Cogs is not the sort of game that I play out of choice. In fact, I tend to actively avoid puzzle solving games to the point of not using the hacking minigame in Bioshock 2. But there was something about Cogs that kept drawing me back to play it again and again. And that is a very rare trait for a game, especially a puzzle game.
Cogs is a sliding block puzzle game from Lazy8 studios and it has a wonderfully realised steampunk theme. Each of the puzzle segments focuses on repairing a steampunk creation, ranging from simple clockwork all the way to jack-in-the-boxes and rockets. Each of these items are beautifully designed and have several different parts of the overall puzzle scattered throughout all three dimensions. This might sound rather difficult to get your head round and in some aspects, it is. In other aspects the game plays almost perfectly.
The game starts off deceptively easily
When playing the game you move the tiles by clicking on them, either a single tile or a whole line of them and the ability to move large parts of the puzzle with a single click becomes vital as the difficult curve becomes almost painfully steep and time limits become much shorter. Completing the challenges within specified limits will result in being awarded either a gold, silver or bronze stars for time taken and number of moves required to solve the puzzle and and you are awarded points for each. The more points you have, the more of the 50 puzzles you unlock and get to rack your brains over.
The 3D aspect of the puzzles is really well integrated into the game and all you have to do to to rotate you viewpoint is click and drag with the right mouse button. The makes it very easy to quickly spin round the latest puzzle and see what you are up against. Not that will help you too much because this game get HARD very quickly. Within the first 20 levels I went from breezing though the challenges at the beginning to taking nearly 20 minutes of nearly random clicking to solve. This is probably due to my inexperience with this particular type of game but it did make me very reluctant to carry on playing despite the amazing feeling of satisfaction when I managed to solve the puzzles within the time limits.
But soon becomes much more of a challenge
To be honest, I found it very difficult to be positive about this game because, despite the very slick controls and the beautiful steampunk theme, I just don’t do puzzle games. But if i did, I can’t think of a better one to play than Cogs.