Cosmonious High Review: A VR Playground Full of Friendly Faces

Cosmonious High presents a dynamic VR playground full of unique ideas. Its puzzles could certainly drag users through longer gaming sessions, but its cast of characters, vibrant color palette, and punny dialogue help keep the game from becoming stale.

what is good

A hand with a snowflake squirts ice onto a cartoon-sized Bunsen burner.

(Image credit: Owlchemy Labs)
Cosmonious High in numbers:
Category
Title Cosmological high
Developer Owlchemy Labs
Editor Owlchemy Labs
Kind Adventure, Puzzle
Quest model Quest 2 only
Computer System Requirements Windows 10, Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or better, 8 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060/970, AMD Radeon RX 480 equivalent or better, 5 GB free space
Game file size 3.18 GB
Players A player
Break 5-10 hours
Introductory price $30

Like the best family games, Cosmonious High is aimed at young people as well as adults. Owlchemy understands that people of all ages are likely to walk (or teleport) through the halls of Cosmonious High, and the complexity and diversity of its gameplay reflects this.

You play as a Prismi, a type of alien that can adapt its abilities and powers to its surroundings. Cosmonious High throws a number of seemingly unsolvable puzzles in front of you, only for your hands to start glowing, initiating a streak where you gain a new power.

Unlocking a new ability is always exciting. It not only lets you explore new areas of Cosmonious High, it lets you interact with the space school in exciting ways. For example, a new power might allow you to discover a hidden collectible or complete a side quest. Another might allow you to clean up a pile of dust blocking a door or put out a fire that has just started.

One of the first areas you gain access to is the sci-fi equivalent of a chemistry lab, where you can create all sorts of solutions and chemicals that can change the way you interact and play with various objects. in the world.

Screenshot of Cosmonious High

(Image credit: Owlchemy Labs)

Where some puzzle-adventure games would see players focus on one core mechanic and expect them to flip it, Cosmonious High opts to include a wide array of mechanics that often play together in interesting ways. While only the game’s most intricate optional puzzles will require players to quickly navigate the game’s myriad mechanics, its instant gameplay will certainly compel you to make equal use of all the powers at your disposal.

Between puzzle solving and exploring, you’ll be introduced to teachers and students at Cosmonious High. Each character fulfills a specific archetype that you might expect from any John Hughes movie, but with less hostility. The nerd has a crush on the jock, the goth kid has a creative streak, and the class clown has a slightly contentious relationship with the rich kid.

That sense of humor and fun also carries over into the gameplay at every turn.

None of the characters would be specifically memorable if it weren’t for the writing of the game. As it progresses, the students and teachers of Cosmonious High collectively change and progress in very specific ways that make all the difference in bringing the environment and cast of characters to life.

Beyond this discrepancy, which I won’t spoil because it’s really great, Cosmonious High is also very funny. A teacher can ask his students to work on a “secret mission” which involves hiding from the authorities. A student might secretly be a superhero who sometimes speaks with the voice of a demon. Everyone laughs in their own way.

That sense of humor and fun also carries over into the gameplay at every turn. Even though Cosmonious High has a critical main story, it’s clear that it was created by the developers who made other VR classics like Job Simulator. You are not only allowed, but encouraged, to mess around and have fun with the game’s amazing systems.

What is not good

Screenshot of Cosmonious High

(Image credit: Owlchemy Labs)

Of course, if you’re only here for the game’s main story, this might not be for you. Progress in Cosmonious High is controlled by a credit system, so if you haven’t spent enough time earning credits in various classes or solving puzzles across the school, or just want to get all the powers and have fun, you’ll have to be a little patient.

The only other real issue with the game is that it can get stale during longer play sessions. As traditional video games began to open up, mechanics and puzzles became a way to complete larger worlds and levels, rather than a way to engage with a game in a new way.

Cosmonious High doesn’t go as far as some more egregious examples of bigger not meaning better, but playing for over an hour will often require you to repeat the same kinds of puzzles. Being a game aimed at younger gamers, likely with shorter attention spans, that’s not a big deal, especially considering how painful it can be to wear the Quest 2 for gaming sessions. longer anyway.

Of course, if you got yourself a replacement for that uncomfortable headband, you might just want to play longer. There are enough collectibles, side quests, and optional rooms to bolster the game as a whole, but progression can still feel stale if it’s been a while since you’ve earned a new power.

Who is Cosmonious High for?

It’s not the kind of game parents might need to watch over a child’s shoulder while they play, nor is it a game just for kids. It’s the perfect blend of charm and family that’s hard not to recommend. Whenever the player takes a long time to complete a puzzle if, for example, they are busy playing with the vending machine in the corner like I did for a good fifteen minutes, one of the characters in the game will start to give players clues about what they need to do.

While it might look like a grip, it’s clearly there to accommodate gamers who aren’t most used to playing games, especially kids. On the other hand, it’s still well-written and complex enough for any adult to have fun with. Pointing your hand at an object and pulling it towards you like you’re using The Force never got old.

It also feels perfectly situated for people looking for a break from this year’s intense, involved and less optimistic affairs like Elden Ring, Ghostwire Tokyo or Horizon: Forbidden West, swapping difficult bosses for difficult puzzles or long combat sections to play with bubbles in a supercollider. It’s a totally goofy and fun game that’s not ashamed to embrace its inner child.

Should I buy it?

Screenshot of Cosmonious High

(Image credit: Owlchemy Labs)

Cosmonious High isn’t as revolutionary or genre-defining as Job Simulator was in 2016, but it’s still one of the most immersive VR playgrounds. You could easily spend an hour in the game’s starting area messing around with its physics.

Progressing only makes it easier and easier to get lost while playing with yourself or looking for collectibles. It’s one of the few VR games that really feels designed for all audiences.

Fun puzzle mechanics that constantly evolve throughout the game and witty writing complement each other incredibly well, making even its most outdated moments worth playing. Cosmonious High is a must-have game that’s as much a safe bet for parents with kids as it is for someone looking for a charming and fun escape.

Harold B. McConnell