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Review: Kairo

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes
This game offers Achievements (or similar awards)! Steam Trading Cards are available! This game is also available for Linux!

Summary of major issues
You can't die. But someone clearly did.

Screenshots


Probably the most famous scene in the game


You are being watched


Journey through the air

General Information

Genre:First Person PuzzlerAge Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:CommercialQuality Rating:Good
Played on:Martha
Available from: Gamer's Gate, Humble Store, Steam
Save System:You can quit whenever you want, as your progress is saved whenever you do something, be it enter a new area, find a rune, or solve a puzzle.

Game Overview

Kario is an enigma. Without any explanation or guide, you're simply dropped onto a platform overlooking a large white void and left to figure things out on your own. Like most First Person Puzzlers, this means that you'll be wandering around solving various puzzles, though there isn't an inventory or any mechanic more complicated than walking, jumping, or interacting with objects in the world.

In addition to the obvious objective of solving the riddles the areas present, there are also a handful of runes hidden on walls and other surfaces that you can collect. Finding them all allows you to view the game's secret ending, which is so patently silly and nonsensical that it must be witnessed to be believed.

But perhaps the most striking feature of this game is how the environments contrast with each other. The game's world is abstract and beautiful, but at the same time it's also barren and lifeless. You're completely, utterly alone in this game, and the only hints of life are old, distorted recordings of destroyed cities and landmarks scattered around the broken and disabled machines.

This is definitely a game to try if you don't mind the silence. It's not quite a horror game, but the emptiness is unsettling, and the unnatural way it feels was very deliberate.

Pros

A sterile, run down world to explore
Normally one would complain about a game featuring vast world with nothing in it. However here it works very well, as it reinforces the feeling that you're entirely alone inside this huge and abandoned complex.


Grainy filter for extra brooding
There is an optional graphical filter that makes the it appear that you're viewing the game through an old, static covered screen. This is great for those of you that want to make things feel even more run down and rusted.


Between creepy and surreal
There are a lot of people that love to be scared, and this game seems to be headed towards a creepypasta style story. It's dark, sad and moody, though the ending itself is a happy one. The secret ending is a complete mindscrew however and seems to exist just to counter the game's serious and brooding nature with a bit of incredibly surreal humor.


Beautiful scenes are eye candy you can walk through
Just about every scene in this game is something to marvel at. The fact that you are activating the machinery only serves to make the scenes come alive and make the entire game an interactive piece of art.


Go at your own pace
With the possible exceptions of about two puzzles, reflexes aren't really needed here. Everything is about testing your brain, not your fingers.


Occulus Rift supported
The popular virtual reality headset is supported by this game, and I can only imagine how amazing it must be to experience these settings using virtual reality technology.


Cons

There's a texture error that will drive you nuts
There is what appears to be a texture error in the first area. This makes it appear that there is a rune you can collect in plain sight, but in truth it's just a wall and no amount of effort will collect the rune. Just move on and find the other three runes for the area.


Short and not very replayable
Kairo can be beaten in under four hours, and once you've figured out every puzzle and both endings, there's really no reason to play it again. If you do, it probably won't be as much fun the next time around as nothing is new and you know the secrets behind everything.


Concerns and Issues

You can't die
No matter what, the player is perfectly safe. Falling off a ledge simply results in you being teleported back to safety, and there's nothing that can harm you anywhere in the complex.


There's a corpse.
Near the very end of the game, you'll encounter someone's skeletal remains. There's no blood or anything, as it's obvious that the body has been there undisturbed for a very long time.