Nonozle is a minimalistic implementation of the classic Nonogram puzzle. For $4 you get 200 increasingly difficult nonograms to solve, which should keep you occupied for around 30+ hours – and this is already a pretty good value in my humble opinion, especially if you’re a fan of the concept, like I am. On top of that, the puzzles can be solved in any order and can be stopped half-through and continued later, since your moves sequence is persisted.
The game doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, but it comes with a pretty good set of tools to customize your gameplay, starting from choosing / personalizing the appearance of the game area by changing its default theme, colors, the filling animations or how the grid is displayed, and ending with a bunch of features meant to ease your experience, or on the contrary, make it more challenging. For example, apart from the traditional cell fill and the X that stands for a blank cell, there are also two extra fill types that will be used as placeholders during your solving process, with the ability to transform them into filled squares with one click of a button. Among the features I used the most I found extremely useful to enable error notifications that trigger after a mistake is encountered (fully customizable, with or without delay), the extra info for a row / column containing counts regarding its filled state and the automatic filling of the remaining blank cells when all its required squares are filled.
As it is common in this kind of game, solving a puzzle will reveal its corresponding pixel-image created by the filled squares. The artwork is nice, but not stellar, and it’s monochromatic. The images are fairly basic, in tone with the minimalistic style of the game and they seem to be created for smaller-sized icons, rather than for a big grid. This has a direct influence on the difficulty of Nonozle, which I found to be higher than most of the other nonogram puzzles available online.
Even though the game starts with some very easy to solve 5 x 5 or 10 x 10 puzzles, the difficulty quickly escalates during the 15 x 15, 20 x 20 and 25 x 25 levels which take up most of the game. Due to the peculiar way the artwork is created, there are a lot of blocks of 1 or 2 cells, with many gaps in between, which makes it extremely difficult to math out how the groups overlap, simply because… they don’t, or because there are too many possibilities. Solving higher levels turns into a strenuous exercise of patience, and some of them are quite lengthy (taking even 30 mins or more). On the other hand, Nonozle has a very good tutorial that not only explains the main mechanics of the game, but also teaches the player various tips and tricks on how to approach solving a row / column. These are common knowledge among Nonogram veterans, but prove to be extremely useful for new players.
Nonozle offers 10 easy Steam-integrated achievements, 8 of which require you to reach certain milestones towards the 100% completion of the puzzles, while the remaining two are awarded for watching the credits and exploring the multitude of options in the menus.