Cogs Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Inventor Mode: Starting with simple puzzles, players are introduced to the widgets that are used to build machines — gears, pipes, balloons, chimes, hammers, wheels, props, and more.
  • (2 more, see all...)

Cogs is not your run of the mill puzzle and this will become immediately obvious to anyone who plays it. Puzzle games are now popping out on every corners of the Internet and it’s becoming harder and harder to find a proper one, but Cogs seems to fit comfortably in this overcrowded market.

Before reviewing Cogs we must notice a nice trend, but that is also kinda disturbing. The Linux platform has always seemed unfriendly with games, and developers have somewhat ignored the possibilities and the potential of this amazing operating system.

For some time now, The Humble Bundle initiative brought a lot of good games to Linux, and Cogs is one of them. If we were to check out the sales numbers for Cogs, the Linux platform stands on the second place, ahead of the Mac OS X. This means that more people with Linux OSes have bought the Humble Bundle that contained Cogs than Macintosh users.

If this is not a clear sign that games should have a much bigger role in the Linux world, I don’t know what is. Unfortunately it takes a Humble Bundle to see games for Linux. I’m not sure I would have played this game in Ubuntu otherwise.

Installation

As I said earlier, we got Cogs with the Humble Bundle for Android 2, a game package that includes a lot of other great titles, such as Snuggle Truck, Swords & Soldiers, and Zen Bound 2 (you can check the review by clicking on each item).

The developers have provided installation packages for everyone, RPM for Red Hat-based distributions, DEB for Debian-based distros, a BIN file that is mostly universal, and even a source package for those of you who fancy compiling their own version.

We've installed Cogs in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) and everything went very smoothly. In this case you can either double click the. deb file and use Ubuntu Software Center to install it, or just enter the following command in a terminal:

sudo dpkg -i cogs_20110811_all.deb

Gameplay

As the name suggests, Cogs is all about puzzle. I’m not sure if people will remember an old puzzle game from their childhood, with numbers in a small wooden cassette. We had to rearrange the numbers, from 1 to 15, and one place would be empty, permitting the necessary moves in order to finish the game.

The developers of Cogs certainly remember this game as the entire concept is based on the aforementioned mechanics. In every level, pieces are scrambled and the players must use the empty space to move everything around until the level is completed, fulfilling of course the objectives.

If at first the levels are simple and you might even get a few gold medals for finishing them, in the allotted time and with fewer moves than necessary, once you go further, things will start to be complicated.

Cogs will feature multiple types of puzzles, featuring pipes, mechanism, clocks, and pieces that have to move in tandem, and of course three dimensions.

The game benefits from a great graphics engine which allows the player to move the puzzle in 3D, as if just two weren’t enough.

Besides the main part of the game, there’s also an arcade mode available, with limits for time and moves, just to make life more interesting.

The Bad

The game lacks a wider variety of modes. Sure enough it features a lot of puzzles, in the main part of the game, but more modes would have made it better in every way. Maybe some leaderboards or perhaps some way of attaching a little more urgency would have been nice. A level editor and some means to upload the levels and have your friends torment over them could have made all the difference.

The Good

Unlike most puzzles, Cogs will not make you hit a wall. Sometimes, games that require a brain to operate, will hit players with something that seem impossible to solve. In this case, you can envision the solution right from the start, but getting there with as few moves as possible and as fast as possible is a totally different thing.

Another selling point for Cogs is the steam-punk atmosphere and the intoxicating music that matches perfectly with the levels. It beckons players to go on and make them forget about a busy day at the office.

Conclusion

Cogs has been a total surprise for me. I went in thinking this is just another puzzle that I will inevitably put down, but I find myself opening it from time to time. It offers great entertainment and the huge number of levels will provide players with hours and hours of simple and pure fun.
user interface 5
features 3
ease of use 4
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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