Also On: Xbox Series X|S, Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Developer: Geometric Interactive
Cocoon might be one of the most inventive puzzle games I’ve ever played. The concept of diving into worlds, solving various puzzles, and then diving into and out of other worlds is one of those things that’s kind of hard to explain, but absolutely fantastic to see and try out for yourself. It’s not a game that is easily comparable to any other, and it’s hands down one of the best experiences I’ve had all year. It also comes in at a brisk 5 hours or so to complete, making it a perfect palate cleanser for all of the RPG’s I’ve played recently. If you can find a weekend to sit down with Cocoon, I think you’ll find it’s time well spent.
The quality of the game should come as no surprise. The developer behind Cocoon, Geometric Interactive, is relatively new, but it’s a studio composed of some of the people behind other indie classics like Limbo, Inside, and 140. While not as dark in visuals or themes as Inside or Limbo, Cocoon is still certainly strange, carrying with it a unique look that’s one half mechanical and the other half organic, melding together to create multiple odd worlds for your little bug-like protagonist to explore.
At the onset of the game you’ll be introduced to your character, a diminutive bug creature that’s sort of birthed into the world from a glistening silver cocoon. From there you’ll be introduced to the first of many orbs you’ll collect and carry around on your back. The orbs can be used to trigger a variety of switches, but each orb also contains its own little world or biome to explore. Various spots will allow you to place the orb you’re currently carrying, offering up a reflection of the world inside the orb that you can dive into. Each of these biomes you uncover have their own set of puzzles, challenges, and bosses to complete. Cocoon becomes increasingly complex, as it starts to layer worlds within worlds, allowing you to carry around one orb that may contain multiple other orbs, sometimes interacting with each other in pretty inventive ways.
Cocoon never feels obtuse or frustrating though, and while you’ll definitely encounter puzzles that will make you pause and think, most of the solutions end up being fairly straightforward. There’s very little backtracking involved, and no time feels wasted in figuring out solutions to move forward. Cocoon is expertly paced, enough so that you’ll likely want to finish it in just one or two sittings, a perfect weekend game.
I’d highly recommend checking out Cocoon when you get a chance. I loved my time with it, and the ambient synth soundtrack is absolutely fantastic, and helps really sell the look and feel of the world. Absolutely give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.
Note: Annapurna Interactive provided us with a Cocoon PS5 code for review purposes.