For the indies
The independent scene has become one of the main pillars of the medium. While super productions go through tough times due to financial and business problems, the so-called indies show their best cards, promoting innovation and the true values of gaming. To prove the above, what we saw in 2023, a year full of big deliveries that came from least expected angles and with really limited resources. name Jeppe Carlsen This is one of the most important of the whole movement, because he was not only a pioneer with things like limbo, but it made us realize that such production can compete with any other quality. After leaving Plaid, he also finished his jewels insideThe Danish creative joined a new company to work on his new project, which finally reached us under this name the cocoon.
As I told you a few moments ago, one of the great advantages of independent or low-cost development is that you can take important risks without major consequences, that is, to test crazy ideas, both at the conceptual level and in a new generation. One. IP, as well as the game mechanics themselves. As we have seen in Carlson’s last two works, the cocoon It is a game that takes a brutally different path from what is currently being done, presenting a completely minimal and simple control interface, which works in a highly sophisticated puzzle environment, resulting in a truly special and very special video game that from the moment You drink, it impresses you with the idea that it is difficult to imagine how they were sanctioned and then executed in such a good way.
As the years progressed, video games followed a natural cycle of sophistication in all categories. The graphics are more realistic than ever, the controls have more and more buttons, and of course, the mechanics have become complex and sometimes difficult to interact with, especially for beginners. Despite the above, there are also a group of developers who have found beauty in simplicity and precisely on that, they have created new, highly specialized concepts. the cocoon It’s proof that less is more and even just using analog and a button you can create great dynamics we’ve never seen before.
Talk about its narrative the cocoon It’s pretty complicated because of how vague it is. As with other works by Jeppe Carlsen, we don’t have a single line of dialogue here. The game begins when our character appears to have landed in an unknown world from outer space, which he begins to explore with the aim of eradicating the multiple monsters that plague him. The ending doesn’t do much more, leaving us with a sense of vital emptiness with the express purpose of drawing our own conclusions and making our own interpretations. If you don’t like this kind of obscure story, you will definitely feel lost in this game, but then again, that’s the author’s style.
In addition to the manner in which he carries his narrative, the cocoon It’s a game that clearly regrets carrying over any elements that aren’t completely and utterly essential. What I mean by this is that we’re looking at a title that doesn’t have any kind of graphical interface; That is, it never tells you “you do this with a button.” The title depends entirely on what it presents you in its own world so that you can guess what to do next And does all this work? Yes, it’s actually better than it should be. Despite the above, the experience doesn’t flow like anything else and you can make your way through its complex puzzles if you have the slightest sense of logic.
After saying the above I am telling you the cocoon A game focused entirely on puzzles with an aerial view that takes a very interesting isometric point of view on more than one occasion, leaving aside the 2D perspective. inside y limbo. There are no battles as such, but there are battles against bosses where we have to use different elements to defeat them, which in fact presents us with a broad problem that we have to solve under pressure. The interesting thing about it is that, as I already mentioned, everything works with analog and the simple use of a single button. Without further ado. It blows my mind how such advanced things are achieved with such a simple interface.
But well, what makes the gameplay the cocoon? At first you will feel that the game is going in a fun, but quite normal way. The problems it asks us to solve are moving a sphere, flipping a switch or activating a moving platform. All very well designed, but nothing out of the ordinary. Things start to get really crazy when you realize that the sphere you’ve been carrying around for a long time is actually an entire world that you can enter at certain times to resolve situations that affect the other world you were in. This idea goes beyond the stratosphere when you find another world, where you can find the first sphere. Yes, a world within another world. You can imagine how things are when you find a fourth sphere.
How what I’m telling you works is too complicated to explain with just words, but for now, I just see them as puzzles that require actions in different worlds that can contain themselves and when and how we as players can decide. Change those. Yes, I know it sounds really complicated and the truth is that I can’t imagine how Jeppe Carlsen proposed all this, for example, his team of programmers. I can’t even imagine how you capture such abstract ideas and then put them into a planning document for subsequent execution. That’s the best thing about this whole thing the cocoon It doesn’t use a word to explain it to you, it just presents it and trusts the user’s intelligence
In addition to the above, we have that each sphere or world we find gives us a new type of energy. For example, the first allows certain platforms to appear when we are loading it, while the second shows certain objects or invisible When we interact with them. As you probably already imagine, these mechanics combine with other puzzles and, of course, change things in the entire world. the cocoon In a highly sophisticated game of design that starts from very simple concepts and foundations. I think we rarely come across a clear example of what it means to be elegant in video game design. Simply brilliant.
Undoubtedly, the one thing that attracted the most attention limbo When it was launched 13 years ago, it was notable for its graphic and artistic style. All this dark black and white captured us thanks to the deep atmosphere created around the whole adventure. This matter remained inside, but now with the precise touch of color that has created something in us. Having already left Plaid, the Danish creative has decided to take a significantly different path the cocoonA much more colorful one with the clear intention of not only being aesthetic but also contributing to the gaming experience.
The decision to insert so many colors the cocoon It’s clear. Since it doesn’t have any kind of graphical interface, the game needs all the visual aids possible so that we players don’t feel lost. To achieve the above, each game world was assigned a color. The first is an orange desert, the second is a kind of rain swamp where green tones reign and thus, each place is easily recognizable so that you always know clearly where you stand and yes, it works in a great way as an example of how it is. Even a game’s graphics and visual style can be used to enhance gameplay.
In terms of art direction we still have a title that is a far cry from Jeppe Carlsen’s previous works. Both our characters, as well as the worlds we visit and the people who inhabit them, feature all manner of insects that are part organic and part mechanical. It looks like a civilization created almost everything we see eons ago, making the experience even more mysterious. Music helps a lot with all of this, as it is quite infrequent and when it does appear, it usually conveys a strong sense of solitude. It is important to mention that the game is made in Unity and above all, the effect created when you switch between one world and another at will is really impressive.
For this review we use the Xbox series. Of course, the latest Microsoft machine is perfect for this type of game, so you usually get great results in terms of image quality and overall performance. I have a huge doubt about how the Switch version works, especially in terms of how you instantly switch between worlds. It is likely that the cocoon Good luck with Nintendo’s hybrid, as it will surely find its largest market there, but it needs to be confirmed.
The first time you see it may be a shock the cocoon It will not be as strong as it was with limbo, but I assure you that Geometric Interactive is delivering a beautiful game full of colors that correctly uses its artistic style in favor of its core gameplay design, a problem we don’t often see in the medium. The designs of both the main characters and the enemies are very outstanding and make you feel like you’re in a place you shouldn’t be, but it holds a huge secret that you just can’t stop chasing.
The independent scene has grown from just another part of the medium into an entire institution from which some of the most important developers and creatives of all time have emerged. I believe that for some time the name of Jeppe Carlsen has occupied a privileged place in all this and now the cocoon, simply confirms how special he is when it comes to making video games, because in a completely different studio than the one that made him famous, he delivers perhaps his most sophisticated and advanced work yet. What’s interesting about this whole thing is that we’re not dealing with a pretentious and over-complicated title as it could be. the witnessFor example, no, here we have a very fun game that goes from very simple basics to surprising us with great ideas, always putting the fun first.
Thanks to its impeccable and very elegant design, deep atmosphere and mysterious story, the cocoon It has become a new gem of a medium that is facing real surprises in 2023, and a new triumph of independent development involving small teams and modest budgets. Once again, it became clear to us that a good part of the future of this industry probably lies not in multi-million dollar AAA super productions and year-long processes, but in titles with much more realistic use-achievable objectives. Wealth is another game that you just can’t miss for anything and that too, with a duration that doesn’t exceed five hours, it’s ideal for any weekend getaway and a time that’s not only very fun, but highly memorable and will undoubtedly leave you . Some if you like this kind of entertainment, of course, this is art in the full sense of the word.