#987 Cogs

Posted: 10th March 2012 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

129th played so far

Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Lazy 8 Studios
Publisher: –

We’ve been avoiding puzzle games a bit more than normal recently, having done too many of them in the early days of this blog. It’s always a marvel to get back to them.

Cogs was part of a previous Humble Indie Bundle, the brilliant packs of good games we always enjoy perusing. In its most basic form, it’s a form of sliding puzzle that we’ve seen in many other games, including the 7th Guest. It comes with twists though – sometimes you need to make gears turn, sometimes you need to line up steam pipes, sometimes you need to rotate a cube to get to all sides of the puzzle – including puzzles where both sides of the puzzle pieces have their own part of the solution.

Our Thoughts

In the past few years, indie developers have been making a comeback. While the name may invoke crude graphics and simple games (even with good gameplay), this isn’t always the case. Unlike Flywrench which is a game that really does embody both of the indie game stereotypes.

Cogs, to start off with that, is beautiful. The gear rotation, interlocking nicely, makes the goals often immediately clear, but beyond that provide for something beautiful to look at. When you finish a level, it rewards you with a slow rotation, giving you a good look at the final mechanism. If ever there was a game that embodied the spirit of steam-punk then Cogs would definately be more at the forefront than games like Planescape: Torment where the influence is far more subtle in how the world works. We have many steam-punk games left to cover since it was especially in vogue during the nineties.

At the same time, the puzzles are as elegant as they are beautiful. They come down to simple sliding puzzles, but rather than the usual version of having to make a specific picture, it serves as a background to some basic but fun engineering-type problems. You need to not just always line up gears of pipes of steam – at times the pipes carry gas of different colours that need to be matched up with the right balloon, or one gear should be made to turn without another turning. Sometimes you have to use all sides of the cube to make it fly off as a helicopter.

With that said, the game isn’t just about solving the puzzles – that’d lead to you trying it once and then leaving it as you’ve solved them. To unlock later puzzles, you need to gain stars. You gain stars by finishing the level normally, but also by doing so in a short amount of time and  in a low number of moves. There’s also a challenge mode where you get a time or move limit on solving the puzzle.

The puzzles get tough quite soon, but remain solvable. Getting stars to unlock more puzzles gets harder though – it’s still quite a bit of work. Tough, but fun and beautiful. Absolutely worth trying.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to say bad things about games like this – it does what it wants to do and does it well, that’s all there really is to it. A beautiful game with some intricate mechanics that just works well. Great fun, absolutely worth a go.

  1. […] only written up one of the games that we have purchased this way (the steam-punk influenced puzzler Cogs) and we have a number of them waiting in the wings for us to tangle with at a later date (such as […]