Cogs review

It makes our brains hurt, but we like it… sort of

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Seriously brain-twisting

  • +

    Instantly recognizable mechanic

  • +

    Satisfying to beat a puzzle


  • -

    Cornering yourself sucks

  • -

    Runs out of steam pretty quick

  • -

    Only appeals to slide-puzzle addicts

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

If you’ve ever played with one of those slide puzzles that you occasionally find in Happy Meals, then Cogs will instantly jump out of the screen and either drag you in or throw you out the window. You see, almost every element is tied to those cheap plastic timewasters, except in glossy, yet somewhat ghostly 3D. The goal is to complete inventions, much like The Incredible Machine and Crazy Machines 2. The caveat is that you have to do so by sliding tiles onto empty spaces.

This begins to bend your mind when you are given complex inventions to complete, such as completing a series of pipes on two sides of the same tiles, or starting a tricycle using tiles on a 3D cube. It’s not unpleasant, but creates many moments of painful wastage as you realise that you’ve slid yourself into a tight corner and must completely reverse your way to finish. Harder still are the modes that require you to either complete a level in a small amount of time or moves, requiring intense strategy and much brow-furrowing.

Luckily, the Incredible Machine-esque inventions are satisfying to complete, especially after 15 minutes of endless tile-clicking to try and move one cog into the right position. You can’t even blame Lazy 8 for making the game impossible – part of the frustration comes from our cerebral inadequacy, especially on the realisation of how easy a solution is. Sadly, Cogs’ charm runs out in around five minutes, leaving some of us somewhat out of pocket if, like many of our writers, you don’t like slide puzzles. In fact, if you don’t, there’s no point touching Cogs. But if you do, it’s disastrously addictive.

May 4, 2009

More info

DescriptionAs casual as a puzzle game can get. Cogs is satisfying to solve, but won't keep you interested for long. Available for download from Steam.
US censor rating"Rating Pending"
UK censor rating"Rating Pending"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)