Tuesday, 20 March 2012

7drl reviews: Cogmind

Cogmind by Kyzrati

Available here

OK, well this is a good game. SF setting, you are a robot. I'm sure there's a plot but I'm tired of typing them out, honestly! Basically you go about, being robotic. There are all these parts to pick up which are equipment for different slots. There's also other robots going about doing stuff, including excavating robots which excavate the level, which is like time-lapse procedural generation of the level and therefore pretty cool.

Although the presentation is absolutely excellent (written in C++ with sdl) the display can be a little confusing and intimidating to begin with. It's obvious that there is a lot of complexity both beneath the surface and on it. Pressing F1 shows the keys, of which there are a lot: dropping items, detaching pieces of equipment from yourself, activating and deactivating equipment, firing, moving, etc.

There's even sound effects in the game, although a limited selection, so you may find they grate after a bit, but having any sound at all marks a roguelike above its fellows. The text appears and disappears with a cool effect too.

The items in the world are also confusing to start with. You start off in an area with tons of stuff around you, all different letters, symbols and colours, and you can't make sense of it all. It's not like say nethack where you start off with a limited number of things around you so you can gradually learn what's what. Fortunately when you are over something on the floor it shows what it is in the "scan" section of the screen, and pressing x allows you to mouseover or key over items in the world to learn what they are.

The first level you start on (I think it's the scrap heap) gets you used to picking things up and equipping them and also combat. It felt slightly wrong to shoot the poor little other robots since they weren't attacking me, but I was stuck for what to do at the time and the excavators seemed to have finished excavating the level. They do blow up satisfyingly into their constituent parts.

Eventually I found the stairs and went to the real first level and wow, that's when the action begins. You can't take 5 paces without getting your wheels shot off! Fun and cool, although rather tough! It's rather exciting and different to have multiple enemies chasing you around shooting at you.

Then I hit a bug while equipping an assault rifle and it was all over. NOoooooooooooo!

What a shame! I hope the author can fix this bug because it's a great game, and random crashes hurt great games. What am I typing today! It's like a robot reconfigurized my brain!


  1. Totally thanks for that screenshot, since it looks like you were looking at the item stats screen and closing it while attaching the item. Maybe that'll help me find the bug. There's just so many moving parts in the game that it's possible people will use them in ways I never did myself, and cause crashes. My and several others have played for quite a while without crashing the game, though, so you should be able to play more. People have been making it to the mid-game without problems.

    I'll look into fixing some of the bugs so everyone can enjoy the game without worrying about crashes.

  2. One question: Were you using the mouse for input? I never use it myself--always go with the kb since that's much faster once you know all the commands. I'm pretty sure the mouse usually works, but if it eventually started causing errors I wouldn't know since I never tested it beyond the initial implementation.

  3. I was just looking at this, and realized it may be a problem with your system and/or DLLs, not a problem with the game itself. It probably wouldn't happen if I wasn't relying Microsoft's runtime library, but I have yet to switch to another compiler.

    Example/possible solutions can be found here: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=9478-HMOQ-2519

    I'll still be looking into the game crashes though, and soon, since I know there are a couple problems hiding somewhere, they just never happen to me when I play... lucky me :)

  4. I found the error that may have led to your crash. When you use a storage container and it's destroyed, your inventory display may show items you don't actually have in your possession, so when you try to do something with them it might sometimes crash. Already fixed for the next release (not out yet).

    Sorry for spamming you with comments :)

  5. No problem. My blog doesn't see much action normally!

  6. Bugfix has been released, solving the UI crash issues. Feel free to try the game out again! (I've also started a high score competition for the players who are *really* into it.)