25: Cogs

There is a game you get in one of the fancier Christmas crackers, where you have a grid of nine squares that combine to create a lovely picture of Santa Claus or similar. However disaster has struck, as one of the squares has been removed and some fiend has rearranged all of the tiles so they no longer display their intended picture. You, man in the crowd! You must rebuild it! Anyway Cogs is basically this only 3D and fancy looking.


For a while it is a reasonable diversion. The game is competently made and you can twist stuff around in an intuitive manner. There’s puzzles where you have to connect up pipes and gears and some quite nice ones where you have to play a certain tune using a combination of them. As it goes on, the areas get bigger and tougher and you spend longer and longer on them and, well…no, it’s no good, I can’t do this. Play this if you want but be aware that it is boring. You learn no new skills, you acquire no abilities, you just get slightly better at swapping tiles. Line up a row, line up a column, line up a row, line up a column, panic about the last six tiles. It’s so so dull and it’s so repetitive. I don’t care how many gold, steam-powered double-sided tiles you try to mess me up with, game, all I have to do is look at the tiles, write down where they need to get to, then get them there. I’m an unpaid tile haulier, a dirty tile smuggler carrying them across borders with a furtive look in my eye.


I mean look at these scores that you get when you finish a level. They don’t reward being good at moving tiles, they reward obsessively playing the same level ten times until you can do it in thirty seconds. Levels are only unlocked when you get loads of these stars so if you want to get to the end, you do just that. I did just that because I was a man with a mission, the mission to unlock all of the levels. You need 300 stars, I got 300 stars. Here’s the final level that I unlocked



1 star, 6 hours spent

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