In the push for video games to be bigger and bolder and louder than ever before, and the demands being laid on the players to spend literally weeks of their lives investing their time in traversing sprawling immersive lands. Active Neurons 2 sits there, confident in the knowledge that it is bringing a much needed short and sweet palette cleanser to the table. There is no epic multi-layered story to uncover, with no brash attempt and emulating what is going on in the world. Active Neurons 2 is all about moving a cube from one place to another in order to collect energy and get those neurons firing so you can travel through all the technological ages of mankind.
Gameplay is simple to grasp, with you picking a direction to move in, and the sprite you control heads in that direction until you are stopped by another object or a wall. Then you pick another direction to head off in and go in that direction until you again are impeded by another object or an enemy. Once you collect the required energy neurons, you’ll then move on to the next level and at the end of a set of ten levels you will have completed a full section. The levels are a simple single screen affair, laid out before you like a puzzle in which as time goes on, you don’t know what the puzzle elements are until you start to try to solve the level by collecting the neurons. So while it gives the impression of maybe being more suitable for mobile, the minimalism on screen works incredibly well in terms of presentation. There is nothing here to excess, it’s all incredibly streamlined, and because of that, it leads to an overall relaxing experience that allows you to really zone in and zone out at the same time.
As the game goes on, you’ll interact with more variations of cubes, including those that will destroy you and send you back to start again. Others will allow you to attack back, some allowing you to create additional blocks to bounce off from. As the levels go on, the number of mechanics on offer increases, and so does your knowledge on how to tackle them. All in the end result that you collect the neurons on that level and you push yourself forward. As you complete the bigger stages you’ll see the progress that the human race has made in its understanding of technology. It’s not a necessary addition to the game. It is meant to give you purpose, but it’s not really required here, welcome as it is.
However, you can attempt the levels as many times as you want, and you can restart levels at any time. Active Neurons 2’s aim is all about satisfaction and the enjoyment of figuring how a particular puzzle will work. There is nothing more wonderful than spending 5 minutes on a level that you think is not possible when it turns out you should have gone up instead of down in order to find the solution.
It is one of those brilliant games where you can spend ten minutes or two hours playing and you’ll always walk away feeling you’ve achieved something, without needing to roam the lands to find silly objectives or upgrades in order to satisfy some arbitrary achievement that has been created solely to provide longevity. Active Neurons 2 is a charming, easy to learn, enticing puzzle game that has pleasantly surprised me. Definitely worth your time.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Active Neurons 2 Review
Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 9/10
User Review( votes)
Active Neurons 2 is a charming, easy to learn, enticing puzzle game that has pleasantly surprised me. Definitely worth your time.