DescriptionKairo is an adventure game played from a first-person perspective. Without context the protagonist is dropped in a surreal environment with large structures, glowing colours and sinister ambient music. To proceed and discover new locations, environment-based puzzles need to be solved. Controls are limited to movement, looking around and jumping. Interaction can be done by standing on tiles to activate them or by walking into them. There is no HUD. In certain parts it is possible to fall down, but then white squares appear as in a force field and the character respawns at the last location.
The different locations are linked together through portals. Puzzles need to be solved entirely by observing the environment. In a typical situation the player will enter the room and first look around for parts to interact with. By pushing them down and observing changes in the environment, guesses can be made to form sequences of interactions. Rather than random trial and error, clues are provided in the environment through symbols, elements that light up and specific sounds. The game is entirely linear, but larger locations are sometimes split up into different rooms each with their own puzzle that can be tackled in any order. In those cases there is always a pattern in the environment that shows the overall progress.
Not all rooms offer challenges. There are also environments where the player can fool around to play music or a starlab where star patterns can be altered. Even though the structures look ancient, there are futuristic elements through large energy beams and translucent elevators. Some parts of the environment also change based on the player's movement alone, forming or releasing barriers, or assembling or disassembling a monument. There are rooms that provide hints about the context, with glowing TV screens showing locations or mysterious characters. When stuck entirely, up to three hints for each puzzle can be viewed in the menu. They reveal progressively more, but always require the player to figure it out eventually without explaining every single action needed. The game is saved automatically.
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|Eurogamer.net (UK)||Nov 12, 2012||8 out of 10||80|
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