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Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller (PC) artwork

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller (PC) review

"If you’re a fan of point-and-click games or want to get into the genre then grab Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller"

When I first encountered Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, it was in a bundle -It looked interesting but I put it on the back burner since I was busy with other games. Fast forward a few years, I asked my friends on Steam what game I should play as a break from my usual things, and this title came up. After looking into I realized this seemed like a great idea! I had not played a point-and-click adventure game in a while, the other reviews seemed positive and it was recommended by friends as well. Drawn in by the comic book art style and the opportunity to play a female protagonist I booted the game up and instantly became addicted. This title offers a solid story, good gameplay and hours of fun for any gamer.


Dive into a gritty detective story filled with twists and turns: The story is told in four separate episodes, all focusing on the titular character, Erica Reed. She’s an FBI agent from Boston who has special psychic powers that help her see the past and even into people’s memories. Three years prior to the game, Erica’s brother was brutally murdered by a serial killer and this haunts her throughout the whole game. I enjoyed the first two episodes a lot as they focused on Agent Reed solving cases, however the plot gets deeper by the third episode and things begin to focus mainly on Erica and her abilities. Not much can be said without giving away spoilers, but even at its weakest points the story kept me glued to my seat wanting to find out what would happen next.

Make choices that affect the story and solve interesting puzzles: At certain points in the game, you have the option to make choices which directly affect how the story goes. Granted, you’ll always end up in the same place at the end but there are slight differences, plus, if you want all the Steam achievements you’ll have to make different choices at different places. The game also has plenty of puzzles to keep you busy, they’re mainly all logic puzzles since you are playing a detective. Using Erica’s special abilities helps to solve cases and as the game goes on you’ll learn new tricks and ways to get to the answers you seek. The game also has modern tools, like searching the internet, for finding evidence and information.

Enjoy beautiful comic book inspired artwork and great voice acting: While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I loved this game aesthetically. It felt like I was in an actual comic book and created a great immersive experience. The game has cutscenes that help tell the story, all of which are fully voice acted by a great cast of characters. Despite Erica having a case of “Me accent be slipping” and some characters sounding a bit flat during dramatic moments, overall everyone does a good job. The background music also helps round out the package and soundtrack itself is available to purchase as well.


The story can get a bit convoluted: I really did love the story in this game, especially the first two chapters where you were doing actual detective work. However, the third and fourth chapters focus on Erica’s powers and a certain other character I won’t spoil. The entire third episode is spent in one apartment building, while it did explain some backstory it wasn’t much about Erica and slowed down the pacing of the game. The fourth episode did pick up a bit and gave a thrilling conclusion but I was still left with many questions.

The graphics engine is pretty wonky: After asking around about this issue, I found out this game was made with an older version of the Unity engine. Because of that, even at its highest graphical settings, the game just has many weird moments. Items float in mid-air, Erica’s body twists in unnatural ways and people’s faces do weird things. These weren’t enough to make me dislike the game, but they did take me out of the story when they happened. I had the game at the best graphics quality so perhaps I had these happen to me less than others would, but they still happened so fair warning.


If you’re a fan of point-and-click games or want to get into the genre then grab Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, as it is now you can buy all four episodes at once and marathon the whole story and I would say it’s worth the full price tag. It’s an older game and certainly not perfect, be warned that Erica moves at a snail’s pace and isn’t always very reactive to where you click, but I feel the good story makes up for the game’s faults. It has Steam trading cards and achievements that aren’t too hard to collect. Be ready to sink a good amount of time into this game, however, this title does have violence in it and a bit of crude language so young ones and parents be mindful of this.


Usagi's avatar
Community review by Usagi (February 22, 2017)

Read my reviews here or via Lunar Productions

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