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Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is a 4-part episodic point-and-click graphic adventure game released by Phoenix Online Studios for multiple platforms. Funded through Kickstarter in 2011, all four episodes have been released on the PC and Mac, with the first two on the iPad. Jane Jensen, creator of the Sierra On-Line Gabriel Knight series, was brought on as a story consultant for the development of the game.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The story of Cognition revolves around Boston FBI agent Erica Reed, who has the unusual ability of postcognition, the ability to see into the past of any object that she touches. At first this power can’t be controlled, but, after training with an antique shop owner named Rose, Erica is not only able to control her power, but use it in different ways. From seeing brief glimpses of the past on an object to helping someone regain lost memories to combining objects to see a vision of a scene where they were together, each ability is useful to help solve each murder mystery. The only person who knows her secret is her partner, John McCoy.
Each episode focuses on a different serial killer and covers a contained story arc while continuing the overarching story of the entire game: Erica’s search for the Cain Killer, who murdered her brother Scott but was never caught. After losing her brother three years previous to the start of the game, Erica is determined to track down his killer to the point of obsession. She gets taken off the case by her boss, and is moved onto others under their jurisdiction. But as the game progresses, it becomes clear that these seemingly unrelated killings all have clues that only Erica can find, meaning that someone else knows her secret and wants something from her—someone who has a grudge with the FBI. As Erica gets closer to the truth, with people around her dying and being hurt, she also gets closer to her goal of finding the Cain Killer. But she must make her choice between justice and revenge when the moment comes.