Cogs is a 3D puzzle game, where the player rotates a mechanism to solve sliding-tiles puzzles on each of its faces. The object can be turned around by holding down the right button and moving the mouse. The player manipulates the tiles directly by moving them with the left button. The objective for most levels is to unscramble and connect a series of gears or pipes to activate a trigger of some sort. For example, a series of gears of an early puzzle provide motion to turn a final one that hits a bell, or an assembled pipeline goes from the gas pipe to inflate a balloon at the other end of the puzzle.
The game has three modes. In the inventor mode each puzzle shows a different aspect of the game, gradually introducing the player to all gameplay characteristics. Every level completed in inventor mode is unlocked in the next mode. Challenge mode has two variations: in time challenge mode, the goal is to complete each puzzle as fast as possible. The puzzles need fewer moves to be solved, but have to be completed in 30 seconds or less. In move challenge mode, puzzles have to solved in ten moves or less.
The iOS version is free and comes with ten puzzles and the three gameplay modes. Further puzzle packs are purchased in-game, with at least four additional puzzle packs with 40 new puzzles in total. The Android version is not free, but contains 50 puzzles from the start.