Anyone who knows me, knows I love a puzzle game. From Tetris and Puyo Puyo, to Baba Is You and Kine. I love them all. Not equally of course, but it is my favourite genre. Active Neurons – Puzzle Game is the latest game to pique my interest.
Framed in a theme where you are tasked with charging your brain neurons essentially sets a scene for you to partake in a series of logic based puzzles. It’s fine, not overly flashy, but adds a charm to the game that does a great job of keeping you engaged.
The visuals along with the sound design is extremely calming. Drawing you in without you even knowing it. I put this on one evening with some headphones and came out of it a few hours later having seemingly lost a bunch of time. Which should tell you something about the quality of the game.
The actual puzzling aspect is rather simple. You need to slide a square around a screen to reach the goal. Using logic to work out an optimal path to do just that. The mechanics are incredibly basic, which is important in a logic based puzzle game. Namely as it allows you to concentrate on the solution and not battle against the mechanics. You the directional buttons to move and that’s it.
Whilst the concept is super simple, as are the first few levels. Actually it is more than just the first few levels. I hit a point where I wondered if it would become challenging. The game soon adds in variants to the challenge and all of a sudden I stopped flying through each puzzle and having to stop and think.
So firstly you just move around a level with a few blocks to guide you. Then the game adds in danger blocks, for you to avoid, doors and locks, ways to destroy danger blocks and teleportation. For the most part these all make logical sense and are introduced at the right time each time. The only part I wasn’t too keen on was when moving danger blocks were added. It took away from pure logic and added a timing element. I’m perhaps being a little harsh, as we’re not talking needing super quick reactions. However it felt a little out of place based on the rest of the game.
There are a fair amount of levels for you to work through and Active Neurons will see you entertained for a few hours. It isn’t overly long, but it doesn’t outstay its welcome, nor do you feel short-changed. It strikes a good balance of keeping you engaged whilst always being challenging. After a point anyway, the first levels are just too simple.
Clearly not the second coming in the puzzle genre, but Active Neurons is a very welcome addition. Fans of the genre will get plenty from this and it is one well worth adding to the collection.