Active Neurons 3 – Wonders of the World Review

The third in the Active Neurons series, Wonders of the World  brings more chill puzzling to test out our cerebral cortex with. Much like the previous two, WotW is just a simply fun game that is perfect for unwinding with after a long day.

The basic premise is simple; we slide a block around a level layout in order to reach the goal. The block will slide in our chosen direction until it hits an obstacle, and so we need to plan out our moves in advance so as to not snooker ourselves. Familiar hazards return in the form of explosive red blocks that we need to avoid or, more often, destroy with a helpful green block that we can knock ahead of us. In addition, there are a few other challenges to contend with such as the purple teleporters, blocks movable via a switch, others than can be turned on or off, or even controlling two blocks in one level alternately. There are also tricky number puzzles within some levels to solve too; these involve lining up dots on a grid to match the required numbers at the top. These, as well as the occasional need to collect three shards of energy or match two symbol blocks, are used to block gates needed to progress.

Most levels only make use of a couple of these elements though, and thankfully the solutions themselves are often just the right side of taxing. We’re able to undo our moves in sequence too, so no matter how far into a solution we are we can rewind until we’re back to a more useful position. A quick reset is also available should you fancy it, while if you do get stuck there is an option to have the solution shown to you at any time – again, WotW is all about us being to chill while playing it, and this feature is there to prevent too much frustration.

The audio visual work is also key in the chill vibe, all soft colours and lovely music. Even when I found myself perplexed by a solution I couldn’t get worked up because it almost feels like the game is whispering in your ear “It’s OK, just relax and think about it”. That’s a weird thing to type, but it’s true.

There are seven initial worlds each with ten stages in to beat, which then unlock a further seven worlds that up the ante a little, bringing more elements in at once. Again the same helpful guides are at our fingertips though, so even getting stuck is merely a mild set back. All told WotW should last a few evenings depending on your acumen (or how often you use the hints), though once solved there’s no incentive to go back outside of just something fun to play here and there.

Conclusion

Active Neurons: Wonders of the World is, as I keep saying, a wonderfully chill puzzle game. It offers up just the right level of challenge while also giving us easily accessible help should we need it at the press of a button. Highly recommended as a title to wind down with, or as a palette cleanser between other, more stressful, titles.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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Good
  • Nicely balanced difficulty
  • Very chill vibe
  • Good amount of levels
Bad
  • Not overly long, and not much incentive to replay
9
Excellent
Gameplay - 9
Graphics - 9
Audio - 9
Longevity - 9
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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