If you ever feel like a cog in a wheel, then you might relate to Cognition, the first game from a student-led team called Luna Five. It debuts today on iOS.
Cognition is a “tap-former” puzzle game for iOS devices that requires players to use careful planning and a nimble finger to control two perpetually rotating cogs named Click and Cogsworth. By tapping on the screen, players will stop one cog which frees up the other cog to move, thus allowing players to navigate past challenging puzzles and explore the magical world of clockmaker’s workshop in a lovingly hand-drawn environment.
It’s a unique game that will test whether a team of students still has a place in the ultra-competitive $36 billion mobile game business. The team comes from five students — Kai Liang Teo, Siyuan Wang, Wen Shi, Alexander Feigenbaum, and Christopher McGinnis — at New York University’s Game Center Incubator program. I met them at our GamesBeat roadshow on mobile influencers in New York in June.
Cognition started as a thesis project where the team tried to incorporate everything they had learned from their graduate studies. You can operate the game with a single tap and spin your way through the mind of a troubled inventor. Your aim is to help Click and Cogsworth recover the inventor’s memory and bring him back to reality.
It has rhythmic movement mechanisms, cute characters, and hand-drawn art. It is whimsical, but has a lot of complexity. The game is being released on iOS as a premium title selling for $2.99.
They had advice from Pendleton Ward (from Adventure Time), Ken Wong (Monument Valley), and Patrick Smith (from Vectorpark), and they were a finalist in the Casual Connect USA 2016 Best Mobile Game contest. The team formally created their company in July.
The game has 45 hand-crafted and uniquely designed levels where you experience the mind of a disturbed inventor. It has five original tracks by Eddy Hu. Instead of dying and restarting, players can use a rewind mechanism where you will go back four seconds when you hit something. The team said that prevents frustration of the players and allow for players of all types and ages to play and enjoy the game.