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Puzzle game collection CosmOS 9 is a gentle introduction to the genre

Games sent from space to puzzle neophytes

A new collection of indie puzzle games released today aims to give a broad and gentle introduction to many puzzling subgenres. Wrapped up in that idea that they're all pulled from a mysterious alien games console, CosmOS 9 packs nine games that are each meant to take 30-90 minutes. I've played a few and they seemed puzzle game staples, having me drawing paths through blocks, figure out how a mysterious computer interface worked, and such. See the breadth of the cosmic puzzling experience in the trailer below.

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So, the CosmOS 9 is a fictional console found floating in space. It contained nine games, which offer a fair range of typical puzzle experiences: Sokoban block-pushing, giving machines instructions to follow, tinkering with the unexplained interface of a strange computer to figure out what anything even does, a puzzle-platformer, a simple city-builder, and more.

"Puzzle games are still quite a niche genre, an alien experience to most players out there. This is a message to them," the makers say. Each game is by a different person or team. The group say the games "have been fine-tuned to provide inviting difficulty curves, friendly challenges and constant thought-provoking surprises." Yeah, seems so.

Line-drawing puzzling in a Linelith screenshot.

I've played four of the CosmOS 9 games. Linelith is perhaps the one I like most, a game of drawing routes through irregular grids while making contact with specific squares a certain number of times. It's nice and gentle to drag out lines, and unwind them if you take a wrong turn. The puzzles are scattered across a space you can explore freely (we play as a cute legged rock), tackling them in the order you want, which is nice. They escalate gently, eventually introducing new ideas like Sokoban-y rock-pushing or using your rock critter as a puzzle piece. Yeah, I'll keep on at this.

I did also quite like Frequency Dissonance, a small game about a wee robot with simple orders to charge a gun. But it's about not doing what you're told, of poking around to discover new opportunities, unlocking different endings. It's small and short, but I like the idea of someone discovering they can break rules.

The CosmOS 9 bundle is available on Steam and Itch for £10.20. You can buy the games individually too, but the bundle offers a 55% discount on the lot. See the CosmOS 9 website for more info.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.