Active Neurons has relatively sparse competition on PlayStation and Xbox for sliding box puzzles. For those that game exclusively on those consoles, you’ll find more to enjoy here than those who game on PC where mobile puzzle games make the jump across almost daily. With that disclaimer up front, Active Neurons is well made minimalist sliding block puzzle game. It just stops at the point where it gets heavy.
The idea here is that you are activating parts of your brain using coloured blocks. You block moves like a sliding block puzzle – it will keep going until it hits something. That might be a wall, another block, a laser or an enemy! It is this that makes each level like moving slots around a grid. You might see the exit glowing block to hit infront of you but you’ll have to run all around the level to get there.
Each selection of levels brings in a new mechanic but the game starts off slowly to ease you in. It isn’t until a good 30 of 40 levels in that you have switches, knock on blocks and enemies that move. The challenge never gets too crazy but I’m not the best to judge as my brain can frazzle quite easily. This did happen in the final 40 levels a few times when everything comes together and warp pads and push blocks are introduced. There are 120 levels in all and without a guide, it’ll take you about 3 hours to get through it if the game clicks. If not, you could be up to 7 or 8 hours as you logically try to work out each puzzle.
Where the game does fall down is that it doesn’t do anything new. It is well put together but PC and Switch players have puzzle games pouring out their ears. The graphics, style, level design and gameplay mechanics do nothing to make the game stand out. That is why I recommend it slightly for puzzle fans on PS4 and Xbox One as you don’t have the choice. PC gamers will find more fun elsewhere. My last point of humbug is that there is no undo button. Whilst levels are quite short, it is a quality of life feature the game really did need.
Well put together basic entry level puzzle game. No bells. No whistles. Just simple puzzles.
15 game mechanics and 120 levels to keep things moving.
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