Cookie Cutter by Subcult Joint
Cherry – the hero of Cookie Cutter – doesn’t know what her purpose is. All she knows is that an evil corporation stole her creator, Shinji. In order to rescue Shinji, Cherry must traverse a dystopian landscape and destroy everything in her path.
Cookie Cutter is set in an interesting world that I felt could still have been fleshed out more. Characters are generally one-note, and the main driving plot is sparse and could have used more details to make it more engaging, especially early on. As it stands, it’s serviceable but heavily overshadowed by the game’s fun combat.
Cookie Cutter is a fast-paced Metroidvania style. Attacks are quick and snappy. Dodges, special abilities, parries, and flashy finishing moves all add up to make for a really fun and visceral combat system.
There’s plenty of variety when it comes to attacks thanks to multiple systems and weapons to experiment with. There is a lot here, and it’s easily the best aspect of Cookie Cutter.
The game has a component system that acts like a passive skill tree, increasing or decreasing stats or attacks. This adds a little customization to help cater to individual play style. For example, I made sure to upgrade a component that increased my health and one to make my basic attacks more powerful.
Avoid the Void Deficit
One of the main systems within combat is the Void meter, which allows you to use more devastating, powerful attacks and replenishes every time you hit an enemy.
Void is also valuable because you can drain it to heal, which means that there is a constant need to pay attention to the meter (in my case, I had to make sure I managed it properly in case I needed to heal).
This is a cool mechanic that made me think a little more instead of rushing in and mashing buttons during combat encounters.
As fun as it is, I did have some issues with the game’s combat. Enemies themselves are varied enough, but the A.I. seems a little inconsistent.
There are a lot of enemies who can’t jump, which made a lot of encounters in areas with elevated platforms feel underwhelming. In areas with longer hallways, they won’t chase you if you get too far away, which makes healing easier but makes these scenarios feel odd.
Animations to Amaze and Abuse
Enemies are also overly animated, making it difficult to time parries. Attacks also have a lot of flashy visual effects, which obscures things a bit too much, so it can be kind of hard to even see what’s going on, especially in rooms with a lot of enemies or areas where the game automatically zooms the camera out.
Level design is fairly straightforward. Traps, large area maps, secrets, and locked areas…it’s pretty standard when it comes to Metroidvanias.
The maps and areas themselves are engaging enough to mix things up. Finding specific items for NPCs to unlock doors keeps things interesting, and there are plenty of traps and platforming to break up the combat encounters.
The game also has a good amount of checkpoints to make dying less punishing and teleporters to make traveling around less time-consuming. It’s smartly created and does a great job of making the world fun to explore and not too backtrack-heavy.
Overall, Cookie Cutter’s world design is good, even if it leaves little to the imagination.
A Well-Decorated Treat
The game is visually striking. Hand-drawn animation of characters is wonderfully done. Combat looks and feels visceral thanks to the game’s brutal finishing moves.
Characters range from grotesque to creepily otherworldly. It really goes a long way to make the game’s world feel unique.
The musical score is also a highlight. The music that kicks in during combat is heavy and gets the blood pumping. While exploring different areas, the music is appropriately sci-fi ambient, with low tones, soft beats, and faint synths to add some nice dystopian vibes.
Overall its audio design enhances the game’s overall aesthetic.
Cookie Cutter is a fun experience thanks to its engaging combat system. While I did have some small issues with the game, including its lackluster plot, I feel like it’s still a lot of fun.
If you’re craving a new Metroidvania and can look past its issues, I’d recommend you check it out.
Cookie Cutter is available via the Sony Playstation Store, the Microsoft Store, and Steam.
Check out the official trailer for Cookie Cutter below: