Behavior Interactive is a name that brings to mind the murderous 4v1 Dead By Daylight and, more recently, the user-generated raiding FPS Meet Your Maker. Given the publisher’s pedigree for violence, it was surprising to see the peaceful Islands of Insight fall under Behavior’s umbrella. This shared-world puzzle game, brought to us by Lunarch Studios, is teeming with stimulating puzzles in need of solving littered throughout scintillating environments sitting among the clouds.
We were invited to partake in a playtest for Islands of Insight, allowing us to go hands-on for the first time with this social puzzle game. In Islands of Insight, players assume the role of a Seeker, an apt title since you will be doing a whole lot of seeking. After dabbling in character creation, a wide array of puzzles await each Seeker in the vibrant lands of mythological design. A heavy saturation of environmental secrets and mind-bending enigmas are strewn across the environment, ensuring that each player need only walk a few feet before bumping into their next challenge. Invisible archways await discovery; floating orbs are begging to be chased down; patterned cubes long for their matching partner; and logic puzzles demand specific pattern formation.
The ancient islands of divine architecture don’t host combat or any health-diminishing hazards – there’s no health bar, for that matter. Islands of Insight is all about the sublime joy of exploration at your own pace and cherry-picking whichever puzzles you desire to advance from one area to the next. Sprint, double-jump, and fly your way between points of interest as you put your brain to the test. Solving puzzles awards the player in numerous ways. Conquering a perspective-shifting golden ring puzzle or racing against the clock to obtain a certain amount of orbs all contribute to the forward progress of the non-linear campaign. And you can even work towards unlocking even more godly garb for your Seeker to display your mental prowess.
That underlying foundation of going where you want, when you want and doing whatever you want makes Islands of Insight easily one of the most relaxing gaming experiences in recent memory. Even though puzzles vary in difficulty, there’s no shortage of simpler solutions for those looking to keep the challenge level low. That said, seasoned puzzle veterans also won’t find themselves lacking more perplexing options. It truly is a freeform adventure that empowers players to choose how much resistance they wish to face as they advance from floating island to floating island.
Now throw in the social component in this shared world and you have the non-violent counterpart to Destiny (okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but stick with me here). Other players can be seen traversing the exotic locales as you go about your own business, or with your own friends. Seeing the notifications pop up alerting me to other player’s success at solving a particular puzzle brings a sense of joy as you all quietly cooperate with each other to clear an island. It has the potential to be one of the most wholesome and enjoyable social interactions in gaming, even when a single word is not shared between individuals.