Cookie Cutter Review – Headbanger’s Ball

Hyperviolent android, obsessively in love with a girl, tearing foes limb from limb and screaming in a futuristic, dystopian environment. Sounds familiar? No? You may need to be a GenX European comic book connoisseur who devoured RanXerox, a provocative and contra-cultural series of Italian graphic novels from the late seventies. RanX had a game of his own in 1990, a simple, now-forgotten brawler/adventure hybrid. That charming anti-hero is probably too much for modern sensibilities. With a modified premise, however, it could, gaming-wise, cruise without attracting cancel-culture flak.

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A bit of gender and sexuality reversal, and here’s Cookie Cutter, a game starring a hyperviolent female android, obsessively in love with a girl, tearing foes limb from limb and screaming in a futuristic, dystopian environment. Cookie Cutter’s NSFW vibe, however, is mild to non-existent, so we can’t really talk about cultural subversion, gaming punk, or any kind of underground sensibilities. On the other hand, the game is a competent Metroidvania; It has impressive, hand-drawn visuals and ultra-violent, kinetic combat. That ought to be enough for some.

Less bizarre than expected

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Cookie Cutter stars Cherry, a ferocious female android, whose human creator and soul-mate was violently abducted by the forces of the repressive, robotic regime. The totalitarian world where they live was conceived as a tech utopia, where people would continue to exist in robotic bodies after death. Multiple things went wrong and now we have futuristic fascism and exploitation that bred rebellion. All in all, the backdrop is a classic sci-fi dystopia, nothing worthy of a publishing deal with La Biennale di Venezia. The bizarre moments you’ll sometimes witness are quite mild and forgettable.

The case in point is Regina, a “female” AI you carry around in a vagina-shaped metallic construct. The intentional wordplay and a strong innuendo are all there is. You would reasonably expect something witty, controversial, and bizarre from that setup, right? But all you get is mostly standard dialogue with occasional jokes. The other NPCs are even less distinctive, so after a while, you’ll stop paying close attention to what are talking about. Fortunately, Cookie Cutter offers plenty as a compensation for weak narrative.

Cherry that pops

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Gory, kinetic combat is the chief attraction here. Cherry kicks and punches with great verve, building the “void” resource that fuels special weapons. Those are the main means for the disposal of hordes of progressively more challenging enemies. You’ll start with the sturdy metallic gauntlet, clubbing mobs and launching them across the room. A few adventure-filled hours later, you’ll get an electric guitar, followed by the chainsaw, and so on. Some of those weapons, such as said chainsaw, double as path-carvers, opening previously inaccessible venues through levels.

The joy of combat is multifold. The foes will relentlessly home on you, clawing, swinging, and occasionally shooting, requiring constant alertness. Using the manoeuver and the environment to stack them up and dispatch several with a single punch, staggering them, and ripping them to pieces in the manner of Doom Eternal is awesome. Pursuing that tactic is extremely useful, as the ripped enemy restores some HP and void. You can launch smaller foes into environmental hazards such as electric fields, lasers, poison beams, and whatever, but that way, you’ll lose the opportunity for staggered, replenishing violence. You can also expend void for healing, but the process is slow and requires disengagement from immediate danger.

If you feeling adventurous, you can try to parry their attacks, greatly speeding up the staggering. That requires super-tight timing, so you’ll probably ignore it for the more visceral clobbering. Unfortunately, some bosses require mastering that mechanic, so you’ll need to get the hang of it eventually.

Megastructure beckons

Cookie Cutter Review Map

Cookie Cutter is a very expansive game. The megastructure where everything happens is divided into ten massive sectors. They are interconnected, but most paths are initially closed, requiring a specific piece of gear or ability. That’s the bread and butter of every Metroidvania, and Cookie Cutter doesn’t disappoint regarding the vastness and complexity of its zones. Unveiling all of it is immense fun. From the double jump to ground slam, ore-ripping chainsaw, and other abilities and gear, you’ll constantly obtain fresh means for opening new pathways.

The resource/upgrade mechanics offer an additional reason for crawling up every crevice. Exploring section after section of the giant maze, including hidden rooms, often provides you with money and resources needed for upgrading your gear. High equipment levels make a major difference in the challenges you’ll be facing. Apart from weapons and gear, you have an additional layer of passive gear pieces. You can enable/disable those at will, depending on the situation and the number of permanent power cells you found so far. You’ll never have the juice to turn everything on at the same time, so tactical acumen is imperative.

Asskickers of the world, unite

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I haven’t had this much fun in Metroidvania since Metroid: Dread. For that sentiment alone, the twenty-ish hours I spent inside this insidious Megastructure is completely justified. However, I can’t help being perplexed about the majority of narrative decisions. The developers had the opportunity to create something truly worth remembering. They dropped the ball as soon as they picked it up though, seemingly afraid of the monster they were creating.

The way I see it, Cookie Cutter was evidently conceived as something greatly provocative and reaction-provoking. That blueprint, unfortunately, was ignored by the content builders. Why make a game starring a lesbian android with a vagina-shaped assistant, which pretty much guaranteed an M rating (ESRB) by itself, and then develop the narrative as a dull, mostly safe affair? What is the point of trying to be edgy and backing off almost immediately after the initial proclamation of intent? Why leave the traces of it to haunt the audience? So many whys…



  • Hyper-gory, uber-kinetic combat.
  • Vast, complex, and interconnected zones full of camouflaged secrets.
  • Impressive hand-drawn visuals.


  • The narrative is not nearly NSFW as it should be, considering the setup and premise.
  • Some pre-boss checkpoints are far too distant for comfort.
Review platform: PC
Developed by: Subcult Joint LTD
Published by: Rogue Games, Inc.
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