If you are like myself or most other PC game fans, you track the ‘indie bundle’ sites regularly and grab all of the great games these creative developers publish. A couple of months ago I grabbed Cognition Episode 1 from IndieGameStand on the Mac, but never finished playing. Now it is available for the iPad, so before I could get a review code from the publisher I bought the game and played it. I say that Cognition brings chilling adventure to iOS, read on to find out why! Oh, and the publisher came through with a review code as well – which means that one of our lucky readers will get to try the game out themselves!
Type of app: Adventure game
Platform/where to buy: iPad; available in the Mac App Store
Developer: Phoenix Online Studios LLC
Here are some of the features:
- Play as Erica Reed, FBI detective
- Solve a deep and intriguing mystery that involves your twin brother
- Investigate crime scenes, interact with other detectives, and hunt for clues
- Use Erica’s special powers to uncover the mystery
- Your choices have consequences!
As the game begins you play as FBI agent Erica Reed, who has special powers that give her visions. Her brother has been taken by a serial killer, and you work to solve this initial part of the mystery in the prologue/tutorial.
The game is a classic point in click mystery adventure, one that was originally developed for the PC and Mac as part of this Kickstarter. This means that you are truly searching each room, hunting for clues, chatting up people and solving puzzles.
The writing is tremendous, with detailed characters and an intriguing plot that will draw you in. The dialogue works well and you really feel the natural flow and progression between characters. Similarly the graphics and music add a great deal of atmosphere to the story. The artwork combines classic adventures with graphic novel styling, and the result is better than either one alone.
Ease of use/Overall performance: The main thing with Cognition is that it is a PC adventure ported to the iPad. This means that you are dealing with a mouse-centric system, and that the touch controls feel that way. You need to touch the screen to see things you can interact with, then touch the item, then touch the action. At first it feels convoluted, but quickly it becomes a matter of habit.
Aside from that there are a couple of other issues: performance, glitches and voice-acting. In terms of glitches the image above shows the worst I saw (you should see Erica). As for performance, the scenes are slow to load, and when you are in a fast-paced section going from place to place the pacing feels glacial due to these load times. The other problem is more regional – voice acting. The story takes place in Boston, where I grew up. And the actress who voices Erica Reed? Not from Boston. Not a chance – her accent wandered from none to Brooklyn to bad fake-Boston to who-knows-what. But it was never quite right.
Would use again/recommend?: Absolutely! As soon as I realized that I really had choices that mattered I was thrilled – some of them are trivial, but others have a real impact on what happens. That gives you immediate replayability. Also, the story and characters are thrilling and well written, and the challenge level is enough to keep even old-time adventure gamers engaged.
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Performance could be improved; graphical glitches cause occasional problems; If you are actually FROM Boston … turn off the audio.
Price: iPad version is $3.99
Here is the trailer:
Source: Personal Purchase
Now for the giveaway! To enter to win simply tweet:
@geardiarysite is giving away @postudios Cognition Episode 1. I’m entering to win! @geardiary @dmcohen @txa1265
The winner will be picked from those who tweet. And remember, the winners will be announced in the Gear Diary Newsletter, so make sure you are subscribed and make sure to check it this Sunday.