PAX: ‘Cognition’ Preview – Oozing Surprises

The first thing that will immediately strike people when they see Cognition for the first time is the game’s art style. Cognition uses 3D characters and objects placed on gorgeous 2D hand drawn backgrounds. This combination is quite striking and allows for some unconventional mechanics and unexpected moments. Multiple camera angles, first person puzzles, and lens flare effects were just some of the surprises in Cognition’s opening prologue.


Cognition is a point and click adventure title from Phoenix Online Studios, the team that has released 4 of the 5 free episodes to King’s Quest: The Silver Lining. Tremendous fan support has allowed the team to craft their own adventure. This new episodic game features Erica Reed, an FBI agent with the super natural ability of post-cognition. Basically, she touches stuff and can see how shit went down. Cognition is expected to be 4 episodes long with each episode encompassing approximately 4-6 hours of game time.


The prologue opens at a cemetery where Erica’s Brother has been taken by a serial killer that targets siblings. It’s a dark and foreboding place that sets the tone for this adventure game. This isn’t King’s Quest folks; Erica lets loose a few swear words in the monologue alone. The game features a minimalist HUD and the controls have been designed with touch devices in mind.



The prologue walks you through the basic controls and mechanics of the game and shows off Erica’s Post-Cognition abilities nicely. It culminated with a Saw-like trap where Erica must bleed herself to enter the mausoleum where her brother is kept. Her brother is strapped to some kind of torture device and Erica must user her abilities to solve a puzzle. The developers told me that there will be branching storylines, but it only changes the specifics of the situation; not the final destination of the story. Erica can successfully save her brother from the Killer’s trap or not. Even if you successfully save him, he will later die from his injuries. The prologue ends with your brother’s death and the killer narrowly escaping after Erica successfully sets him on fire. The first episode picks up three years later and will feature a different serial killer known as the Hangman.



Expect the first episode of Cognition entitled “The Hangman” to be released this summer on PC/Mac and iPad. For more information, check out the game’s official website.

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