Overall 8.30
The latest from the director of Limbo and Inside comes another well designed puzzle game with some genius mechnics that is over a little too soon. In this game you can use orbs to activate machines which in turn allow you to move further in the environment eventually leading to a sort of station where you go inside the orb into another world, which it itself is an orb. You can collect the orbs and use them to shift from one world to another using their unique abilities to solve puzzles.

Cocoon is very well paced with a gradual build up of all the mechanics. It starts simple enough, using the orbs powers to activate lifts, having to find a way to reach a switch while the orb powers a new device. Each level lasts a good 30 -40 minutes before you gain a new orb and the new power and level that comes with it.

For the first three hours its all about learning what each orb can do and how each orb world has elements that need other orbs to work. It's the second half where the game really takes off, now you have to start using orbs to get into multiple levels to reach your destination. This becomes an inception like process where you go into one orb, which leads you to go deeper into another orb, and the further into another just to change an object in one orb that go back a few levels to activate another switch which makes something happen in the second orb and well you see how it can get complicated.

Its so well done, so intuative that I never felt lost even though you had layers upon layers of levels. Every time I got stuck I felt I deserved it, every solution was well earned, made sense and was rewarding. I felt the puzzles were going to reach a peak of genius but the game ends right when I felt it could have entered a zone of excellence. At 6-7 hours, its a decent length, I just wish more of it was the mind bending puzzles of the final few hours.

Most of the game is simply traversing a world solving puzzles but at the end of each orb's level is a boss battle, kind of new for this developer. Surprisingly these bosses are really good, they clearly take ispriation from platformers with its repetitve attack patterns and hit me multiple times to get to more forms. The variety in bosses is impressive too, each one uses the mechnics introduced in that world so it's always fresh.

Cocoon is a great puzzle game with a wholy unique idea and great presentation. For me I thought it ended just as it was getting really good, could have used more of that. One thing I found lacking is in the story department, Inside managed to tell a story with basically no words, just visual storytelling and it was very effective, I have no clue what is happening here, its all alien and animal like. Regardless its another memorable puzzle game, probably the best of lead designer Jeppe Carlsen's career.
Posted by Dvader Thu, 07 Dec 2023 06:20:43
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