Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller Game for PC

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Back when the only game systems were Atari and Nintendo (the first one), I used to play games on my computer. From puzzle games to arcade type games to mysteries, I loved them. Recently I’ve mostly played the Sims and occasionally Plants vs. Zombies on my computer so I was intrigued to hear about a thriller game for my computer.

Murder, Mysteries and Cognition

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is a mystery following Erica Reed, Boston-based FBI agent, haunted by the unsolved case of a serial killer who took her brother’s life. Using her post-cognition abilities (seeing an object’s past with a touch of her hand) players figure out a complicated cast of characters, plots and puzzles over four episodes.

Cemetery Tomb Back - Screenshot from Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller

The first thing that struck me was the graphics. At the beginning, it looks like a comic, the images are still and there are captions. Then when we are able to actually play, the graphics are hand drawn but with incredible detail and actually a welcome rest from the computer generated games that are so common today.

Antique Shop - Screenshot from Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller As you can see, the comic book type captions appear later in the game too.

The game is setup so it’s pretty easy to follow but there are some challenging parts, you have to use your head. If you do get stuck though, you have a cell phone in the game and you can text your dad for hints. I like how the hints really were hints,  not just directly telling you the answer.

Choices, Puzzles, Characters

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? The game reminded me of these a bit as in some spots of the game, what you choose to do will affect the outcome of the game. If you are a puzzle lover, this game doesn’t skimp. I love the mixture of action, mystery and puzzles.

The characters voices fit with their image and seem natural choices. After just the intro and first few minutes of episode one, I felt like I knew Erica and could tell how she was feeling. Being intense and suspenseful, and playing by myself at night with no one around, I was reeled in like I usually am with books.

On Development

It’s not surprising that the game looks like a comic at times. Comics artist Romano Molenaar (Batman, Witchblade, Tomb Raider, X-Men) acted as Art Director and adventure game designer Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter, and the upcoming Moebius) lent her expertise as Story Consultant.

Episode One Trailer

WARNING – not safe for children’s eyes!!

Game Info:

Developer: Phoenix Online Studios
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Genre: Murder-Mystery, Point-And-Click Adventure
Platforms: PC Digital
Rating: N/A (language, violence)
Price: $9.99/episode or $29.99 for Season Pass (all 4 episodes)
Launch Date: October 30, 2012

*Disclosure: I received the product(s) mentioned above free of charge by the company or PR representative for evaluation purposes. No other compensation was provided. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

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