Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller Episode 1: The Hangman
Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is an engrossing narrative with truly evocative atmosphere. This chilling point-and-click adventure is a thought-provoking mystery following Erica Reed, a Boston-based FBI agent, haunted by the unsolved case of a serial killer who took her brother’s life. Taking a turn for the strange, Erica unravels her mystery with the help of her post-cognition abilities – seeing an object’s past with a touch. What unravels is a much greater, much more complex and enigmatic thriller, as it becomes clear that someone knows Erica’s secrets.
Engrossing, Episodic Narrative – As a fully narrative-driven game, Erica’s story is rife with intrigue and suspense over four episodes of thrilling mystery. Supported by voiced narration, this story is truly engaging.
Fully-Realized Characters – A very talented cast of voice actors rounds out the diverse characters with complex motivations. Each new character makes the game that much more dynamic.
Mind-Bending Challenges – This game is easy to pick up and play, but it certainly doesn’t skimp out on the challenging aspects of puzzling. Uncovering clues and putting pieces together make for a trial of one’s intuition and savvy.
Stunning Art – The breathtaking, hand-drawn art evokes the mood of the narrative. Intrinsic to the atmosphere of the game, dark hues paint gruesome scenes vividly.
All-Star Dev Team – Developed by a true indie “dream team,” the lineup includes comics artist Romano Molenaar and renowned designer Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter) lending her expertise to the story.
Your Choices Matter – Each episode features branching paths, different ways to be complete and solve key puzzles, ensuring different paths for Erica to take to solve the mystery.
Definitely worth your time, if you love point-and-clicksColsterJ | July 30, 2013 | See all ColsterJ's reviews »
This is Phoenix Online's first commercial adventure game series, and it's proving to be a strong start.
Cognition really succeeds in drawing you into the game world with its pacing, vibrant artwork and moody soundtrack. Aside from that, the puzzles are solidly designed and will likely satisfy most classic adventure game fans. They aren't too difficult, but they're not insultingly easy.
Erica as a character is pretty well fleshed out, and she is brought to life vividly through the voice work of Raleigh Holmes. The other characters tend to be less well-developed, but that doesn't affect the story too badly since the game is really centered around Erica's experiences. Her story is truly one of the most memorable among adventure games released in recent years, and you will see this especially if you continue past the first episode (please do!).
I highly recommend the game if you love classic point-and-click adventure games. It's certainly worth full price.
As far as negatives go, there are some minor technical issues from time to time, but they have become less noticeable in the following episodes, and there isn't anything game-breaking to worry about - just minor quirks.
Great story and gameplayckitten | June 28, 2013 | See all ckitten's reviews »
I love adventure games and I've been playing them for many many years. This game (and series) is a fantastic example of a great point n click adventure game. The music is great, very appropriate. The voice acting is really very good. The only character who is really developed is the main character, but this changes as the series continues (somewhat). The story is very engaging and interesting.
I love that the protagonist is a female, but isn't some sort of caricature of a woman. Her thoughts, motivations, and actions are not "masculine" or "feminine", they just make sense for her situation. This makes her an excellently formed character, well done Phoenix.
My only real complaint is that the main character walks soooooooo slowly. You get used to this eventually and it sort of even fits in with the suspenseful tone but still. It might be frustrating for some of you.
The puzzles are decent and I even got stuck for a while (even with the hinting system of texting your dad), so it's no walk in the park.
I would absolutely recommend purchasing this game and the full series as well as the story gets even better.
A good, first episodeCavalieroscuro | June 1, 2013 | See all Cavalieroscuro's reviews »
During this first episode, the longest until now (around six hours), Erica will face the killer of her brother Scott, with a new serial killer that hang his victims. The graphic is very good, with a nice use of cell shading and hand-made screens, the gameplay is solid, you must investigate using your powers to discover the truth. Soundtrack is amazing, expecially the main theme.
Well worth the pricekaushik911 | Dec. 21, 2012 | See all kaushik911's reviews »
I got this on sale at GMG, not expecting much. It really is a thriller; keeps you hooked. It's one of the better adventure games with a really intriguing art style. The storyline, character arcs, all feel very realistic, though there are times when things aren't immediately clear or things get boring. It provides a good 6 hours of gameplay - equivalent to some full length FPS games. The story is amazing; keeps it real yet manages to hook you in.
Music is average at best; but voice acting is very good. If you consider the budget of this game you should understand this is both a technical as well as aural achievement. I am looking forward to episode 2: Real thrillers; far better than most of the stuff on TV anyway. :D
Bring it on :)
Awesome adventureDukePaul | Dec. 7, 2012 | See all DukePaul's reviews »
This indie game offers an amazing art style, interesting plot and some very hard puzzles, the quality is very high and it feels like an adventure game from the golden age of the genre, all of this thanks to one of the developers, Jane Jensen, creator from Gabriel Knight and Gray Matter.
The music and voice acting are great and the main character is full of surprises, I don't want to say spoilers but you will see this adventure is very original thanks to the heroine of the game and the dark and thrilling story.
Right now I hope the Episode 2 will get a release date soon because this franchise looks promising.