What's this? Can it be true? A 2D platform  game from the makers of Minecraft? It can't be, but it is!  

You control the titular hero of the game, a little robot (at least I think he's a robot) that has been sent on a mission to discover what has happened to some missing colonists.

After a cut scene intro, our hero takes you on a mini guided tour of his ship. This is basically the in game tutorial and it makes a change from the usual mini grind of ticking off the checkboxes to make sure you have done everything correctly.

You will discover our little chum is quite nimble, can execute flips and as the game progresses, can even dispense doom to his enemies in a Max Payne/Matrix style bullet time ballet of death! (OK that is a little melodramatic but you get the point).

Looks are deceiving....

First off it's not the prettiest of looking games, the graphics have an almost low key retro look too them but you know what? That didn't bother me. I soon got immersed in the puzzle solving aspects, the platforming action and the adventure in general.

OK so it's no Assassin Creed Chronicles or Tomb Raider but it does it's job well of pulling you in and getting it's hooks into you. And it will exercise more than the trigger finger, it will give the grey cells a workout too, as you quickly discover that managing your inventory is a fine art.

The little guy does not have a cloak of many pockets, no sir. He can only hold 3 items at any one time, so you have to decide what to keep and what not to as you go along. Fortunately there is no limit on batteries which represent our little guy's health, so you can pick those up to your hearts content, but it's best to only use them when necessary.

There's a mystery to solve....

As said the little hero has to discover what happened to the missing colonists, and the story takes some time to unfold, and it takes some time before the hero has to start zapping bad guys. Before that, it's case of exploring, restoring power to the colony site wherever he can by using the generator cells he has picked up on the way (these can also be thrown as a missile weapon too in some cases) and picking up the clues in true Scooby Doo fashion....OK so maybe not in a Scooby Doo style but you get the picture!

And your mates can play too...

Where Cobalt differs from other platform games, is in the multi player aspect. Here we have a horde mode style game, a capture the flag mode, and a death match free for all that reminds me of Playstation's All Star Battle Royale! Fast and fun, that is when the frame rate doesn't suffer due to some lag or if the server doesn't boot you out.

This marks what is otherwise a fun online mode, but the single player game makes up for the shortcomings in the multiplayer mode. I disagree with some reviews elsewhere that say it looks as if the multiplayer was bolted on in a kind of what the hell, we may as well do it mood. It's fun and amusing and makes a change from all of the CoD clones out there.

Music

I have to say the soundtrack isn't that awe inspiring, it's OK but it fades into the background and soon you will be too busy to really notice it anyway.

Controls

Responsive for the most part but the double jump is a bit of a pain in the rear end to master, but on the whole pretty smooth. The Inventory as said takes some management but it's easy to access and easy to use, a nice interface that will please veteran gamers and be useful to newbies at the same time, no complaints there.

Overall.

It's not very long, about 6-10 hours or so it's been claimed, but it may be longer than that, if like me, your reflexes are not what they used to be and you get disassembled by enemies, plunge to your doom etc etc. Fortunately you respawn at your last checkpoint so whilst it's no Lost Souls, it is still enough of a challenge to keep you going.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Plusses

Fun puzzling and platforming action

Multiplayer entertaining.

Nice bit of puzzle solving thrown in for good measure

Decent learning curve, makes a nice change.

Minuses

Frame rate issues during multiplayer

Server drop out again during multiplayer.

Double jump not as accurate as it could be (then again that could be down to my old age reflexes!)

It won't suit everybody but it is worth a punt if you like a mix of puzzles, action and multiplayer though replay value for the main story? Yes well, once finished there's not much to draw you back in it has to be said, but if you need something to play that's a bit different, then give Cobalt a look-see.

Thanks X Box for the code.