. That’s just science, kids. Seems fine for what it is, though the price is a little on the high side in my opinion. Perhaps it’s worth it, however. That’s for you to decide, not some weird middle-aged dude on the internet.

The Bin Bunch

World War II Shooting Simulator ($7.99)


(North American eShop, US Prices)

A small list, but you’ve got some new low prices on Mighty Switch Force Collection and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, plus some good deals on Full Quiet and Sifu as well. Over in the outbox, the rare Sunsoft sale is coming to a close, and the latest deal on Astlibra Revision is also finishing up. Check both of those lists! Like always!

Select New Sales

Mighty Switch Force! Collection ($6.99 from $19.99 until 3/5)
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ($6.99 from $19.99 until 3/5)
Full Quiet ($3.49 from $9.99 until 3/5)
Cynthia: Hidden in the Moonshadow ($11.19 from $13.99 until 3/5)
Pocket Fishing ($5.19 from $12.99 until 3/11)
Sir Lovelot ($2.49 from $9.99 until 3/12)
Sifu ($15.99 from $39.99 until 3/13)
Demon Gaze Extra ($23.99 from $59.99 until 3/14)
Dariusburst CS Core + Taito/SEGA ($17.99 from $29.99 until 3/14)
Party Treats ($1.99 from $2.49 until 3/19)
Yooka-Laylee & the Impossible Lair ($2.99 from $29.99 until 3/20)
Worms WMD ($5.99 from $29.99 until 3/20)
Yoku’s Island Express ($3.99 from $19.99 until 3/20)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, February 29th

AER Memories of Old ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/29)
Astlibra Revision ($19.99 from $24.99 until 2/29)
Battle Axe ($7.49 from $29.99 until 2/29)
Bridge Builder Adventure ($1.99 from $14.99 until 2/29)
Build a Bridge! ($1.99 from $14.99 until 2/29)
Clive ‘N’ Wrench ($14.99 from $29.99 until 2/29)
Crazy Oce ($2.09 from $5.99 until 2/29)
Deponia Collection ($3.99 from $39.99 until 2/29)
Drift King ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/29)
Escape Trick: 35 Fateful Enigmas ($8.99 from $19.99 until 2/29)
Final Vendetta ($9.98 from $24.95 until 2/29)
Fire: Ungh’s Quest ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/29)
Gearshifters ($7.49 from $29.99 until 2/29)
Gibbon: Beyond the Trees ($2.99 from $14.99 until 2/29)
Godlike Burger ($3.99 from $19.99 until 2/29)

Kao the Kangaroo ($11.99 from $29.99 until 2/29)
KarmaZoo ($6.99 from $9.99 until 2/29)
Life of Delta ($7.59 from $19.99 until 2/29)
Light-It Up ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/29)
Mahjong Solitaire Refresh ($15.29 from $16.99 until 2/29)
My Little Universe ($10.49 from $14.99 until 2/29)
NieR: Automata The End of YoRHa Edition ($23.99 from $39.99 until 2/29)
Ninja or Die: Shadow of the Sun ($8.99 from $14.99 until 2/29)
Oaken ($4.00 from $19.99 until 2/29)
Old Man’s Journey ($1.99 from $9.99 until 2/29)
Santa’s World ($1.99 from $2.99 until 2/29)
Summer Sweetheart ($4.99 from $19.99 until 2/29)
Sunsoft Mahjong Solitaire Shanghai Legend ($11.69 from $17.99 until 2/29)
tERRORbane ($3.99 from $15.99 until 2/29)
The Shadow You ($2.49 from $9.99 until 2/29)
Trip World DX ($14.99 from $19.99 until 2/29)
Wildcat Gun Machine ($1.99 from $14.99 until 2/29)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow is Thursday, and that means we should have a healthy crop of new releases to enjoy. We’ll also have whatever sales and big news items hit during the next twenty-four hours or so. Since you’re reading this now, you know that my hospital visit went well. Safe for this time, chums. Thanks for all the well wishes! And as always, thanks for reading!