I finally tricked Steve and Woody to play one of my favorite games of all time on the Ultra64 Podcast. Cogmind is 100% a hobby-grade traditional roguelike, but an investment worth making. At least, I’ve found it to be so after 80 hours in thus far. If you’ve ever wanted a game that blends The Matrix with Metal Gear Solid, you’ve found it.
Previous guest spots on the Ultra64 podcast can be found below:
I felt like I left a lot of conversation on the table after this podcast in particular. If you’re new to cogmind, you 100% need to start with Leiavoia’s new player guide. It’s a great way to understand the ins and outs. Once you’ve gotten going, leveraging the cog-minder site for info on parts can be very helpful.
I should have talked more about the interactions of the systems in the game that make for an organic and unique experience. Some of my favorite experiences in the Cogmind universe include:
- Getting rescued out of the blue by the Zion faction
- My first encounter with a Behemoth
- Reading the lore entries about the history of the facility
- Hilarious NPCs that sprinkle around the game world
- Encountering the Warlord faction for the first time
- Using the RIF abilities to hack enemy robots
- Experimental super weapons gifted to me by the Exile faction
- Learning how to use the manual command hacks at terminal machines to almost get anything I want
- My first escape win
- Losing an enemy extermination force by digging through a wall and having a non-combat engineer bot automatically plaster over the hole, forcing the enemies to go the long way around and losing my trail
- Escaping from Warlord’s area while it’s being invaded, getting surrounded with seemingly no escape, but then using some experimental laser shotguns to blast my way out to safety
- My first encounter with the Core Reset Matrix, then heading into the Research branches of the facility
- Using alien technology to destroy high level containment fields around an old friend
I don’t know that I would recommend Cogmind to the casual videogame player right out of the gate. It has a very distinctive visual style that isn’t quite the same as something like Death Stranding or Call of Duty.
So how would you ease into such a distinct genre? I might suggest a path like this:
- Sid Meier’s Civilization
- Into the Breach
- Jupiter Hell
- Crypt of the Necrodancer
- Golden Krone Hotel
- Rift Wizard
An optional one to throw in there would be Hacknet, but it’s a very different kind of game versus the rest. I feel like Cogmind is the embodiment of all of those games to some degree.
I’m glad I got the opportunity to expose more people to the greatness that is Cogmind, but maybe for games like these that cater more toward engineer and computer programmer types, me being there in person to guide the enthusiasm could’ve helped more.
Post cover art by @Zyalin_Art