The Game Slush Pile

Tents and Trees Switch Review

PlatformNintendo Switch
Release Date3/14/23
PublisherFrozax Games
ESRB Rating E

I was supposed to post this on release day, March 14. However, I didn’t have a Switch. I managed, thanks to a random twitter follower, to get it repaired at a fair price. Now that I’m back, it is time to review Tents and Trees. Tents and Trees is a variation of Picross. You have a Picross-like grid surrounded by numbers which correspond to the number of tents each row and column is supposed to have. In the grid, there are trees, which you place the tents around. The catch is, tents cannot touch each other, even diagonally. Things start small and easy, but the grids will get huge (17×17) and very challenging further down the line.

The hints and undo are counted when you complete a level, but don’t seem to count against you.

There’s not much to say about the puzzling itself in Tents and Trees. It works, and it works incredibly well, even requiring hard thought at times. What is also impressive are the bells and whistles. First, there are tons of puzzles in the classic packs (in sets of 20 puzzles each). There are hundreds to play through, giving you plenty. On top of the that, once you complete fifty puzzles, you unlock daily packs of six puzzles each. There’s more: unlockable music and fancy themes, including sci-fi and dark mode.

Not going anywhere for a while?

Tents and Trees is an exquisite puzzle game with a fresh take I’ve never seen before. A developer, in the puzzle arena, tried something new, and it worked very well. I’ll give it a Must Play for that reason. Sure, it’s a variation on Picross, but the developer pushed the type forward here. I can’t wait for the hordes of clones to follow, but I don’t think they will be as good as the original. Well done!

Overall: Tents and Trees is something rare in the puzzle genre. Something fresh. I enjoyed this game immensely. A Must Play.

Verdict: Must Play

E-shop Page

Game received for free from the publisher.

Update: I was notified that there were tons of these on mobile, and there are. Judging by this game’s mobile version’s placement on the list, and having several times the downloads of the others, I assume this came first. Verdict stays.

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