Cognitile is a game of surprises, both pleasant and painful. On the one hand it's a refreshingly new style of game - about memorising paths through jungle temples in order to snaffle up bags of ancient treasure.
On the other it's all about forgetting - about the painful shock when a lump of rock crunches down on your Indiana-like explorer when he's inches away from grabbing the gold, or when the path you've drawn leads you directly into the mouth of a giant cobra.
Path of least resistance
The game takes place in two phases. First you get a premonition of what's about to happen. You'll see the traps that are set to be sprung, the snakes that are set to burst out of the ground, and the poisonous gas clouds that are about to be emitted.
After that you need to draw a path for your explorer, remembering where the beasts and holes are going to appear and avoiding them. The first few levels walk you through the concept and the danger signs, with each new task adding different hazards.
Cleverly, the whole thing works on time, so you know where you need to be to survive each passing second. And as the game progresses you'll find that some obstacles clear as the clock ticks away, meaning you'll need to double-back on yourself in order to get to the treasure unscathed.
Pretty soon you're having to memorise around 20 seconds of traps and deadly fates, carving out a path around the level that's safe for long enough for you to get to the goal. In many cases you'll start beside the treasure, but you'll have to travel around the houses to grab it.
Death by misadventure
Cognitile is a clever and entertaining game that deserves praise for trying something new. The one finger, line-drawing controls mean anyone can play, and the bite-sized levels let you snatch a game in the spare minutes of the day.
The gorgeous graphics add to a package that's hard to fault in terms of presentation. There are a few niggles elsewhere, though, with difficulty spikes and a lack of variety chief among them.
However, with a level editor that lets you build and share your own puzzles, there's certainly enough content here that you're unlikely to get bored. Cognitile is an exciting, new way to play, and for that alone you should check it out.