Cosmic Top Secret sounds kind of wild but felt, well, familiar. You play as an adult who finds out your dad has kind of a secret past he won’t tell you about unless you can show him you know enough about what was going on at the time. For example, at the start, he only tells you he worked on something with computers, but won’t tell you what his exact job was. It becomes clear he worked on some secret project, but it’s up to you to find clues scattered about your home and other places.

Both the style and the movement is very “papery,” like Paper Mario but with real people. Moving (done via tablet touch screens) has you roll into a crumpled ball, which can fly through the air for fast travel. The game highlights core puzzles, which were simple enough to solve during the first stage I played, but there are others hidden around each area.

Revealing the Past

The premise is basic and the narration seems safe for kids, but for adults, I think many of us can relate. Finding out how your parents got their jobs, met, or came to your home country is information they may take for granted, but an untold story for you. Some of us have parents that actively hide their pasts, and we patiently listen for details to unfold over our lifetime, hoping to, well, get something as satisfying as the links our protagonist gets access to in Cosmic Top Secret. It’s no wonder the game won the Culture award at Indiecade 2017.

About the Author

Laguna Levine

Laguna Levine is the illegitimate son of famous explorer Toma Levine, disowned for forsaking the family tradition of moustaches to join Team Beards. That's fine though, since both are translated into the same word in Japan, Laguna's current home country.

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