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access_time April 17, 2020 at 10:00 AM in Reviews by Kieran Toovey

Review | Active Neurons

Even after releasing over six months ago on PC, Active Neurons will soon find new life on consoles. A simple puzzle game at its core, Active Neurons tasks players with getting from point A to point B with only horizontal and vertical movements. There is no stopping mid-motion, and players will also have various obstacles standing in their way. Therefore, you have to plan two, three, or sometimes even more moves ahead.

Players control a solid white square attempting to make contact with the hollow white square somewhere else on the grid. The levels are pre-determined and never change, or in other words, they’re not randomly generated. With a very basic start, the game eases the player in with very simple mechanics and rules. Then at the end of every ten level set, the game introduces a new mechanic in the next set. Moving and stationary blocks that you cannot touch, panels that have to be touched for further in-level progress, teleportation pads, and other mechanics are just some of the examples of this.

And the manner in which this is all displayed is quite beautiful. The lighting and particle effects are incredibly crisp and detailed. It’s reminiscent of Tetris Effect, but I only mention this for a frame of reference. Additionally, the music is very soothing and is meditative in nature. The combination of the visuals and music result in a mellow and pleasing journey.

Even though the base game will take most players two hours or less to finish, extra optional levels are available for players looking for more of a challenge. On the subject of challenge, the game doesn’t provide much of one. For the most part, it is far too easy. This is obvious by the game having a solution option available on each level, with no limit and no penalty for utilizing it. The last area was the only one that took higher level thinking, trial and error, and memorization.

While the journey through Active Neurons is brief, it is a visually and aurally pleasing one. Puzzle players with experience won’t find too much of a challenge here, but those with less experience or those looking for a more relaxing journey will enjoy themselves.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

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