Once you have spent some time exploring the orange canyons that are located in the entrance section of Cocoon, you will come upon a curving groove in the ground that looks like a grin with indented lips. You take hold of a giant metallic ball that is located at one of the edges, and you pull and grip it until it grudgingly leaves its rectangular foundation. However, it is still linked by a thread of chewing gum. As the gum’s elasticity reaches its maximum, the base begins to move as well, moving across the lips in a manner that is similar to opening a zipper.
The excitement of Cocoon, which is a puzzle adventure, lies not only in the process of finding out how to proceed and conquer challenges, but also in the way that it is carried out. Given that the beetle-winged humanoid you are guiding about can only affect the environment via the use of a single action button, and there being nothing else to work with in close proximity, it is a logical action to take hold of the ball in this particular scenario. By dragging the zipper along the groove, you are able to activate a platform. The job is finished. The act of pushing a lever, on the other hand, is not nearly as satisfying as this activity.
The pink flesh that ripples as the zipper travels, the pliability of the gum, and the tinfoil-like appearance of the ball are all characteristics that are present. This is all quite tactile in nature.
Cocoon creates fascinating puzzles that take place inside bright landscapes that might have been used to decorate the covers of progressive rock albums. These puzzles are accompanied by gloomy synthesisers that could have also been used to bless the vinyl that is included in the record. The process of pushing switches and activating bridges at this location is not the same as merely pressing switches and activating bridges. It is essentially a huge, flat robot insect that rears up and embeds its front claws in the canyon wall. Even the platform that reacts to the zipper is truly a robot bug. During these and many other times, Cocoon is appropriately and deliciously strange. It assembles ordinary notions in unique combinations, wrapping them in plastics, metals, and organic matter that seem both familiar and foreign at the same time. The questions that are raised are ones that no one will address.
One little planet
As you get deeper into the game, the riddles improve in terms of their level of difficulty. This is mostly due to Cocoon’s star feature, which you will first encounter when you approach a type of spherical rubber platform in the sand. You will then push your action button to activate it, and then you will watch as your beetle person soars up and out of the globe itself. At this point, you find yourself in a drab industrial setting, and the world that you were in only a second earlier is only visible here as a magnificent orange marble. In the event that you engage with it, you will hoist it onto your back and carry it about like an ant carrying a little seed.
This orb-world serves as a form of power cell in the strange environment that you have found yourself in. By placing it on miniature plinths, you may either make skeletal bridges emerge or summon platforms that are smooth and made of plastic. It is possible to find certain plinths that allow you to return to the orange planet in its original state, exactly where you left it. There is a possibility that you may discover a method to move an obstruction in one world using a mechanism in the other world if you warp back and forth somewhat.
Nevertheless, this is only the beginning of things. The number of options increases dramatically if you have acquired two orbs, three orbs, or four orbs, each of which is a universe of its own.
There are those sequences in which you are confined to a single world for an extended period of time, moving ahead without being concerned with the place that it has in the larger scheme of things. Each new biome is a revelation since it shows the types of machines that live there as well as the types of organisms that live there, as well as how the two types of organisms work together in a synchronised lockstep. Some additional sequences concentrate on one of the orb’s distinctive abilities, such as the way orange solidifies normally invisible walkways inside its aura, generating new pathways in the grey world and, later on, a swampy green world, but only while you are holding it.
In the end, travelling to other parts of the globe becomes an absolute must, and Cocoon takes the notion to some very remarkable ends. In the event that you are required to transport the orange orb, for instance, but this leads you to a location where you need the green orb, what would you do? What do you think of putting the green in the orange world first and then recovering it after you get to your destination? Cocoon grows in an iterative manner and will not let you stray too far from the intended path, even if it may take a few minutes for each of the concept’s implications to appear in their proper location. Until you discover yourself dealing with physical paradoxes as if they were second nature, their riddles are brilliant but not complex, endlessly bizarre but logical. At that point, you will find yourself working with them.
There are instances when it requires you to think a little bit more broadly, going backwards a little bit in order to get what you want, and it may be challenging to recall where you were in a world if you haven’t been there for a lengthy period of time. However, it never makes you feel overwhelmed or gives you the opportunity to get lost.
The incredible feeling of relativity that the globe-hopping riddles inspire is what actually makes them so intriguing. It is not only the fact that the puzzles are clever and well-organised that makes them so fascinating. In a single breath, your whole universe is reduced to a simple item in the next breath. Despite the fact that it is a whimsical picture of cosmic scale, in which the magnitude of a planet is only a marble on the backdrop of the cosmos, it is also an expression of interwoven ecosystems, which only work in harmony with one another. All of these marbles are necessary for life, and you are an additional component of their total. You are a seemingly small insect, yet you are also the agent that is transforming the planet.
The wonderful audiovisual design of Cocoon, which offers a rich setting for puzzles, never takes a break under any circumstances. They make no sense at first, but as soon as you play around with them, they start to make perfect sense. They build on what has gone before, and there is no way that you can anticipate what will happen next. Kaleidoscope architecture is characterised by the incorporation of natural landscapes into cellular buildings, which are always accompanied by a touch of the mundane that can be understood in a single second.
In the same way as bars gate airport escalators, pillars protrude from the ground and are spaced wide enough for you to pass through but not for an orb. This ensures that you are able to enter, but a tram is unable to do so. As you go through the fields of lollipop plants, they wobble like rubbery mushrooms you could encounter. You are encircled by a transport vessel with the accuracy of a clank-click, and then you suddenly see that it looks like a gigantic jam sandwich cookie.
It’s not often that puzzles have felt as satisfying as they do in Cocoon, which is a game about the texture of riddles.