Cocoon, the first game from Geometric Interactive, takes you on a surreal puzzle-filled journey. Designed by Jeppe Carlsen of Limbo and Inside fame, the game is a beautifully complex experience. With fantastic sound design and art, Cocoon offers a memorable adventure.
The Journey of a Cicada-Like Creature
In Cocoon, you play as a cicada-like creature emerging from a womb of petals. Without much explanation, you find yourself in an orange, arid world with ancient structures pulsing with strange power. The goal is simple: use these structures to keep moving forward. The game doesn’t explicitly tell you why, but a compelling force seems to guide you on this benevolent journey.
Exploration Over Combat
While Cocoon features boss battles in closed-off arenas, combat isn’t the main focus. Instead, the game emphasizes exploration in its open world. Ancient structures play a crucial role in your progress, requiring you to use orbs to power them. These orbs contain entire worlds, and you can seamlessly transition between them, solving puzzles to advance.
Simple Controls, Complex Challenges
Cocoon’s controls are simple, using only five buttons for movement and interaction. Placing orbs in mechanical structures reveals new worlds, and holding onto specific orbs grants unique powers. The game’s complexity arises as you delve into nested worlds, requiring precise timing, strategic power use, and abstract thinking for progression.
Subtle Guidance and Design
Cocoon excels in guiding players without overwhelming them. The game subtly closes off irrelevant areas, ensuring you focus on the current puzzle. This prevents the frustration of backtracking in search of missed details. The subtle guidance keeps the number of variables manageable, making the experience more enjoyable.
Atmosphere Through Sound and Art
Cocoon’s sound design complements its atmosphere, featuring purposeful silence punctuated by swelling compositions during key moments. The art direction creates a unique world, blending metal structures with organic elements. Each world has a distinct color palette, maintaining awareness amidst the game’s intricate design.
Extracting Meaning from Subtlety
With no explicit narrative, Cocoon encourages players to extract their own meaning. The game suggests a harsh truth: our personal journeys, while significant to us, may be insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Despite the slightly abrupt ending, Cocoon conveys a message of self-evolution and the small yet valuable part we play in the larger world.
Conclusion: A Beautiful Journey of Self-Evolution
Cocoon, true to its name, is a game about self-evolution. As you navigate puzzles and explore visually stunning worlds, the game subtly delivers profound meaning. Despite its challenges, Cocoon provides a beautiful and unforgettable experience, leaving players with a sense of the small yet meaningful role they play in the vastness of life.