Cogmind is a sci-fi roguelike epic in which you play a robot building yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Explore a living, breathing world through turn-based tactical combat, or sneak, hack, and fly your way to victory.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (203) - 97% of the 203 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Oct 16, 2017

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Cogmind is already a very complete experience, fully playable, balanced, and generally free of bugs. Thousands of players have been enjoying Cogmind since its pre-Steam alpha debut in 2015. But rather than a full release I've decided to use Early Access to indicate my intention to continue fleshing out the world even further with extra features and content.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Likely at least six months because there are a good many fun extras I'd really like to add, though there is no strict deadline as it depends on how much support there is to continue with what has already exceeded four years of work.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“With the main game essentially complete, there are a ton of optional features to begin exploring, some specific confirmed plans including built-in achievements, lots more challenge modes, more ambient audio, and a more nuanced robot hacking system.

In addition there are plenty of secret potential extras, but I can't promise or talk about them here :)”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Prior to Steam, many players have already logged hundreds of hours of play, as there's quite a lot to explore:
  • Nearly 1,000 different parts to attach, all with their own ASCII art
  • Dozens of robot classes, each with unique behavior in the ecosystem
  • Dozens of procedural map types, many embedded with hand-made areas
  • Extensive machine-hacking capabilities (nearly 100 hacks so far)
  • Hundreds of NPC encounters, thousands of lines of dialogue
  • Seven animated endings (lore and story are done!)
  • Everything has sounds--more SFX than any roguelike, ever

On the technical side Cogmind is extremely stable, with extensive automated testing and a team of private testers keeping release builds almost entirely bug-free. (Even players running on Linux/OSX via Wine also report a flawless experience.)”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“No price change is currently planned on exiting Early Access.

However, if enough time is invested in extra content before full release, among other factors, an increase may be considered.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“The open development process will remain the same as it has been since 2015, with frequent progress updates interspersed with release builds, and direct interaction with players to collect feedback and refine new features. Cogmind wouldn't be what it is today without the very community that enjoys it and aims to help make it an even better, smoother, more exciting experience.

A majority of feedback so far has come through the forums (, chat server ( and r/Cogmind (”
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Recent updates View all (24)

March 23

SITREP Saturday #16: Business as Usual

More achievement icons! We've got the final pass on two new categories here.

Special Challenges are probably not quite as obvious...

...whereas Progress-related achievements are more basic and numbery.

I've been talking about achievement "categories" for a while, but haven't gone into detail about what that actually means. Each achievement belongs to a certain category that gives a general idea of what type of achievement it is, determines the color scheme of its icon, and also enables it to be filtered along with others of its category via the in-game UI. There are so many achievements that after I'd formed a tentative list it seemed best to divide them up logically to aid both organization and understanding.

The six achievement categories:
  • Mechanics: A group of mostly basic achievements covering common useful tactics and learning about systems. Some of these serve as a way to teach (or at leas reinforce) features, too.
  • Style: Specifically play style-related achievements, like combat, stealth, hacking, etc. These are generally earned through normal play using a given style/strategy, and while some might be more challenging or require focus in a certain area, they're not difficult enough to be considered "special challenges " (another category).
  • Progress: Personal meta progress like high scores, lore/gallery coverage, and world exploration.
  • Challenges: This group doesn't have anything to do with Cogmind's "Challenge Modes," but is simply achievement-specific individual challenges ranging from Tier 1 (not too hard) to Tier 2 (hard) to Tier 3 (pretty hard!).
  • Events: Story-related elements. Basically once you've visited every location and exhausted all the branching possibilities of the plot, you'll have all of these. This category is entirely hidden, though, so these aren't achievements to be explicitly sought like a list. You've just gotta explore and use the in-game lore as clues.
  • Wins: There are a lot of different ways to win the game, whether achieving unique endings or simply winning by overcoming other challenging scenarios, so these get a whole category of their own.

Death and Taxes

So we've come upon another little speedbump on the way to Beta 6: tax season xD

Taxes have gotten more complicated this year--I have to file in two different countries now, so this'll be annoying. I could try to push Beta 6 out before the second country's deadline, but I'd rather not because the release shouldn't be about just achievements, so it's going to take longer than that!

Just a heads up that there's still lots to do on the list.


I heard from someone this week mentioning that POLYBOT-7 "really helped them understand Cogmind better," so maybe it's worth checking out for that reason, in addition to the fact that it's just an interesting different way to play a modular robot :)

In case you missed it, I released that game last week for 7DRL.

Since then I've also been working on a proper in-depth postmortem about its development, which you may be interested in checking out seeing as POLYBOT-7 is a very experimental alternative approach to the concept of Cogmind. The first two parts are already on the blog:
There are tons of details and diagrams/images in there--here are some excerpts:

The source code evolution of all my projects since 2011, which share the same code :P

Redesigning Cogmind's UI layout to meet new needs:

Alternative item color schemes:

In related news, one of our Cogmind experts (surprise surprise it was GJ) won P7 on New Game+++++ mode, which requires winning six times in a row, each run harder than the last.

Next time more on achievements, and an introduction to improvements to low-contrast mode.
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March 16

SITREP Saturday #15: Interlude

There's lots going on, and I even have a new Cogmind-like experience to share with you :D


Here's the second category of achievement icons, somewhat fewer than the previous one.

That's the "style" category, reflecting somewhat more basic achievements that essentially fall under different build strategies.

Also with regard to achievements, I mentioned last time that I wanted to cover the topic of which ones to "hide." It seems not all games even take advantage of the ability to hide achievements, but I think it'll be useful in at least a couple ways. My starting point was to basically say that all achievements are unhidden, but if there's a good reason to hide one then do so. There seem to be two good reasons:
  1. Anything related to the plot. There are a ton of story-related elements to uncover, and all of them will be found naturally and/or discovered by following clues in the game, so there's no reason to spoil any of these here. These achievements basically serve to recognize that you've hit that plot point at least once.
  2. Stuff that would be fun to recognize, but boring to aim for. I've included a handful of achievements which would be either too easy or too tedious if you know about them, but you're bound to get them one way or another naturally over time, so I plan to hide those.
There's certainly the other approach of hide all achievements, then perhaps unhide the ones that really need to be known or else no one is likely to ever find them. (Some of the explicit challenges are pretty tough and you do need to aim for them.)

Someone previously mentioned outright hiding them all, though as shown before the in-game achievement UI will be able to filter out locked achievements, so you can pretty easily avoid those if you're in the camp that wants everything hidden up front.

Of course, which route to take with these is harder for you all to make specific suggestions on unless you know the achievements, but I don't want to release the full list until deciding precisely which ones should and shouldn't be known in advance xD

Personally I like the idea of using unhidden achievements to explicitly get players to try out different styles, among other purposes, which is why I started with the unhidden route.

In any case, I'm always listening if any of you have a different take (or the same take :P).

I'm sure I'll end up writing a long blog post about this later detailing the system and reasoning, but now while it's still being implemented is be the best time to ask for input :)


One of our experienced flight players, Pimski, has started a video guide for flight! Part 1 is here.

Nuzcraft continued his series of short systems tutorials with another on "Energy."

b_sen has been sharing more fan art done in REXPaint, exploring what the world is like before Cogmind, and from 0b10's point of view.

Warning, some name spoilers in text.

The second one there depicts the complex under attack, and you can read more about it here.


For some weeks now I kept reminding you all that I'd be participating in this year's 7DRL challenge, and that finally happened last week. It happened and produced a pretty cool little game :)

In a week I took Cogmind Beta 5, ripped it apart, and rebuilt it into a lighter, faster coffeebreak version. Our Cogmind tile artist Kacper even did a great new tileset for it!

Technically it was built from a post-Beta 5 version, so it includes some of the new upcoming Beta 6 features like multithreaded data loading and RTS panning (although the latter is deactivated by default in the config).

I should point out that POYLBOT-7 is not a Cogmind demo, nor does it even play much like Cogmind! But anyone interested in Cogmind's style (perhaps you all? :P) might enjoy it.

To see what it's all about, check out the full release announcement on the blog, which also includes more screenshots. We already have a channel for it on the Discord if you want to talk with other Cogmind fans who are playing it.

It was a tiring but productive week, and Cogmind itself even benefited from this 7DRL in a number of ways, not least of which because my mangling of the source code to repurpose it uncovered some deeply hidden bugs (even some down at the engine level!). Really it's all just stuff that could theoretically cause trouble at some point but hasn't yet, but hey they were things to fix nonetheless!

POLYBOT-7 also resulted in improvements for some of Cogmind's optional visual effects, but I'll talk more about that bit next time.

On my blog I'll also be sharing a detailed postmortem about the 7DRL week if you're interested in that sort of thing, covering whole process from inception to completion and everything in between.


Unfortunately I had to push myself rather hard to get this 7DRL out there, and my doctor is out for three weeks so I can't get the same level of treatment I normally do, so my concussion has become somewhat... bothersome again.

The effects have been with me for almost a year now, and it would be really nice to finally get rid of this thing so I need to be careful not to push it quite too hard in the next few weeks to avoid messing up the long term plan!
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“Cogmind is an impressive merging of old and new school game design.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Cogmind is a wonderful thing, carefully and intelligently constructed, and with a gorgeous ASCII aesthetic.”
Adam Smith, RPS

“Cogmind swaps the traditional fantasy setting of most turn-based adventurers in favour of science-fiction, and finds plenty of interesting features in the mix.”
Graham Smith, RPS

About This Game

Experience sci-fi tactical combat and exploration in a procedural world that combines traditional roguelikes with an immersive modern interface like no other. Build yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Attach power sources, propulsion units, utilities, and weapons to become a slow tank bristling with weapons, or a fast-moving flier zipping past enemies before they even have time to react, or a stealthy sword-wielding assassin/hacker, or whatever else you can come up with from the salvage you find. The situation can quickly change as you lose components and rebuild yourself from enemy remains. You are the Cogmind. Discover what that means as you explore a living, breathing world ruled by robots.


  • Build and modify a unique robot from parts found, or enemies defeated
  • Dynamic character development without XP/grinding
  • Dozens of robot classes, each with unique behavior within the ecosystem
  • Procedurally generated world combined with hand-crafted content
  • Seven different animated endings to uncover
  • ASCII evolved: Most advanced terminal interface ever
  • Thousands of particle effects and SFX
  • Fully destructible environment


Although currently in Early Access, Cogmind is mostly complete. There are over two-dozen map types, nearly a thousand items, thousands of sound and particle effects, multiple plot lines, hundreds of hand-made locations and encounters, thousands of lines of dialogue, and seven different animated endings to discover. That said, there are many plans to continue expanding the world with features and content, so for now we'll just call it EA :D

(Cogmind has been in full-time development for over four years.)



Cogmind is a turn-based roguelike, very traditional in many ways (permadeath procedural dungeon crawler built with ASCII in mind...), but at the same time innovates on the genre in terms of both design and accessibility features.
  • Within you have full mouse control--and full keyboard control! Use only one or the other, or both, and all common roguelike movement methods (mouse, numpad, vi, arrows) are enabled out of the box, no configuration required. Mouse users get drag-and-drop inventory management, and the keyboard is even faster with its multiple command schemes and built-in automation features.
  • Stealth play is just as viable as straightforward combat, using hacking and information warfare to outsmart the Complex. The lack of an XP system means you only have to use whatever means you can to reach new areas and find new gear to advance.
  • The world is alive with many types of robots, most of which are actually not hostile to you and have their own duties to carry out.
  • Map objects are labeled as they come into view, making for less tedious play and allowing you to instead focus on tactics and survival. A large number of other options and useful features are available to customize the UI.
  • While the most skilled players can reliably win the default mode, easier difficulty settings are available for those with less experience, or less time on their hands :) (advanced players can also attempt to take on the extended end-game!)
  • Accumulate knowledge across multiple plays, collecting info about previously used items in the ASCII art gallery (over 800 pieces of art!), and collecting lore about the world as you discover its inhabitants and guess at their potential motives, and true capabilities. While there's a rich story to uncover over many runs, know that it doesn't get in the way if you prefer to just strategize and min-max through your roguelikes.
  • Take on built-in Challenge Modes for a different kind of experience, or to prove just how good you really are.


Not every game is for everyone, so there are a few things to point out that may affect your interest in Cogmind.
  • No Hand-holding: Although very accessible and there's both context help and a quick tutorial to teach all the fundamentals, Cogmind invites you to explore a completely unfamiliar world. Observant players will come to internalize many of that world's rules naturally, and as you reach new areas you'll also discover in-theme explanations for everything, seamlessly integrated with the lore. As part of that process you'll often be faced with the post-death challenge of figuring out where things went wrong and why, until you eventually reach a point where you can see danger before it even materializes.
  • Rampant Item Destruction: Every item in Cogmind can be destroyed, and many of your items will be destroyed. At first this may be discouraging, but once you figure out the basics you'll generally be replacing old and broken parts with much better loot even before you lose it anyway. Building and, more importantly, rebuilding, is a vital part of the experience and what keeps the game dynamic and interesting throughout. Adaptability is key, and amazing comebacks are commonplace.
  • No Classes, Skills, Etc.: Unlike many other roguelikes and CRPGs in which you may form a sort of attachment to your character class and the levels, stats, skills, and equipment they've acquired over time, Cogmind is defined almost purely by items. And as mentioned those items will be destroyed, so there's not much chance to form that kind of attachment. However, this also leaves room for great flexibility during a single playthrough, flexibility you might want or need to rely on to maximize your chances for survival depending on what locations you visit.
  • A Different Kind of Game: As a whole Cogmind is quite different from pretty much everything out there, a fact that turns some people off, but others rather enjoy it for that same reason. It can also take a little while to get into, but once past learning the basics and how to reliably overcome early-game areas, the world and its opportunities really open up.
  • Not Suitable for Small Screens: Due to the game design, the screen is always divided into a minimum of 80x60 spaces that make up the "terminal grid." This means when played on a physically small screen, such as that of a laptop, each space will be relatively small and some players could have trouble comfortably seeing the details. Zooming is not supported by the engine. You can test what Cogmind will look like on your screen of choice here: (Note that ASCII mode is easier to see at smaller sizes, but it's understandable that three-quarters of players prefer the default tiles mode anyway :P)

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP3+
    • Processor: 1.8Ghz or faster
    • Memory: 500 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Anything
    • Storage: 30 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum resolution: 1272x720. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO first check how Cogmind will look on your screen of choice here: (there is no zooming!)
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