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Cogs
by Lew Reed on Thursday 25th Feb 2010

Cognitive processing required.

For some inexplicable reason, I am terrible at this particular kind of puzzle: the kind that you get in a Christmas cracker with a picture of a bird on it where you need to slide the tiles to unscramble the image. Cogs is essentially that, but with some twists and turns to spice things up a little. This variety comes in the form of what lays upon the sliding tiles: cogs that need to be adjacent to spin each other, and pipes that dictate a water flow. The real twist is in what’s on the other side of the tiles. You’ll start at simple levels that are just one sided and a means to introduce the concept to you step by step, and the difficulty curve for the game is overall very good, even for someone is rubbish as I am at tile sliding puzzles. Soon enough, things will become complicated by what lies on the other side and around the corner of your flat plane, or cube.

Cogs 3

A single finger will slide the tiles along, and two will rotate the view so you can see all that’s in play – a requisite for most of the later levels. You’ll either be presented with a flat plane or a cube, which doesn’t really change the playing field; it just expands it in a more manageable way, one which also shows off the simple but effective 3D visuals. At one stage you are presented with what seems It's at this point you'll acknowledge the potential for what can be done with this idea in the rest of the game, and I would even be inclined to say this was an exciting discovery. Then the game 'ends'.

Upon finishing arguably the most interesting level, the Cogs pulls a slick marketing trick and plays its micro transaction card; you have the privilege of buying another 10 levels for 59p. There are four “puzzle packs” available at this price, each with 10 new levels, which is fair cop given that the basic game costs the same and provides a brilliant foundation to expand upon. Begrudgingly I downloaded Puzzle Pack 2, including levels 11 to 21, and instantly a new concept is introduced. How you should go about approaching the puzzle is not explained in any detail. Being left to my own devices I eventually gave up and looked on YouTube for a solution – even then I was not sure why the puzzle worked. Subsequent puzzles fall back onto familiar territory, but new ideas are still in play and keep it interesting enough to put those few pennies to use, even if you don’t care to go back and set high scores by minimising move counts and time taken to complete a level. The difficulty curve remains consistent and largely intuitive by introducing concepts, then combining them with earlier ideas in a satisfying way.

Cogs 2

The presentation is top notch, puzzles are entertaining and varied, it’s not too difficult even for me, and there’s enough replay value if you’re looking for a challenge. Based on what I’ve played, you will get as much from Cogs as you put in in the form of micro transaction payments – and they really are ‘micro’ at 59p a pop. The beauty of this pricing structure is that I can recommend the basic game to anyone to see if they like it enough to spend more. It could be said that you’re paying for a demo, but that would be unfairly cynical on what is a rather outstanding game to begin with.

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  • Sound: 8
  • Graphics: 8
  • Gameplay: 9
  • Longevity: 8

8

Great


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