Saturday, December 15, 2012

First Impressions: Cogs & And Yet It Moves (PC)

I've had Cogs for sometime, although I do not remember which Humble Bundle it was bundled with, but I have always liked the look of the logo (mission accomplished).  Sadly though, last Friday (as in 12/7) was the first time I played Cogs, and that was only because Coolman asked about it.  So it was that I discovered that Cogs is a game that I will not be playing a great deal.

First off, the game could be described as a "casual puzzle game," but for me, it's a frustratingly beautiful puzzle game.  The puzzles are all variations on the sliding block puzzle.  That might be a decent description, but here's a screen cap:

In this puzzle, you have to move the three gear pieces so that the gear on the left is touching a gear piece, which in turn is touching another gear piece and finally, has another gear piece above that one so that it's touching the gear attached to the propeller.  This particular puzzle is multi-sided, which at first is intimidating, but once you quickly realize that you only have to solve one side at a time, it's pretty simple.  Sort of anyway.

The thing for me though, is that I've never had an aptitude for these kinds of puzzles.  I just get really frustrated when I have one or two pieces of the puzzle figured out, but then realize that I need to move everything around in order to get a much needed piece three to it's ending place, but that ruins where piece one and two are supposed to go.  

As I mentioned, all the puzzles are variations on the sliding block puzzle and not all of them involve gears.  There are puzzles that use steam or colored steam to fill up the appropriate ballons; two sided puzzle where a piece has two sides and each side of the puzzle has to be turned to look at the back to make sure the corresponding piece isn't messing up the solution on the other side.  And I forgot to mention (or you could just look at the left hand side of the above picture), there's a timer and a move counter, so you're encouraged to complete the puzzle in as few moves and as fast as possible.  It's a pretty brilliant take on an early kids game.  Lazy 8 Studios has made a really beautiful game that was, admittingly, somewhat fun to play with other people.  So, when I got frustrated and couldn't figure out a solution, I could pass off the mouse/keyboard and let either Coolman or Conklederp have a go, I just may not be playing this game solo.

And Yet It Moves is yet another puzzle game from Broken Rules, although it's in the form of a platformer, but there's twist; pun only slightly intended.  Like any platformer, you have your character and move them from point A to point B.  There are some baddies that are reminiscent of the kind you'd find in Little Big Planet, i.e.: passive and there to be in your way.  The twist with And Yet It Moves, is that you're able to rotate the world 90 degrees in either direction.

The world in this game is beautifully created to look like pieces of colored paper products have been torn and crumbled to create environments.  The effect is not as distracting as it sounds and it is very easy to learn where you can stand and where you fall.  Black non-paper = bad and you will fall.  Which is where rotating the screen comes in.  For example:
That black area will swallow you like it owns your soul.

But, upon rotating the camera 90 degrees, you can safely land on a new surface/ground.
That's the basic gist of the game.  However, you do have to be careful with how far you fall, either by jumping or by constantly rotating the world as you will constantly gain momentum and you're little paper person is not indestructible.  There is a skill (one they teach you in game) about hitting the ground at an angle so you can land from any height/speed safely, I just haven't been able to master it.  And thankfully, when you die (which you will, and possibly very frequently), you don't have to start over, but from one of the many check point paper people who populate each map.  Additionally, they will point you in the right direction you need to go, literally.  They will point you in the direction (with their little paper fingers) you need to go in order to find the next check point, and each one you come across is like it's own little victory.

So there you go, two readily available games.  Both are fun in their own rights but I think I'll be playing And Yet It Moves more often than I will with Cogs.  But again, that's just because sliding block puzzles aren't really my cup of tea.

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1 comment:

  1. And Yet it Moves looks totally cool! I've always thought it was a great name, and now I want to check out those paper-graphics in action. It's definitely one of those Humble Bundle games that I've just been sitting on for a while.
    On that note: check out Sword and Sorcery EP!