So here we have the second review of the games in the third Humble Indie Bundle (see here for the news update about the Humble Bundle). Yesterday Dogbert reviewed “And Yet It Moves”, one of the other games you get when you buy the bundle (see here for the review). Today I will be reviewing Cogs!
Now Cogs could not be more different from And Yet It Moves. It is a puzzle game (in fact it would appear of the five games in the Humble Bundle, four of them are puzzle games) in the form of a truly ancient puzzle system, whether this ancient system has a name, I do not know. For the sake of ease let’s call it a slider game.
In a “slider game” you have an area in which there are a variety of squares, and one single empty square. To play the game you have to move the squares about, one at a time into the empty square until you can organise them in such a way that a pattern emerges. It sounds complicated when described like that I suppose, but the premise is really very simple.
In Cogs the idea is that some of the squares you will move about will be plain, some will have pipes and some will be (as the name suggests) gears and cogs. What you have to do is move the squares about the board until the pattern is complete. This can be anything from the simple starting puzzles, where you have to get a cog at one side of the board to turn by connecting it (using cog pieces) to a moving cog at the other end of the board, to really complex puzzles where you have to fuel six rocket engines by moving a bunch of pipes about on six separate boards which are all connected (see the Youtube video at the end of the article).
It is a rather excellently made game. It looks fantastic, and the puzzles themselves are all rather good fun. They start off easy but by the last ones you can spend ages scratching your head in confusion, but they increase in difficulty at a rate that I would describe as perfectly fair and reasonable.
It is a logic based game like a rubics cube or chess. And like a rubics cube or chess, I wasn’t very good at it. I could never get the hang of thinking more than two or so moves ahead and so my experience of the game is really a LOT of clicking and hoping it works out eventually. But I still enjoyed it very much.
To progress through the game you have to collect “stars”. You do this by completing puzzles, you get three stars for every puzzle, you also get more stars if you complete the puzzle within certain time limits and within a certain number of moves. This means that to get the final levels you have to be good enough to not just complete the majority of the puzzles, but you also have to have completed them well and intelligently. This sort of rules out the possibility of me reaching the final puzzles in the game, because to get to the necessary level of skill required to get the “time” and “move” stars would take longer than I am willing to put into the game. But I will do my absolute damnedest to reach as far as I can.
Really there isn’t much else to say about it, as the game is (as I said) a very simple game but it has been pretty flawlessly executed. My only real complaint about the game isn’t the difficulty of the end puzzles (I think it’s fair enough that in games like this, I WON’T be able to do all of them) but rather something rather trivial. The music. At first the music seems quiet and simple, perfect thinking music is actually how I would have originally described it. Unfortunately the game plays only one song throughout the entire thing so eventually it really, really starts to grate on your nerves.
Now obviously as an Indie game the developers wouldn’t have been able to afford massive orchestral pieces for their game, but it’s still a bit of a shame that after everything looks so good in it that the repetitive music can drive you up the wall.
As I said though, it is a minor complaint and doesn’t really stand up against the high standard the rest of the game sets.
So there you go! Another win for the Humble Bundle. Remember there are now only TEN DAYS LEFT! Ten days to get FIVE fantastic games! Two have been reviewed by us already and have been given a thumbs up. Surely for whatever tiny amount of money you have to spend five games is really the deal of the year!
Check here to buy the Bundle: http://www.humblebundle.com/
Also check out this video from our Youtube channel of me failing at a Rocket puzzle in Cogs!