By Tom Hooper aka Atomp
Kairo is a first person exploration and puzzle game where the player will progress through a series of puzzles planted within varied architectural constructions of awe inspiring construction.
The gameplay itself revolves around interacting with the environment mostly through pushing or standing due to the lack of an interact key binding. This is an interesting move and I’m guessing it was done to avoid the inherently ‘gamey’ nature of “Press E to Interact”, in which it succeeds as the interactions feel fluid and natural. Not only this but I feel that this element of game design assists in portraying the nature of the ancient and alien technologies at play within the game world, for example the first interaction is pushing a stone throne back along a track into position by physically walking against it. The feeling of pushing this mechanical piece combined with the sound of stone against stone creates a feeling of fluid and natural interaction far in excess of that provided by “Press E to Push”.
This is really the essence of interaction and the rest of the gameplay is focused around exploring the environments and solving a variety of puzzles. Many of the puzzles have a hub mechanism with multiple puzzles required to unlock further progress, this is a good move as it avoids the risk of linearity and provides the player with a choice if a certain puzzle temporarily stumps them. The puzzles themselves are generally contained within a certain room (although often that word does not do the architecture justice as I will discuss later) although as mentioned they can combine to provide a larger solution to a hub area. These are done well and as a player you aren’t going to be confronted with Myst-like ambiguity in the puzzles, this isn’t going to be a pull-lever-and-unknown-changes-happen-somewhere situation. Continue reading