Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Pelit (Finland)
    Jan 12, 2013
    Gabriel Knight is a prime example of an excellent adventure game. This tribute is almost as good as the Jane Jensen's work and it's just the first episode of the game.
  2. Nov 29, 2012
    For a first effort and a brand-new IP, Phoenix Online Studios has done an admirable job. Although in places Cognition's graphics are little rough and the writing's a little unnatural, it offers us an adult-level adventure game full of interesting mechanics, a professional voice cast, great music and a compelling heroine. After playing the first Erica Reed episode, I have no doubt there will be future ones and no doubt that through them, Phoenix Online will iron out the remaining kinks and create for us a truly memorable adventure series.
  3. Nov 16, 2012
    Ultimately, Cognition is a good start, and at its core, a quality adventure game.
  4. Nov 10, 2012
    With their debut defects, but with tension, emotion and a plot that hooks you up, Phoenix Online Studio brings us the first episode of an adventure with huge potential.
  5. Mar 5, 2013
    As a first episode, The Hangman does more right than it does wrong.
  6. Feb 20, 2013
    The investigation of Erica Reed is a good mix of ideas, that can transmit the emotions of the characters and explain very well the events occurred during the gameplay. Cinematics are good as well as the in-game graphic “drawing style”, but there are many defects on animations that lower the technical global quality. Puzzles are good and mixed well in the context in which Erica trying to find her real dimension. The game presents a good characterization of the main character, explaining her gift - the cognition - with the right reasons.
  7. Jan 31, 2013
    Despite its minor flaws, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller delivers strong emotions and makes you feel like a real FBI agent.
  8. CD-Action
    Jan 6, 2013
    Cognition feels like some old game by Sierra and this is its biggest strength. [1/2013, p.72]
  9. Nov 9, 2012
    After the hectic prologue I wanted to give up, but I am happy I hung in there. Erica's supernatural abilities are the highlight of the puzzle design. It feels fresh to "summon" old evidence or victims to get new information. The start to this series is far from perfect but it definitely sparked my curiosity.
  10. Apr 2, 2013
    The game opening is especially powerful and it manages to keep that momentum for a while before feeling like it's slowed down too much. It ramps things up for a fun interrogation sequence and an exciting ending.
  11. Mar 1, 2013
    Cognition is a good surprise for crime lovers: thanks to its gameplay, the game makes the player feel really inside the story. If Phoenix will go ahead like this, it will become a very important actor in the adventure game genre.
  12. Jan 30, 2013
    While it shares lots of flaws with its brethren of the genre, this point-and-click adventure game has enough going for it with its story and cognition mechanics to make it worth playing.
  13. Oct 31, 2012
    Though flawed, the first episode of Cognition leaves a great final impression and sets up a series that could become a major achievement for episodic adventure gaming.
  14. Jan 7, 2013
    The Hangman gets Cognition off to a promising start despite a few design and technical flaws. Genre aficionados should take note.
  15. Jan 23, 2013
    There are a fair number of things to like in Cognition and it certainly represents a promising start to the series. While it's not quite up to the "modern adventure" standard set by The Blackwell Deception at least Phoenix Online are trying, and I was pleased to see and feel how much thought and effort had gone into all the components.
  16. Nov 4, 2012
    A 2GB large (but only about 5 hour long) adventure game heavy on graphics and dialogue but light on challenges and not particularly compelling. I gotta rule this one for big fans of the genre only.
  17. Jan 27, 2013
    The game demonstrates a solid understanding of point-and-click fundamentals that work, but don't exactly set the genre on fire, and what players end up with is an adventure title that has the elements it needs to be intriguing but can't quite seem to fit all the pieces together yet.
  18. Dec 20, 2012
    With this fantastic themed thriller, Phoenix Online Studio manages to capture the attention of the player, despite serious shortcomings in terms of production values. The Erica Reed character is compelling, and one may be hooked by this first episode.
  19. Mar 4, 2013
    Cognition fails not from a lack of execution, but from a lack of imagination.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 5 out of 19
  1. Dec 3, 2012
    I love the concept behind Cognition, one of the things I enjoyed the most have got to be the music and the voice acting, hands down amazing.I love the concept behind Cognition, one of the things I enjoyed the most have got to be the music and the voice acting, hands down amazing. Some puzzles seemed a bit more impossible than others but, overall loved how dark it is and I can't wait for Episode 2 :) Full Review »
  2. Dec 3, 2012
    I've had the opportunity to play Episode 1 and couldn't put it down. The art style of this adventure game is top notch. Some of the puzzlesI've had the opportunity to play Episode 1 and couldn't put it down. The art style of this adventure game is top notch. Some of the puzzles left me scratching my head for hours until the inevitable "Ah-ha!" moment.

    Can't wait to see how the story unfolds.
    For me, this game is 5 stars. Best adventure game I've played since the Black Mirror series.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 18, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. After having played this game for more than seven hours, I can safely say that this has been the frustrating gaming experience I've had in a while. I've played a lot of games made on small budgets but this is just something else.

    Gameplay is infuriating. Puzzles range from too easy to too hard. Players will find themselves going back and forth between locations and completing repetitive tasks. There are just so many menial tasks that need to be completed for minimal progression. For example, in order to get someone to talk, you have to offer them three different types of food that you get from three different places in different locations. While this certainly lengthens gameplay, it's doing it in the wrong way, and makes the pace unbearable. This is not to mention half the time players are struggling with simply how to interact with the world.

    The narrative is uninspired and unengaging. I'm 90% through the episode and I still don't care about any of the cliche characters or the victims of any of the crimes. The story is also incredible, and not in the good way. The game starts off with the detective being willing to subject herself to torture, and pulling a gun on her partner who tries to stop her, all because she wants to save her brother. Seriously? Oh, and by the way, the game is unplayable without a walkthrough - you'll be left wondering "what now?" so many times you might as well just watch someone play through the entire thing on youtube.

    I purchased this game because I've always been a fan of point and click adventures, but beware that you're in for an extremely frustrating experience that won't give you a fraction of the enjoyment as games from Telltale. Seriously, I don't even know if this game deserves a 1.
    Full Review »