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Cogmind is a sci-fi roguelike about building yourself from salvaged parts


A search of our archives reveals we haven't yet written about Cogmind, so let's take its recent Alpha 2 update as an opportunity to do so. It's a roguelike with a sci-fi twist. You play as a robot who can salvage upgrades and parts from other robots. As such, improvement is tied to exploration. The more cool shit you find, the more choice you'll have as to what to bolt to your body.

Here's a trailer.

You'll notice that, while Cogmind borrows from the visual style of traditional roguelikes, it isn't ASCII-based—and seems reasonably easy to parse. It reminds me of Brogue, which, through colour, shading and a clean interface, managed to be of one of most easy to play pure-ASCII roguelikes I've ever had the pleasure of dying in.

"Attach power sources, propulsion units, utilities, and weapons to become a slow tank bristling with weapons, or a fast-moving flier zipping past enemies before they even have time to react, or a stealthy sword-wielding assassin/hacker, or whatever else you can come up with from the salvage you find," explains the official site's description. "The situation can quickly change as you lose components and rebuild yourself from enemy remains."

Cogmind is in early access, although its developer notes that it's "functionally complete". The most recent update—the first major one since its alpha release—works to "perfect" the interface.

For more on Cogmind, check out its official site.

Phil has been PC gaming since the '90s, when RPGs had dice rolls and open world adventures were weird and French. Now he's the deputy editor of PC Gamer; commissioning features, filling magazine pages, and knowing where the apostrophe goes in '90s. He plays Scout in TF2, and isn't even ashamed.