Zamieszczono: 18 maja
If you're anything like me, Kairo has caught your interest because of its visual style, but you're not quite sure what you're getting here. The trailer is vague, and users have tagged it with potentially worrisome labels like "Abstract" and "Walking Simulator." It looks interesting, but is it a game or an art piece?
It's both. If you're unsure, let me reassure you that Kairo is most certainly a game, and it's a pretty good one if you like puzzlers. The environment might be abstract, but the puzzles themselves are generally quite logical in nature.
You might be disoriented at first, though. Kairo starts by dropping you into its world without any pretext. Why are you here and what are your goals? The game doesn't tell you. There's a building to explore in front of you, so check it out. As you start to wander through the structure, you'll find rooms with elements you can interact with in various ways. Maybe there's a block you can push or a switch you can activate. Maybe there's a navigational challenge.
Kairo is designed so that you can generally deduce what needs to be done in some way. For example, there might be pictorial clues, or you might notice how something in the environment is responding to what you are doing. The game also makes good use of sound cues to guide you, with clears tones to suggest success or failure. If all else fails, the pause menu gives you access to three hints per puzzle, and there's no penalty for using them. Some areas don't include a puzzle, and the hint menu can also be useful for determining as much. If there aren't any hints, the area doesn't have a puzzle to solve.
I very much enjoyed Kairo, but one thing that surprised me about it is how relentlessly eerie it is. A lot of this comes down to the sound design. Upon being booted up, the game credits someone who refers to himself as "Wounds" with doing the music, so that gives you some idea of what to expect. The game sounds like it's been scored by a ghost, but that only aids its immersion factor. Also, while Kairo doesn't have a traditional narrative, there are occasional clues to what's going on littered around and the game world. Some of what you find can be ominous.
I do have one major gripe with the game. The main puzzles play fairly with you, but there are a few optional puzzles that are pretty ludicrous. You don't need to solve these puzzles to beat the game, but some of the achievements are tied up with them. If you are a completionist, expect to use a guide on at least one or two of these if you come back to solve them. I'm not kidding. One of the optional puzzles in particular is essentially out of bounds.
All in all, though, this is a solid recommendation from me if most of what I've said sounds good to you. Kairo is fully worth its full $5 price, and you definitely shouldn't hesitate if it's on sale.