Cogmind Major Update #13

Roguelike and ASCII plus game Cogmind just got a very major update. What was already a very interesting game just got even more so with new plot points, items, opponents, and tons of other goodness. Haven’t played Cogmind? You definitely should as it’s unlike any other roguelike out there.

While some roguelikes still feel very 1994’ish, this one is retro by design. The ASCII like interface is alive, and not just with changing numbers. Anytime you’re hit your interface will crack and degrade. The whole system feels alive, not just the bit you’re controlling.

There is a story to it not just some random romp through a procedurally generated world. Now I’ve not survived long enough to get much of a feel for it but what I’ve seen so far is pretty cool. At the core you’re a special robot that has escaped from the scrap heap with no memories. And, for whatever reason, the main computer is out to get you.

I really enjoy building and creating my robot as I struggle to survive. It feels like an odd version of mechwarrior except the odds are totally against you. In most cases it’s unwise to stand and fight, instead engaging your hover mode and picking your own engagement down the line.

The biggest thing I struggle with is putting all the bits together. There’s a lot going on in this game. Whens it best to have wheels? Or legs? Or tracks? But on the plus side there’s good documentation and everything happens one move at a time. So it’s no issue to step into trouble and thoroughly research what the hell just happened. It makes for some very tense moments as you make the next few (possibly last few) moves.

The game does a really great job of presenting you the information in a stylish manner. The EM pulse gun shows the type of layout that is common. A stylized ASCII graphic followed by a ton of information. Each and every item is laid out the same way, I think it’s over 800 individual items at this point.

While it is still in early release, the game is very playable. I’ve yet to encounter any bugs. The dev has stated he plans on moving the game to Steam eventually and those who purchase it will get Steam keys.

The whole game has a satisfying feel to the interface that shows thoughtful design can overcome the lack of graphics. In this case if he did try to add a graphical layer it would totally obscure the minimalist layout. It feels like you’re in control of some odd little alien robot, not just watching the control.

The visual updates are great too, they are almost always gifs of the particular feature.

Just in a scan of the page you can get an idea if this is your sort of game. And to show a feature? Well, what better way to show it than to actually show it!

If you’re not into roguelikes or prefer more graphics this might not be for you. But it’s well beyond the visual hurdle that is Dwarf Fortress even if it’s in a similar vein. The visual style and interactive gameplay make it unique all to itself. I’m not normally a fan of paying for early access but this game is well beyond a half bugged out software test. The dev is extremely open about what he’s doing and what is in line for the future.

So go check it out at


Gamer, Author, Engineer, Dad.

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