Enter the lost world of Kairo. Explore vast abandoned monuments. Bring strange and ancient machinery back to life. Slowly uncover the true purpose of Kairo and fulfil a great destiny. Kairo is an atmospheric 3D exploration and puzzle solving game.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (908 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 24, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A wonderful piece of explorable, challenging artistry, a stunning collection of esoteric architecture, and a delightfully peculiar journey."
Read the full review here.


Kairo is mysterious and elegant and powerfully distinct. Like Fez and Minecraft, it will work its way into your dreams if you're not careful.
8/10 – Eurogamer

It's such a beautiful world to explore, such captivating, simple mechanics, and such a lasting impression.
8/10 – GamesTM

The world of Kairo is like a playable, explorable tone poem.
4.5/5 – Touch Arcade

About This Game

Enter the lost world of Kairo. Explore vast abandoned monuments. Bring strange and ancient machinery back to life. Slowly uncover the true purpose of Kairo and fulfil a great destiny.

Kairo is an atmospheric 3D exploration and puzzle solving game. Developed by Richard Perrin the creator of the white chamber with music by Wounds (Bartosz Szturgiewicz).

Key Features

  • Exploration - Travel through a strange world full of abstract architecture. Each room is unique so there's always something new to find.
  • Puzzle Solving - Repair ancient forgotten machinery to slowly bring the world back to life.
  • Enviromental Storytelling - Exposition without the traditional dialogue or text. The story of Kairo is told through the world itself. The things you find will slowly help you unravel the true purpose of this mysterious land.
  • Atmospheric Soundtrack - The music helps shape the land and will fill you with an equal measure of wonder and dread.
  • Oculus Rift Support - Fully immerse yourself within the world of Kairo using the Oculus Rift VR headset. (DK1 PC & Mac only, DK2 coming soon)

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    • OS:OSX 10.6
    • Processor:2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
    • OS:Ubuntu 10.10
    • Processor:2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
Kairo is an abstract first person puzzle/exploration game where you work your way through a geometric world to complete what are initially seemingly arbitrary tasks to accomplish a goal which is not immediately apparent. It is obtuse, but stylistically so, and easy to get lost in. I recommend walking around and exploring before diving in too deep, but when stuck in any given room, you can go into the menu and choose up to three Hints to help point you in the right direction - this is the saving grace of the game, as they progressively give more direction without telling you what exactly to do, so you're never actually LOST, it can just feel like it at times.

The controls are a little "floaty" - they don't feel as tight as most other first person games, but due to a lack of combat that's not necessarily a problem, just takes some getting used to. The graphics are simple, but very effective - the spectacle is quite impressive.

In addition to the normal gameplay goals, there are a series of 18 runes to find hidden about the game, one "go back and find later" puzzle where, after you exit an area, something secret opens up which you can find, and three exceptionally hard "did you notice that one little thing elsewhere? Interpret it in this abstract way here!" puzzles which you might need to look for external guides for.

The game doesn't take too long (aside from those harder puzzles) - 3-4 hours should probably be enough to get through it.

I had a good time with it. It's probably not up everyone's alley, but if the above sounds interesting, check it out.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
I very much enjoyed this game. I haven't played it for long but I feel the need to let others know to not be discouraged. It's like a dream.
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26 of 45 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Forever Alone!!!
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
I'm nothing if not a fan of ambiguity to such an extreme that I can interpret something as a commentary on whatever I dern well please, and Kairo is an experience that excels in creating a blank slate open to any and pretty much all interpretations. This game is simplicity in action, and as I delved deeply into the carved blocks of granite/obsidian/stone/randomness to discern some hidden meaning behind it all, I found myself continually following my own line of thought, like a dog trailing after the scent of a long lost bone he buried somewhere deep in the earth.

I honestly attempted to like this game, but sometimes a little concrete meaning is required after a jumble of meaningless gravel. What I mean is that Kairo is far too ambiguous; I can wander aimlessly through this game and decide what it means for myself until, quite literally, the very end, at which point Kairo finally decides to give me something solid - not okay, guys, not okay.

Kairo is a game that lets you wander through a child's block fort, occasionally posing *cough cough* "puzzles" that briefly halt your progress through the maze of nothingness. I felt as though the developers had a clear idea as to what they wanted to say, sat down in a conference room and said "Hey guys, woudn't it be really cool if we..." and then glued together a jumbled mess of a game.... Sorry, 'experience'. I received conflicting feelings of paranoia and comfort throughout the game, feeling at one time as though I were being watched and at another time as though I were revolting against an omnitient, though not omnipotent, regime, slowly tearing it down brick by ambiguous brick. I think each *cough cough* "puzzle" in this 'experience' was arbitrarily assigned some deeper 'meaning' after the story-board team smoked an acre of some illegal substance. That doesn't fly with me. I am certainly not saying I don't LOVE pushing my smug nose up and saying "Oh yesh, I am a very smart man and love interpreting games and books and movies because I am so deep and insightful" because I do love to say that. I am a smarmy head-up-my-ahem turd; Kairo is a jumbled mess of obfuscated meaning with an alternate ending (oh joy) to encourage further 'experiencing'. That's cheap, guys.

IN BRIEF (he said ironically): Kairo is a block fort, glued together by a toddler hyped up on three gallons of coffee. Then a guy walked by and glued a tagline onto it that belongs at the bottom of an inspirational cat poster. If you have something to say, then say it. If you believe in what you're saying, then you want people to agree with you: make sure they know what you believe.

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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
I picked up this game on a whim when it went on sale some time ago, and while it's not very long (I completed it in three hours) it's unique enough to where I consider it merits a review of its own.

First off, let me nerd out at how good the ambiance is for a couple of paragraphs. The visuals are given sense by an excellent sound design, which kept me on edge for the duration of my playthrough; an achievement, considering the fundamentally abstract and calming nature of the setting. I didn't ever not feel like I was in an old, abandoned, alien place which might fall apart at any second, except when I finished the puzzle in the area and the whole place lighted up and started functioning again, but even then, the sense of foreboding was ever-present. Wide open areas get floaty synths that lurk just outside your hearing, punctuated by the slight pat pat pat of the character's walking, and inside areas each have a soundtrack that fits in well with what's around you. Going in blind, I half-expected the game to throw in some jumpscares at me at some point or another, but the actual gameplay was very deliberate and focused around the "narrative".

The game also shines in its visuals. You might be thinking, "Well, yeah, the game markets itself as a puzzle/exploration game, it's bound to have some nice environments", but some areas are unique enough to actually merit a "Holly ♥♥♥♥, this is amazing". This makes the actual gameplay suffer at times, though, as you're made to slowly walk up and down a ramp to press at buttons to try to figure the room's huge puzzle in an epic journey that was evidently designed to show off every possible angle of the room with no regards to how long it might take to get from one place to another.

The actual puzzles themselves, the main focus of the game, is where it's a bit lacking. For all the praise I might sing of its visuals and environments, it's a bit hard to justify some of the choices regarding their design. I found myself having to constantly check at the in-game hints and a guide I kept handy to figure out the worst of them. There's a special variety that I particularly loathed, which are the kind of puzzle that required you to move against a timer over pressure pads on the floor in a particular pattern, which was made very infuriating with the character's tendency to slide around as if the floor was iced over. I'd say this is the area of the game where it's at its weakest.

I mentioned the game's narrative with quotation marks earlier on in this review, and that is because it's entirely possible to ignore it and never know anything about it, as it's never actually presented to you. It's just "there", and it doesn't care if you pick up on it or not. It's perfectly fine with sitting alone above the dusty door-frame of the room you just dismissed as pure eye candy and never having anything to do with you. It's not terribly complicated or unique, but it gives a sense to your running around, so I do recommend you take the time to trying to figure it out.

Should you buy this game? If you can overlook that it's quite average as puzzle games go, and instead want to be awed by the amazing environments and architecture that it provides, sure, go for it. If not, you'll probably be wasting your money.

I should also mention that it runs excellently in lower-end computers. So there's that.
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
I kept waiting for something interesting to happen, some secret to uncover, some story to unfold – but it is just a long sequence of pretty, mostly empty, monochrome halls and spaces with more-or-less intriguing puzzles. The few "story-related" hints every now and then do not match the basic design, they feel like foreign objects artificially inserted and in no way constitute storytelling. Apart from that: both visual and sound design are adequate, sometimes even fascinating, but of course not on the same level as the "big" titles.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Interesting experiment. If you have a thing for architecture, this is for you.

Don't expect much gameplay out of this, though.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
A puzzler game with a deep story that's conveyed without speech or reading. A wonderful piece of explorable, challenging artistry, a stunning collection of esoteric architecture, and a delightfully peculiar journey.

Game: 7.0/10
Graphic: 7.5/10

100% Achievement : Easy | Medium | Hard | Very Hard
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
One Sentence
Atmospherically interesting and surreal puzzle game with some glaring flaws.

A Bit More
Let me first say I got this game for the fair price of 0.74$ and I think paying full price may also be a fair deal, depending on where your video game preferences lie.
Kairo sets the mood pretty early with it's ominous soundtrack and stark visuals. I found the grain effect and mouse smoothing (default settings) annoying so I had to turn them off straight away. I had extremely choppy/laggy mouse and keyboard movement which might be due to my weak computer but this game should not as demanding on the cpu as it is. Despite all that Kairo's atmosphere is enjoyable and the much needed hint system helps in teaching you what the level design won't. Towards the later segments of the game the puzzles lose some of their quality and the map design will leave most players wondering around without much enjoyment.

Bottom Line
If you enjoy difficult puzzles and open ended mysteries Kairo will give you your money's worth

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7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
It took me a while to realise it's a building and not a sword.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
The only thing that would make this game better is if a knew how to play
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
Very cryptic game. You will feel like a fine craftsman trying to repair an immense mechanism of which you can't grasp the entire dimension and function, and yet, each part of it it's so beautiful in its minimalistic design.

The puzzles aren't hard to solve and it won't take you a lot of time to travel through the entire world. For that matter, someone will probably call this game more of a "walking simulator", but maybe in this case a "vision" simulator label could be appropriate.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Ever since I started playing this game, I have been plagued by unspeakable nightmares. Such horrific phantasms that cannot be adequately described by human beings have ravished my every sleeping moment. I can't fully describe the horror, but I will do my best.

My dreams all start with me standing on a throne pedestal, overseeing nothing but a building off to the left and a tall tower to the right. As i enter the building, it plays the beginning of the game through my head, sometimes doing puzzles out of order, finding odd things wrong with them, like looking behind a pillar for the symbols and finding Trollfaces there instead. But all my dreams end the same way. Everything starts turning all grainy and fuzzy, and suddenly I can't move, and a giant red rhombus starts licking the right side of my nose and I can't get away.

Damn that red rhombus.

Then I'm being chased through something like a chinese restaurant except everything is blue and on the ceiling, and nothing's chasing me, but a waterfall of chicken noodle soup keeps raining down from the sky, except its not chicken noodle soop. I don't know. And then, God starts slapping me back and forth across the face, yelling some bizarre phrase over and over that seems to make a lot of sense but i can never remember what he said.

Then I fall back into the game, and the red rhombus (damn that red rhombus), starts chasing me while punching a pair of my old tennis shoes, or some other object from my house. Sometimes i wake up at that point, but other times I end up in what could only be described as cowboy hell where I'm tormented by something like Johnny Cash and yodelling cacti for a while, and then right before the earth-sized cake from Portal is about to crush me, I wake up.

The full horror of these dreams cannot be expressed fully through these feeble attempts.

∞/√-3 would walk lonely and blindly through an abandoned ghost world again
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
Great music, somewhat abstract puzzles (I definitely overthought some things towards the end), cool world, extremely cheap. definitely worth buying and playing through if you're a fan of stuff like antichamber for instance...but don't expect too much
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
Complex, Surreal, and Haunting atmospheric puzzle game which takes player to explore and engage player to fix the broken world. Not just the impressive world design, but room puzzles are pretty challenged and make you think in logic... And beautiful musics.

I highly recommend for people who interest in abstract game and fun puzzle to deal.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
It's hard to decide whether to give this game a recommendation or not. I liked it, but this game is absolutely not for everyone. Its very artsy, which will be a turnoff for some. There are environmental type puzzles to solve -- and sometimes it is not at all clear what to do. The graphics don't get any better than the screenshots. The game has a science fiction vibe, but it's more of an atmospheric game; not a lot of plot as such.

If you like exploring, and like a sci-fi type atomosphere, and don't mind a game that is artistic rather than traditionally fun, you might enjoy the game. I did. But that was a long list of qualifiers.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
Kairo is worth your time and money, but only because it requires minute amounts of both. I recommend it in all its lukewarm glory.

It's a puzzle-game with platforming elements - unlike its contemporaries Kairo gives you a full range of movement that helps avoid the monotony of more "walking simulator"-esque games, though it rarely expects you to actually platform. There's something to be said for bunnyhopping your way through the environment, and there's even some collectables that take advantage of the movement system.

Kairo ran well enough, though I did have some minor troubles getting stuck on the geometry and consistently had clipping issues with the camera edges while running it at a 1920x1080 resolution, which I don't particularly hold against the game.

It bills itself as an exploration game, but the progression is still largely straightforward - you travel from hub to hub solving puzzles in siderooms accessible via portals. Your exploration is largely limited to the next area the game wants you to go. I didn't think this was a negative aspect in the slightest, as I've personally no interest in wandering around some landscape with no idea where to go, but unless you figure exploration to mean "looking at the game as you progress through it" then it does stand out.

The puzzles are simple and easy to figure out, rarely requiring more than a few minutes of experimentation to figure out each ones internal logic structure (outside of one frustratingly weird gear puzzle that I'm still not sure how I managed to solve). You're never outright told what to do, but given your simple moveset and means of interaction - mostly pushing blocks or activating buttons - it's not hard to figure out, though there's a hint system anyway. If you've ever played a puzzle game before, you'll just be going through the motions.

Throughout the game, there's a consistent rate of highly unique rooms to traverse as you solve the puzzles presented. These rooms are sadly marred by their low budget - the massive structures are simplistic, and empty, mostly relying on the novelty of the colour schemes and their sheer vastness to hold your attention. Given the short amount of time you spend in each area, it works, though if/when you backtrack to pick up collectables you've missed and solve optional puzzles you'll the novelty wears off.

Story is there, but it's completely ambiguous, mostly symbolic and only really lends itself to the game through some notable imagery. It's not really worth "figuring out", I didn't bother with it and I doubt it's meant to be a part of the "experience", but the flavour it lends to the puzzles is appreciated nonetheless.

The advantages of Kairo lie in how casual a game it is. It's a game to wind down with, cool off and a have a cup of joe while adjusting to the game's own wavelength. It was obviously a labour of love, but there's not much more to the game than that. There's nothing wrong with that. There's just nothing memorable about it either.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
NaissanceE and Kairo share many stylistic and gameplay similarities. Both prominently feature first-person exploration of vast, compelling brutalist architecture, monochromatic visuals (frequently, but not always greyscale), a profound sense of isolation, a deliberately ambiguous plot and practically-undefined protagonist, as well as an overarching dreamlike quality to the entire experience.
Where NaissanceE is primarily exploration and platforming with some occasional light puzzle-solving, Kairo is primarily exploration and puzzle-solving with some occasional light platforming.
Most of Kairo's puzzles are thoughtful and reveal their answers with observation and consideration. There were certainly a few that were much less complicated than I made them out to be, some that felt like simple trial and error, but a couple were obscure enough that I eventually resorted to searching out the answer. (Ugh, the wheels of shapes!) Fortunately, you're usually given a few puzzles at a time to work on in whatever order you choose. There are also some extra-credit puzzles that unlock the super-secret ending that lays bare the true meaning of the bizarre mechanisms you set in motion throughout the game.
While NaissanceE has a handful of video-game and pop-culture references, Kairo isn't afraid to give a nod and a wink to other games.
Steam says I've got about 5 hours into Kairo, and I feel like I was able to explore the gameworld pretty thorougly in that time. Since I got it on sale for less than $1.50, I'd say that was easily worth the price of admission.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
This certainly was a game.

Story: 10/25 Gameplay: 22/25 Graphics: 18/25 Sound: 17/25

OVERALL: 67/100

I honestly have no idea what I just played here. The story was there? I guess. I'm not sure. It didn't really click at first that all these different elements connected to form the "story" and even once it did, I really wasn't that interested. The gameplay was nice and I had a lot of fun exploring the world and doing the puzzles. The graphics and sound didn't really wow me and nothing stood out for me in those regards. Interesting puzzle adventure game.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
Just a simple review for this game.

Kairo is a very good example of a game that is about puzzles, and about logical thinking. This game does not beat around the bush in trying to add other things alongside the puzzles. It is very much focused on puzzles that force a person to really think, or to be patient and wait til an answer appears. The game can be frustrating because often times, you will come across a puzzle in which doing things in the wrong order, will lead to various issues, or puzzles where an answer is not possible to find until a later time. I knw that it was annoying trying to figure out a few of the puzzles, and eventually used a hint guide to figure it out.

Graphics: Very basic graphics, low res textures and stuff. But like I said before, this game focuses on the puzzle aspect, not the pretty visuals. Also, there are a nice color theme that can be seen so that is enjoyable.

Audio: Very minimal muisc because it focuses on the puzzle, not the other things.

Game Mechnics: The controls are very simple. You move, you jump, you run. Nothing more, nothing less. You solve puzzles by moving in certain areas, moving objects to certain areas, and standing in certain places.

Story: None that I could see, but thats possibly due to it focusing on the puzzles, rather than the story.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable game that can be frustrating at times, due to the challenging aspect of it, but since there is a 100% guide on Steam, you will always have a way to make it through IF, key word is if, you need it. If you are not that good with puzzles or logical thinking, then I would not recommend this because it will easily frustate you.
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