The Indie Turn-Based Strategy Game by Grid Sage Games
By Luke Gentle
Available for PC DRM-free, $24.99
Note: “Cogmind” is currently in early access and details discussed in this article may change. I wrote this article while playing Alpha 10 and 11
Independently developed “Cogmind” is a rogue-like turn-based strategy game by Grid Sage Games. The presentation of the game is quite unique as it attempts to emulate a computer terminal of the 1980s. The game is set in the distant future with a storyline involving a group of hostile robots that take over the robot junk yard. The player takes the role of a robot in the scrap yard and must salvage materials to fight the onslaught of enemies and to explore deeper in the scrap yard.
Not much else is provided initially for background, but the story develops slowly as more information gets woven into the gameplay. Additional insight is gained during the game at various opportunities by hacking into terminals scattered throughout the junkyard.
While the story is quite interesting, it takes a back seat to the gameplay. For the sake of not wanting to spoil the game for others, it will be left to potential players to discover more on their own.
“Cogmind” is retro style featuring very basic textures. The presentation may seem archaic at first, but it actually really fits the tone of the game. One of the coolest parts of this game is the scurrying about of other robots that are going about their business mining, scavenging, and excavating alongside the player’s robot as it advances through the game. One problem with the presentation is the soundtrack. While there are sound effects for most actions in the game, there is a complete lack of music. The lack of music somewhat fits the tone of the game, but some may be bothered by this absence of music.
There is a large variety of gameplay styles available to players of “Cogmind.” Players can have hundreds, if not thousands of different combinations of components for their robots. A
player can chose any combination of EMP-based weapons, lasers, guns, melee weapons including a pretty cool Katana. If desired, a player can even go without weapons and ram into enemies, although that’s not recommended. Every game is randomly generated so in combination with the numerous amount of playstyles, the replayability of the game is almost infinite. The turn-based game play is quick, allowing just enough time for the player’s momentum to continue while thinking out the next actions.
The game is rogue-like meaning every robot death is permanent and requires a restart to continue playing. One minor problem common with many rogue-like games is the feeling that the game is determined by the randomness of each play through. This is not a major problem, but some players of this game may get frustrated by losing a really good run to a series of random bad situations.
With many interesting and fun features and only minor faults, “Cogmind” rates an 8/10. Overall, “Cogmind” is a fun game that shows a great amount of potential and continues to be further improved. You can buy “Cogmind” from the Grid Sage Games website and receive a DRM-free copy to download for $24.99. This game is not yet available on Steam, but, if you buy it now, you will receive the Steam key when it later becomes available.
The game is especially spectacular when you consider it was made by one guy, Josh Ge. If you’re interested in the development of “Cogmind” and the guy behind it, check out the interview with the creator here.