I booked an appointment with the game studio Mojang at the Penny Arcade Expo so that I could chat with the company's star, Notch, about the next evolution of Minecraft.

I asked to see Mojang's other PAX game, Cobalt out of professional curiosity and, honestly, to be polite. I wasn't expecting much.

Low expectations have yielded a very good first impression. Cobalt turns out to be very fun to play and a pleasure to look at. The game is a co-op side-scroller that puts equal emphasis on platforming skills and weapon/item usage. The platforming involves standard running and jumping, along with wall-clinging, and lots of rolling that helps you avoid or even repel bullets and missiles. The weapons and item options let you shoot guns, toss sticky grenades and flashbangs, hack doors and more.

It felt like a Super Mario or Super Meat Boy with an arsenal out of a Halo or Call of Duty. That mix is also prevalent in the game's deathmatch mode.

(You can see both co-op and competitive Cobalt in the video I shot of the game at PAX this weekend that is atop this story.)

Cobalt, has been in development for over a year, but seems to have come out of nowhere. Mojang only announced it earlier this month. The developers are targeting Windows, Mac and Linux plus, ideally at least one console down the road. Daniel, the lead developer, who showed me the game, also works on Minecraft. [CORRECTION: Daniel doesn't work on Minecraft. Another person who is working on Cobalt, Jens 'jeb' Bergensten, does.] That may explain why this game wound up with Mojang, but don't mistake Cobalt as some sort of favor to a friend. There's a potentially very good game here.

See for yourself.


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