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 (900 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
65 of 67 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
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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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
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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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
This game made my brain make the noise a deflating tire makes.
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11 of 12 people (92%) 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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26 of 42 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Forever Alone!!!
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7 of 8 people (88%) 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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12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Beautiful game! Great atmosphere and an intriguing mystery that's revealed silently through puzzles. Worth the five bucks for sure!
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3 of 3 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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3 of 3 people (100%) 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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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 people 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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7 of 11 people (64%) 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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7 of 11 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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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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Great Puzzle.
Great Atmosphere.
Great Sound.
Great walking/exploration game.
Great Price.

Game Deserves Gr8t :

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2 of 2 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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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
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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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
Creepy & genial game w/ beautiful atmospheric sounddesign.
18/18 secret runs!
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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
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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