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: Very Positive (656 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. (PC & Mac only)

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
73 of 82 people (89%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
I am alone.

As with most places in this desolate world I find myself in, the room is almost entirely monochromatic. Green, but not a green like living plants, but a green like something sickly and dying. Rotten. Slimy. It is a long corridor, and unlike the other places I have visited, it is somewhat claustrophobic. Large caskets line the sides of the corridor, and as I walk slowly along, looking for something I am expected to do, I stop and investigate one.

There is a monitor on each casket. Some are broken, some flicker with static, but this one shows an image, though of what, I cannot see. I stand there for awhile, longer maybe than I should, waiting for something to appear on that monitor, but if the image changes, it is perhaps only my imagination. Or my reflection.

Kairo is a strange, ominous world. There are great monoliths to explore, machines that reach up to the heavens, and cramped corridors to wander through. Some rooms have puzzles, some are just desolate walkways, hanging out over an abyss.

I feel I am in purgatory. The very first action this game asks you to take is a leap of faith. This is what the game expects of you- perhaps not to understand, but to experience.

Visually, this game is a treat of abstract, bold art. Simple, yes, but the limited pallette serves to build the abandoned atmosphere of the game, and Kairo is more than capable of providing small details mixed in amongst the enormous structures. The appearance of the game almost looks somewhat grainy, like an old photograph.

The sound is just the howl of empty wind in enormous rooms. Rocks grind and scrape over surfaces as you move puzzles into place. There is some music, but it did not stand out to me in comparison to the rooms that whistle with loneliness.

Kairo is, for the most part, a puzzle game. You manipulate these great structures, these old, broken runes, to find your way through. Some of the puzzles are simple, some of them seem to make little sense, requiring simple trial and error. Kairo does provide 'hints' for each level, but they are otiose at best, perhaps deliberately. Still, there is a sense of accomplishment at defeating these particular puzzles, and a continual drive to see what might be next keeps you going.

Do I understand what is going on? I feel I do. But at the same time, I feel that there are many right answers.

So, come. Walk with me for awhile.
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29 of 29 people (100%) found this review helpful
168.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
There are many, many able reviews of this game so I'll just add some short remarks.

I find Kairo haunting and beautiful. Every time I reach the final goal, and the credits roll, and the music plays I think of creator Richard Perrin and his father — and the loss of my own — but it’s hopeful and optimistic. Still the entire experience exhibits a sense of loss and recapitulates same. For me the game is an expression that I enjoy somewhat plaintively in its context.

I play it often enough at my three-year-old's insistent request. He has none of this context! But he still wants to come back again and again. He finds it mesmerizing as he instructs me where to go and what to inspect next — the first time, his eyes wide in amazement. I think at his age he's captivated by the geometry and the color (children's entertainment is generally far from this). “Go see where the blocks are painted!”, “Go to the black moon!”, “Go in the elevator!”, “Show me the dinosaur!”, “Fly into the sky!” He’s still surprised when the environment springs to life. I’m surprised to see we’ve wandered around Kairo for over 150 hours in the last year or so.

In short, a moving experience for a parent, and a curious adventure for a child. Play it together. Appreciate the time you have together.

So really, this is a thank you note. Thank you, Richard Perrin and the rest that made Kairo possible.
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29 of 30 people (97%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Kairo is one of thise gems amongst the steam garbage I seem to keep running into. After playing antichamber, I absoultely had to play Kairo.

Kairo is a game in which you appear to be embarking into the depths of an ancient egypt-like machine that either uses magic or technology too far beyond you to understand. Either way, Kairo is one of those games that doesn't explain anything to you (though you have the option of hints, which don't help much) so it requires a lot of problem solving and logistics on your part.
Most of the puzzles are self-explanitory, and the ones that aren't normally are supplied with a stone or wall you have to look at. Once you find those, you then proceed to facepalm realizing how simple the complex-looking puzzle really is. Even so, the puzzles really are challanging, to the point where I actually had to look up a walkthrough for one of them because it didn't seem to be based on any rhyme or reason (and that I couldn't find any stones or walls to explain it) I'm sure you'll identify the one I'm talking about if you play this game.
The story is widely open to interpretation though. There were points in the story that sent a legit chill down my spine. Other moments had me scratching my head wondering what just happened. In order to understand it, you're required to fill in a lot of blanks.
Overall, despite it's cheap graphics and oddly slippery controls, Kairo is a game that you'll enjoy figuring out for yourself, and then be proud to finish.
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23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
This is one of those puzzle games that is very difficult. It's llike taking a pretzel, placing it in a room with two torches and asking someone to figure out the puzzle. The puzzles in this game tend to range from "Oh wow, the answer is simple" to "how does this even result in THAT kind of answer?!"

The graphics remind me a lot of older Playstation games which is alright in this case. This isn't meant to be a masterpiece, it's more of an art style game, it takes a good eye to enjoy this and the puzzles that lie inside. As for those little out of spot marks you see here and there in each part of the game, let's just say it results in getting the best ending ever (coffee is great indeed).

The sounds are something else and just sound so lively in a place that is almost entirely desolate. Find a certain thing or two in the game can be equally heartbreaking and allows you to come to your own conclusion on what you think led to the events in this game.

9.5/10 Would recommend to friends. The achievments are a bit difficult but fun to get. :)
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Exploration based chillout game. if you want an experiance.. buy this game. relax enjoy. excellent music. atmosphere are every corner. and peace. discover the mystery of an ancient alien ruin.. and in doing so find a lost piece of yourself. Inde AA. Dava
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
This was an interesting game. I got this one in a bundle at some point and decided to play it today. I will say this...the game is incredibly difficult. There is a good chance you will wander without any idea what the hell you are doing and may quit as a result. That is actually a knock on this game. There is no such thing as obvious, with a couple exceptions. The game doesnt teach you anything really, and you are left to your own devices to sort out what you are supposed to do and the proper order in which to do so.
So....use a guide. This is one game where a guide is almost a necessity. You may be the sort of person who can figure out a game like this, but most people who play this wont finish it without the help of a guide. However, if you do, it doesnt detract from the experience at all, and the experience is really what this game is all about. For all that puzzles are the biggest challenge in this game, the sense of exploration and the different scenery is what makes this game stand out. I didnt get the sense of an overall story except:


That this is maybe a galactic museum of sorts, or a museum at the end of the world, or something like that, and the last curator died, after which it fell into disrepair. You are basically fixing it and getting it up and running again.


So, points off for not being very accessible at all, but points in its favor for being pretty unique and uniquely challenging. Pus, that secret ending was pretty funny when taking the rest of the game into consideration.

All in all, a 3 out of 10 for lack of accessibility and the (IMO) necessity of using a guide, but 8 out of 10 for everything else. Try it out. See what you think of it. I think it is a relevant game that will capture your imagination.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
I'm not a huge fan of Kairo. It's a puzzle game, but you never get those satisfying "ah-ha!"moments from a puzzle successfully solved. The puzzles are often frustrating, esoteric and are rarely particularly logical. There's thankfully a built-in hint system, but that doesn't really make it any more satisfying. You end up with a more "Oh, that's what they wanted me to do? Huh, okay." than anything. The (very) minimal graphics, sound and story don't do much to entice you to slog through the rest of the game.

If you want a surreal, minimalist walking simulator, NaissencE is a much better game. If you want surreal first-person puzzling in a clean white-washed environment, go for Antichamber or even something like QUBE.

I enjoy surreal/minimalist walking simulators and first-person puzzlers, but this game just doesn't do it for me.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
I have enjoyed every moment with this game. I haven't quite finished it yet, but I'm confident in recommending it. To be clear, if you're looking for a fast-paced game with all the latest bells and whistles, this is not the one for you. The graphics and music are quite simple, and gameplay is as slow-paced as you'd like it to be. However, I disagree with those who call this a "walking simulator." It is very much a game. There are puzzles to solve as well as a story to uncover.

The puzzles are very well-designed. There is no dialogue and no text, yet somehow it's always clear what you're expected to do. Some of the puzzles are quite simple, while others are much more complex, but I haven't found a single one I couldn't solve with a little patience and logical thought. It's not too easy, but it's not too difficult, either. There was only one puzzle I needed hints for - and those hints are provided in the game menu. There are three hints for each puzzle, starting out vague and growing more specific, so you can get exactly the amount of help you need if you ever get stuck.

The story is revealed entirely through gameplay. When I first started playing, I didn't expect there to be much of a story. I was satisfied with the beautiful abandoned abstract architecture and puzzles. The first time I uncovered an unexpected plot twist, my heart skipped a beat, and every one I've found after that has led to even more amazed moments. I'm very picky about storytelling, and this is one game that does it perfectly without ever resorting to dialogue or verbal exposition.

Overall, it's a well-crafted game. Everything in it functions well and it all comes together to form a beautiful whole. It's not for everyone, but I think most people will find it enjoyable and well worth buying.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 14
I previously mentioned this game in my Antichamber review of some time ago for anyone who missed it, so here's my thoughts about Kairo.

Kairo is a minimalist abstract puzzle-exploration game, and when I say "minimalist", chances are what I'm talking about really is. Ever since the Minecraft craze, we've seen many other cube worlds around inspired by retro classics (Fez comes to mind) and Kairo is no exception to the rule, making everything look like it's made of technicolor limestone with some film grain thrown in for good measure and why not, ancient ruins from a timeless age. Basically, a highly geometrical version of the areas in Ico for those old enough to remember it.

Starting by the gameplay, it's as stripped down as it can possibly be: you can only walk around the areas through the arrow keys and you can, indeed, jump with the spacebar. That's it. And that's all you need to get across the levels. The puzzle design is made in a way to never lean too much on trial-and-error and moon logic solutions, although there may be a few instances where this happens. It is, however, not the rule in this game fortunately and you generally won't need a walkthrough to finish the experience (you may need it for only a couple of puzzles at best). As mentioned before, exploration plays an important role not only as a medium of conveying certain moods but also to give a sense of structure to this abstract maze.

One of the biggest drawbacks of Kairo, in my opinion, is the huge amount of unused potential. The sound design, while soothing at times and as minimal as it can get, I think still fails to deliver an immersive atmosphere, relying only on very simple loops that could have been better layered and more varied. Yes, even Ambient music can reach a certain level of depth so much to give some personality and identity to a scenario, rewarding close listeners with a satisfying ambiance and helping setting the mood while staying relatively background. A soundtrack made only of a few environmental sounds, very repetitive sound effects (that freaking stone rumbling) and a bunch of droning loops don't make enough of a rewarding sonic experience to me.

But it's not just the soundtrack, it's pretty much about how this game made me wish for more the more I ran through the puzzles and areas suspended on a blank white/any primary color void for no apparent reason. I noticed newer versions of Kairo introduced some sort of achievement system and even Steam trading cards as an eye candy, but honestly, there isn't much to achieve in this game if not collecting a sequence of unexplained symbols or glyphs throughout the experience and just finish it. Those symbols are not enough of a clue to figure out a bigger, possibly even more mysterious puzzle behind, and this is a problem I encounter in most "art" games that leap in the industry by stripping away what makes an experience enjoyable and memorable marketing it as "different". This game does indeed set a playable base for a "different" experience but it's not enough and it feels unfinished, as it fails to capture the player in the bigger picture behind the world of Kairo.

If you just think of the possibilities this game could have used and then get back at the final product... It's kinda depressing and disappointing. Minimalism doesn't just mean cutting away those same elements that make an experience interesting in the first place. It means using a few of them that are already perfect on their own and sticking to those for adding depth to a complex, but never complicated concept. If you fail to tell a story through your design, it's just a pale portrait of your original idea.

In conclusion, you may give this game a chance and try it out on your own, but I personally find it easily forgettable and mediocre. If artsy exploration games with confusing mechanics aren't exactly your thing, you may skip this entirely and move to other titles.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
This game made my brain make the noise a deflating tire makes.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 13

Kairo is one of the most uniquely atmospheric game I've played. It's visuals are simple, but expertly crafted, both eerie and gorgeous at the same time. To say the least, the game is surreal in it's aesthetics. While the environment is some thing to take in, it's not just about looking at pretty set pieces, the game features mind bending puzzles as it's main motivator.

Though the game is incredibly enjoyable, and wonderfully put together, it does have some minor flaws. The movements feel rather sluggish, and at best, floaty, and there isn't much incentive to replay the game once completed. Not to sound cliche, but Kairo really is about the journey and not the destination.

For $5.00 at it's full price, you are getting a quality product. I can not recommend this game enough, especially at it's low price point.

- Excellent aesthetics
- Surreal and eerie atmosphere
- Interesting puzzles
- A very unique game overall
- $5.00 is unreasonably cheap. This is a good thing for the consumer (I personally think it's worth more than just $5.00)

- Floaty controls
- Not a lot of replay incentives
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Kairo is one of the few games I've played that conveys a story without a single word. Through beautifully done, mysterious environments, and sometimes mind-bending puzzles, Kairo shines as one of the most inspired (and inspirational) games out there.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Probably, the strangest puzzle game I've ever played. You can find yourself in the world of amazing monumental architecture. Nobody will help you to get out of here.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Beautiful game! Great atmosphere and an intriguing mystery that's revealed silently through puzzles. Worth the five bucks for sure!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 6
It took me a while to realise it's a building and not a sword.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Kairo is a rather atmospheric abstract exploration/puzzle game. I think a game like this could work well if there were interesting things to find, but Kairo doesn't have any. The game just ends up being boring from start to finish with a pretty poor and confusing ending to top it off. There are a few pretty creative puzzles throughout but many of the others make no sense and even seem like they deliberately try to confuse you. That's not good puzzle design if you ask me. Replay value seems to rely on annoyingly-hidden secrets, some of which require a lot of slow backtracking.

So if you feel like walking around slowly, staring at confusing puzzles in differently colored rooms with nothing remarkable in them, this is the game for you.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
I think I've finally achieved Nirvana...either that or my mind has just been completely blown. Kairo is jaw dropping immense game of abstract exploration. It's easy to just stop and gaze upon the minimalistic visuals and animations because they are so moving and powerful. As you solve puzzles the world around you changes to reveal things that are impossible to describe in words. The sounds and music are ominous and dramatic, yet they do not frighten and somehow even offer comfort. The puzzles provide a perfect equilibrium of not being overly complicated without solving themselves. Kairo is truly a work of art on so many levels.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Kairo is a game of exploration and mystery, putting a whole world of differently coloured rooms ahead of you, each with its own intrigues and puzzles; the design of those rooms is simplistic, each following a precise theme and colour, without adding too much detail on the ambient, but that's part of what makes Kairo's mystery so great, leaving you with questions about a certain object that you encountered and what useful information that object might have for you. While some of those questions will be answered by the end of the game, most of them won't, leaving you more confused than you were when you first started the game, and as great as that is from the mysterious perspective of the game, it somehow feels disappointing at the same time, as you probably were expecting at least some of the bigger mysteries to be answered in a way or another, but on the bright side that leaves a lot of room for interpretation, allowing each one of us to have our own verdict on what Kairo wanted to tell us. The greatest part about this game however, is the way it manages to shape its universe around you, constantly surprising you with what lies ahead in the next room and leaving you in doubt on how you should react to what you see before your eyes, but at the same time giving you complete freedom to move around and see what you can discover to help you solve that room's puzzle and move forward just to have the same thing happen to you all over again. In the end, judging by the amount of hours you've spent in Kairo it won't add up to more than a few hours, but really digging into the experience and enjoying the mysteries it has to tell, it will seem a lot longer while you're inside and exploring at will, even though for most times, the more you explore, the more unanswered questions you'll have at the end.
Rating: 7.5

Every once in a while, you run into those type of games that offer a unique and thrilling experience without focusing too much on the gameplay, but rather on the experience you have by simply being a part of that game and uncovering its mysteries; Kairo is exactly that type of game, delivering a simplistic mechanic of navigating through its universe and clever ways to solve its puzzles by using nothing else besides the basic movements and the environment around you. This game is all about exploration and uncovering the numerous mysteries that lie ahead, using the things you've seen before and the things you see in that very moment to help you solve different puzzles that stand in the way of your progression, something that works wonderful in Kairo, following a logical way of seeing things and even though the solution might not be that obvious at first, exploring the environment around you will eventually give you the information you need. Most areas follow the same pattern, requiring you to enter all the side rooms, observe what you can do in there and get things moving again until each and every one of the required steps has been completed and the core of that area is up and running, allowing you to move forward on to the next one. By putting some of the information you need to unlock various secrets in the rooms ahead of you, Kairo requires you to return to previously visited areas without feeling repetitive or boring, as there will always be something new to uncover that you might have missed on your first visit, and with the information from the rooms ahead of you in mind, you will for most of the times, know what you're looking for already. Even with the usage of the movements keys only, some of the mechanics such as pushing objects around feel like they haven't reached their full potential, as such simple things could've expanded the way in which puzzles are treated in various ways, making the game longer and adding that extra gameplay portion that's missing.

It's hard not to appreciate the unique art style of Kairo and the wonderful and sometimes spooky environments it delivers, but even in all the simplicity of shapes and precise objects you can clearly see the outdated engine on which the game was built. There are an almost infinite number of ways in which this game could have been improved by using the latest game engines, especially in the lighting area, where the latest engines would've made a huge difference on how that room is viewed and the exact experience the game wanted to deliver.
Rating: 5.5

There's always a great tune playing in the background to add to the feel of a certain room, sometimes adding to the feeling of joy and liberty, while other times cornering you in a small room with little light and a spooky theme to add to the mystery effect. The sound effects as low quality as they are do their job well enough, but there was room for a little more variety and a few more touches here and there to make you hear the world moving around you when it does visually happen on the screen.
Rating: 7

It takes around four hours to complete Kairo, add an extra hour or two if you're looking to get the most out of it and collect all the glyphs, monoliths and solve all the secret puzzles, but also note that this is a game priced at 3.99€, so for that amount of money, it does more than enough to please. With the amount of mystery and out of place objects you can find in this game there was room for a lot more, as some of the areas are not used to their fullest and areas that seem to have some sort of puzzle attached to them at first, are just there to give the impression of having more to see.
Rating: 9

Kairo isn't much of a game, but it's one great experience, especially if you're into the abstract puzzle genre, as its unique design and way of saying things make it a must play for any enthusiast of the genre. As in most cases, there was room for more in some areas and modern graphics would've made a huge difference in the way the game unveils to you, but considering the fact that this is an indie game, it did a great job delivering a worthy experience from a low budget production.
Rating Overall: 7.4

Check out the full review and a lot more about Kairo at http://gamedragons.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=279
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Kairo is PureFun - 9/10

Great Puzzles and Beautilful Architecture....
Love the Colors.... I made some great screen shots upload to Steam....

This puzzle in a 3D world is great - and I used a guide for about 30% of the puzzles :P

I can't wait to see what comes next from this Indie Dude....

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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Beautiful architecture and environment, sometimes incomprehensible puzzles, and real cheap even at full price. Not perfect but certainly worth your time.
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