Islands of Insight (PC) Review

Puzzles On Puzzles On Puzzles

Islands of Insight (PC) Review
Islands of Insight
Brutalist Review Style (Version 2)

Puzzles are my thing. I grew up doing as many Sudoku, crosswords, etc., as I could, and recently, I have been getting more than my fill of everything puzzle-related with The Talos Principle 2 and the brand-new Islands of Insight.

First things first, a little information about the developer, Lunarch Studios. The Canadian-headquartered developer is staffed by a team of math Olympiad champions, MIT PhD students, and professional poker players, all with the aim of furthering online gaming through aggressive innovation. I say all of this because I’d never played a game that is so clearly in the wheelhouse of the development team before I picked up Islands of Insight.

Islands Of Insight (Pc) Review

At its core, Islands of Insight is a puzzle-platforming title focused on allowing you to complete that game at your leisure, with no real story to speak of. You play as a Seeker and go about the world solving the puzzles you find. These puzzles range from simple perspective challenges (Sentinel Stones puzzles) to the deceptively complicated Morphic Fractal puzzles (where you match a pattern with a provided example).

The world map has several islands that you are meant to travel to when you unlock them by completing puzzles in the overworld. Each of the islands has a set of specific puzzles to solve and extras available once you complete the initial objectives. Completing the initial objectives will reward you with something called a Mirabilis, which is a collectible item used to unlock different islands.

“All things considered, Islands of Insight is a fantastic time sink and a great way to keep your brain active and sharp.”

In your time on the islands, you may come across other players, and that is by design. Islands of Insight is considered a shared-world experience. What this means is that there is no interaction between players apart from offering guidance through markers or traversing the gorgeous landscape together.

Islands Of Insight (Pc) Review

Speaking of the landscape, Islands of Insight is visually stunning. Five different biomes can be found throughout the map, each with a unique design aesthetic. I found myself staring at the water found in the various ponds on the Shattered Oasis island for far too long.

As far as controls go, Islands of Insight is very simple: the WASD keys for movement and the mouse to look around and interact with things. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can press the Shift key to run faster. If that seems very basic, it’s because it is, and it doesn’t need to be more complicated because the puzzles don’t require a great wealth of movement to solve them.

“…Islands of Insight is visually stunning.”

All of this seems well and good so far, but what happens when you run out of puzzles? Well, the team at Lunarch Studios thought of that, and Islands of Insight features over 10,000 different puzzles for you to tackle. On top of that, each puzzle in the overworld resets after a given amount of time, so there is always a new puzzle to solve each time you turn the game on.

Islands Of Insight (Pc) Review

All things considered, Islands of Insight is a fantastic time sink and a great way to keep your brain active and sharp. Some of my favourite puzzles were the logic-based Underclued Grid, where you had to fill in a specific number of spaces with no information other than what you can deduce from what is provided at the beginning of the puzzle.

I can’t recommend Islands of Insight enough. It has given me an interactive puzzle medium that is both incredibly massive in scope and ad-free, unlike the puzzle apps I’ve got on my phone.

Final Thoughts


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