Cocoon is one of those games that's hard to talk about without spoiling things, but it absolutely deserves a spot in our Game of the Year rundown, so we're gonna have to try. Spearheaded by Playdead alumnus Jeppe Carlsen, this excellent puzzle game carries much of that Limbo/Inside energy — reason enough alone you should pay attention. However, it makes itself distinct with its sci-fi leanings and, if you can believe it, even more focused design than either of those spiritual predecessors.
The main reason Cocoon is so good is because it doesn't waste a single moment. Everything in the game is informed by, and in service to, the puzzles. It's remarkably efficient and never wastes your time, showing you everything you need to make it through its strange, biomechanical world. At its core is an insanely clever concept; every level can be jumped in and out of, and when you zoom out of a stage, it's encased in a ball you can carry on your back. These orbs not only contain large environments to progress through, they also have unique abilities — and it's by hopping between these levels, bringing other levels with you, that you can solve an array of perfectly pitched puzzles.
Again, it's a tough game to explain in writing, but it's the exquisite puzzle and level design of Cocoon that impresses us the most. It's never too difficult, but never a walk in the park — each problem you come to presents you with something new, and it manages to satisfy from start to finish. Even the handful of boss encounters are well executed.