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Islands Of Insight Review: Zen-Like Awakening

Platform(s): PC (version reviewed)
Genre: Puzzles, Exploration, Fantasy, Open World, Atmospheric

 

Puzzle video games emerged as a prominent genre in the early 1980s, with notable hits such as Tetris (1985) and Lemmings (1991). Since then, these brain teasers have garnered a dedicated following worldwide, with various subgenres such as hidden object games, mazes, tile matching, and more.

This year, the puzzle genre is set to take a major leap forward with the arrival of Islands of Insight. Developed by Lunarch Studios and published by Behaviour Interactive Inc., this title promises countless hours of gameplay with over 10,000 puzzles to solve and has been crafted by some of the best minds in puzzle design.

Yes, you heard that right! And the best part is, that players can roam its sublime shared world and play any puzzle type at their own pace.

 

New Life

As a Seeker, you embark on a new life in a world beyond the boundaries of time and space. This enchanting realm is formed from the collective memories of ancient eras long since vanished. The Seekers, entrusted with the mission of acquiring knowledge, are guided on their quest by enigmatic Sparks of energy. To unravel the mysteries of this land of floating islands, Seekers must navigate through various biomes and solve puzzles. By piecing together the fragmented remnants of this realm, they set out on a quest to uncover the origins of this enigmatic world.

Before you begin your journey, you will need to create your avatar a.k.a a Seeker. They’re essentially human figures with a touch of god-like accessories to them. Such accessories include headgear, gloves, wings, auras, and more. You are then entrusted to a small realm, which shows a tutorial on how players should navigate in this world.

Initially, novice players will have access to basic movements such as running and jumping, but as they accumulate sufficient skill points, also known as Sparks in the game itself, they will gradually unlock more advanced abilities. Upon mastering these fundamental skills, players will be transported to the first biome known as Verdant Glen through a rift, marking the beginning of their thrilling adventure.

Each biome within the Islands of Insight is remarkable, even in Verdant Glen, it felt surreal to explore the area surrounded by ancient architecture nestled within a breathtaking and vibrant rainforest. Additionally, there is nothing quite as captivating as encountering a floating double pyramid, which serves as a testament to the ingenuity of ancient civilizations.

In this biome, players will have the opportunity to explore six Enclaves, each serving as a specially curated section of unique puzzles. The first Enclave, known as The Empyrean Journey, serves as an introduction to the entire game. By completing this, players will unlock their wings, opening up a world of breathtaking vistas. These puzzles are not only challenging but also serve as a gateway to new adventures and discoveries.

 

Treasure Trove

In the game Islands of Insight, skill points or Sparks serve a specific purpose. There are 24 puzzle types available, and when players complete a puzzle, they increase their mastery of that category. The Mastery screen allows players to track their progress on each puzzle type, including Match Three and Armillary Rings. The Masteries also contribute to the global player level, and as that level increases, players have the chance to earn various cosmetics and Sparks points.

With each new global player level unlocked, players also gain access to Upgrades. These upgrades can be purchased using Sparks and come in various types. Some upgrades provide additional movements or unlock tools for advanced puzzle solvers. Others introduce unique challenges to the puzzle types, offering additional rewards if the player solves the puzzle in a unique manner. Overall, these mechanics greatly enhance the game experience and make the puzzle-solving process much more satisfying.

If you encounter any puzzles that become too challenging, you have the option of abandoning the current puzzle and searching for a different one. The decision is yours whether to return to the puzzle at a later time or not. There are thousands of others waiting to be discovered!

 

Zen Energy

The meat of this game undoubtedly lies in its gameplay, as it surpasses its storyline in terms of appeal. Transporting players into a visually stunning world with serene background music. Simply soaring through the realms of this game feels like an immersive form of meditation. Although I have yet to experience this game in multiplayer mode, I can confidently say that Islands of Insight has the potential to become one of the top choices for friends to engage in puzzle-solving adventures together.

Certain aspects of the game could be improved upon, if we’re being nitpickey. The storyline, while intriguing, may come across as somewhat daunting due to its complex nature. The double meanings and hidden memories conveyed by the Sparks of energy can make keeping track of the main story challenging. Each encounter adds another layer of complexity, making the narrative somewhat difficult to follow.

Whether you’re a seasoned puzzler or new to the genre, Islands of Insight offers something for everyone, providing a decidedly zen and laid-back experience for a sprawling puzzle adventure unlike anything you have ever experienced. Go forth and be the ultimate Seeker!

 

PROS

  • Breathtaking graphics.
  • Tons of character upgrades.
  • Puzzles are fun and engaging.
  • Serene background music.

 

CONS

  • Takes a while to log into the game.
  • Narrative can be daunting and too complex for some.

 

FINAL SCORE: 80/100

Islands of Insight is scheduled to release on 14 February 2024 for PC via Steam. Review code provided by publisher Behaviour Interactive Inc.

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  1. Islands Of Insight Beginner’s Guide: Tips To Get Started

    February 27, 2024 at 3:15 pm

    […] Islands of Insight is an enchanting open-world multiplayer puzzle game that captivates players with its stunning visuals, intricate puzzles, and immersive gameplay. If you’re still unsure if you should play it, check out our Islands of Insight review. […]

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