I started playing Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller, Episode 2: The Wise Monkey (Cognition Episode 2, for short; deal?) a few months ago, but abandoned ship when I got kinda stuck and realised I likely wouldn’t finish it in time for my review deadline. Er, that was back in September 2013.
Fast-forward 11 months and I randomly decided to go back to it, freeing up 1.1GB of vital space on my iPad and enjoying myself immensely in the process.
For those unfamiliar with the Cognition series, it’s a “serial killer adventure” delivered in a point and click package. What’s not to like?
Each of the four episodes (only two are available on the iPad at present, but I’m chasing up the final two) focuses on a single serial killer, though there’s inevitably a twist at the end tying the episode in with the overarching thingamajig.
In Cognition Episode 2, Erica’s partner Sully is quickly kidnapped by a crazed female posing as the new office assistant (who’s later found in the boot of a car), and if there was any doubt about this woman meaning business, she leaves Sully’s ear behind. Bleurgh.
Sully happened to be investigating a serial killer with the nickname The Wise Monkey, with a solitary fingerprint focusing the investigation on a missing female student, presumed to be the killer.
Needless to say, Erica inherits the Wise Monkey case, and by this point she's come to terms with her weird psychic abilities, and indeed – with the help of Rose at the antique shop – learned to harness them in order to help solve crimes.
Projection can be used when there are three linked items in a room or at a crime scene; regression involves making physical contact with someone; and synergy can be used on items in your inventory.
Cognition Episode 2 isn’t without its problems, primarily the fact that it tends to hang briefly after tapping on something, so there are times when you’ll wonder if the game has registered your touch. (I’m playing on an iPad 3; minimum requirements specify iPad 2).
There’s a section near the end where repeatedly trialling combinations of items in synergy feels more laborious than it needs to be, again thanks to that lag, but it’s easily negated with a little patience.
And on the whole, it failed to ruin my Cognition Episode 2 experience. The subject matter is pretty dark (the titular Wise Monkey is so-called because he/she has a habit of removing eyes, tongues and ears), though the game still manages the odd funny moment.
Erica Reed remains hugely likeable, too, continually bending the rules for the greater good (surreptitiously obtaining the Director’s signature, picking locks…), with excellent voice work by the beautiful Raleigh Holmes (*swoons*).
A classic bugbear with point and click things is the element of randomness, but as before, you can always text your in-game dad for advice if you get stuck, so you’re never really left hanging.
Ultimately, I’m now hungry for Cognition Episodes 3 & 4, which can only be a good thing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to beat the publisher with a big stick.
- Point and click? Good
- Serial killers? Good
- Erica Reed/Raleigh Holmes
- Wee bit laggy
- Eh, are Episodes 3 & 4 coming to the iPad?
- Pretty gruesome (admittedly a Pro, for some)
Summary: Cognition Episode 1 was fantastic, so it comes as little surprise to find that Episode 2 delivers more of the same. Recommended for fans of point and click adventures or serial killers, and if you like both, well, it’s a no-brainer.
Developer: Phoenix Online Studios
Price: £2.49 @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.1 or later. Compatible with iPad.