Neon Warp is a minimalistic puzzle game developed by Axel Sonic. The goal of the game is to turn each of the different colored tiles to the same color. The levels can get pretty tough, and because this game is so fresh, there is a major shortage of walkthroughs available right now. You’re on your own to pioneer this colorful confusion of tiles.
When you first start a level, you get to select a tile that is one of three colors — red, blue, or purple. You then use your mouse or arrow keys to move to an adjoining tile. The tile changes color based on its current color along with the color of the previous tile (red + blue = purple, red + purple = blue, red + red = red, etc.). Your goal is to get all of the tiles to be a single color (which depends on the level). Simple, but not easy, Neon Warp will keep throwing more and more challenges at you while slowly introducing new mechanics.
Where Neon Warp excels is in its simplicity. It features a minimal, calm aesthetic, set against a single music track. The sounds are subtle, the visual effects are simply for function, and the UI is hardly existent at all. Simple concepts and basic controls make Neon Warp perfect for a quick play session. Short sessions combined with the fact that it’s packed with a good amount of content for a low price – over 150 levels and a time trial mode – means you will be able to come back to this game for quite a while.
Where Neon Warp falls short is in its absolute lack of help when you get stuck. Some of us aren’t too bright, but still like to enjoy the occasional puzzle game from time to time. Neon Warp just throws you into the fray without so much as a hint in dark times. The game never even explains the mechanics to you, which, having jumped in without reading any description of the game, caused me to spend my first few minutes absolutely baffled as to what to do. This game is definitely for hardcore puzzle fans, and there’s a lot to come back to unless you get completely stuck. Not all players will come back to a particularly frustrating puzzle after so many tries. A skip function or even a simple hint as to what tile to start on would do wonders for playability.
For the most part the design is solid, but does have a few minor bugs. The controls can get a little wonky if you try to switch from mouse to keyboard, and the mouse itself feels out of control a lot of the time. Keyboard is definitely a lot more polished, but you still run into problems. Sometimes when starting a level you need to use the mouse to pick the starting tile, and sometimes the keyboard doesn’t navigate the menus well at all. Also, keybindings aren’t listed, so some things you just find out by accident. Pressing the spacebar will restart the level for you, but there’s no way to know that until you try. Simple enough, unless you accidentally find out while being close to solving a tough level.
All in all, Neon Warp is a pretty good puzzle game, and at such a low price it is definitely worth giving a shot. Hardcore puzzle fans will definitely love going crazy trying to fully solve every level, while players looking for a more casual puzzler might want to wait until somebody puts out a solid walkthrough for the tougher levels.
**A review copy of Neon Warp was provided by Axel Sonic.**
Graphics: The minimalist aesthetic is perfectly implemented and wonderful to look at.
Sound: Sounds effects are on point, but the single music track feels a little chaotic for this game. Breaks the simplistic vibe somewhat.
Gameplay: Well implemented, but does need some polish on the controls. Puzzles are tough; sometimes too tough. Hints would do this game a million favors.
Replay Value: Aside from a time trial mode, the game doesn't offer much after you solve its levels. There's not a whole lot of replay value, but there is plenty of content for a singleton experience.
Fun Factor: Neon Warp is a lot of fun if unforgiving puzzles are your thing, but almost zero fun if you end up getting stuck on a single level. If you like a hardcore challenge, then this is the game for you.
Final Rating: 7/10. Neon Warp is a great hardcore puzzle challenge that will test your brain and your patience. If you like a tough thinker, this game is a good buy for the price. Be prepared to get frustrated, though.
A skip function or even a simple hint as to what tile to start on would do wonders.
About The Author
Hey, Fudge here. I'm a game-loving pseudonymous blue 1-Up that likes to write about my experiences. I try to look at things without bias, but sometimes you've gotta view a game from different perspectives. Everybody has preferences, and I myself love me some old school JRPG titles, fantasy shooters like Borderlands and Overwatch, Action RPGs like Skyrim, and the Batman: Arkham series. I hope you guys like my reviews, news, and opinion features, and I'm looking forward to sharing thoughts and ideas back and forth!