Active Neurons 3: Wonders of the World
Publisher: Sometimes You.
Developer: USANIK STD.
Release Date: 24th February 2021
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Size : 400 MB
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Screenshots: Captured on Xbox Series X
Having not heard about Active Neurons one or two, I head into the third game with an open mind, and while very early impressions were an overcomplicated puzzle game, I found a rich, rewarding experience that has been a joy to play.
As soon as you start Active Neurons 3, you’re prompted to push your analogue stick to the right and slide a white square into a white circle, it’s a simple concept and over the 70 levels on the original seven wonders you’ll work through, the core target remains to get your white square into the circular goal.
However this isn’t always as easy as it sounds, pressing in a direction pushes the square as far as it will go until it hits an obstacle, initially these obstacles will be walls, which you’ll have to navigate in a certain order to get to the right position to hit the goal.
Each section of Active Neurons 3 is split into 10 levels, each connects another part of the brain until you’re intelligent enough to create on of the seven wonders of the world before moving on to the next wonder and 10 more levels, this gives 70 levels in total which makes the £4.19 retail price, fantastic value.
However there’s also a further 70 levels exploring the new wonders of the world, giving a total of 140 levels.
Graphically Active Neurons remains simple in nature, but doesn’t detract from the experience, there’s particle effects and all obstacles, hazards and special spaces are easy to spot, as you progress there’s red square which fail the level if hit, green squares that can be pushed to create a new wall or to destroy a red block, and then there’s various special blocks such as arrows that will move an otherwise stationary block, as well as small circles which will stop you in place if hit.
The game gradually introduces you to these new mechanics at a rate that makes progression feel rewarding and well balanced, I never felt I was doing too much of the same thing and likewise, the next mechnic felt like a subtle enough twist to make those next ten levels feel just as fresh as the first.
There’s certainly a few diccifult challenges, but you’ve also got th eoption to see the solution, meaning there’s always a way out, in the first few hours, I think I’d used a single solution, and while they’re always available, I enjoyed the game too much to ruin it by using them unecessarily.
The overall presentation for what some will see as a simple puzzle game is highly impressive, audio is another strong point with smooth background music that’s never distracting but feels a perfect accompaniment to the gameplay which just like those graphics and effects, help to make things stand out above being merely a simple puzzle game.
It’s difficult to describe the overall experience, but the attention to detail with small sounds, particles and overall preentation really adds to the package.
I’m not the biggest fan of puzzle games, I often find they become unbalanced with a learning curve that requires too much patience, or repetitiveness that makes me tire long before I’m near completing them, but Active Neurons 3 is literally one of the best puzzle experiences I’ve had in recent years.
Fantastic presentation and all delivered at a pace that makes each new mechanic feel well throughout, well delivered and easy to absorb before a handful of more difficult challenges for that section.
with 140 levels in total, that delivery continues throughout and at less than £5, it’s one of the best value games I’ve had the pleasure of playing in a long time.