From the lead gameplay designer of Limbo and Inside, Cocoon is a similarly unique puzzle platformer. The innovative game is set across a number of distant alien planets with their own strange physics. You play as a bug-like alien stranded in an unusual corner of space. A completely silent game, you are given no instructions about how to proceed, but have to figure out a way home on your own.

The mechanics of Cocoon are simple enough. You move the character around and use one action button to interact with specific features of the environment. The puzzles lying ahead of you are relatively simple in the beginning, but gradually get very complex. 

The main interactive elements take the form of orbs that allow you to leap between different worlds. Both the orbs themselves and the world within have their own unique abilities and characteristics you need to manipulate to progress. These distinctly original mechanics are incredibly absorbing. The puzzles are hugely engaging and require a decent amount of creative thinking to work out how the various aspects interact with each other to clear your way. 

The imagination required to get your head around the strange alien landscape makes every step of your progress massively satisfying. There are very few moments in Cocoon where the solution to an obstacle is immediately obvious. It’s easy to stop noticing the passage of time while you dig into the excellent weirdness of this world. 

Despite the challenge, the game is so wonderfully structured that it rarely, if ever, feels frustrating. The game is expertly constructed in such a way that paces the progression logically, and the puzzles flow effortlessly into each other. This fine-tuned structure gives the game a sense of narrative despite the lack of an explicitly stated story.

Each new quirk you are introduced to makes sense in the context of the world you have experienced so far. Every new thing you learn builds to give you the skills to not only traverse the alien landscape, but also take on the enormous and terrifying guardians that protect each world.

The setting itself is stunning. Each of the interconnected worlds has a clear and distinct identity, but they are all equally beautiful. The colors are bold and vibrant, the animation is fluid throughout, and the effort that has gone into the design of even small background details is truly impressive. Even without text, the way the environment is crafted, the different biomes are connected, and every area populated by the wreckage of ancient civilisations provides plenty of clues to piece together a story far larger than your own.

Cocoon takes the expectations set by Limbo and Inside and elevates the gameplay experience to a whole new level. It is an incredibly well designed game in every aspect, with a gorgeous sense of style and an excellent balance between intelligent puzzle construction and simple mechanics. It is intuitive and engaging and, while it can be beaten in a relatively short time, captures you fully for the entire process.