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Video Game / Kairo

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Kairo is a Puzzle Game by Richard Perrin (one of the designers behind the white chamber). It was released for PCs in 2012, and ported to Steam and iOS devices in 2013.

Kairo is a world opened for exploration, seemingly completely void of all life except the player themselves - there are some strange floating runes to be found as well.

The website can be found here. Not to be confused with the 2001 Japanese film of the same name. Or even the capital of Egypt (that's Cairo).

Tropes present in this game:

  • Alien Geometries: Everything is floating in a void. The opening of the game has you able to walk across the floor of the void to the next building.
  • Beautiful Void: There are some truly breathtaking vista in this game, including the final hub area and the reveal of the tower.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Most of the chambers are way too huge to fit into the buildings that they're designed to fit in. It's not possible to draw a blueprint of each building without violating Euclidian geometry. A couple rooms show that you're clearly outdoors, but you can't see the rest of the building you just came from.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Nearly every room is based around one colour being visible.
  • Easter Egg: There are a few hidden throughout the game, sometimes paired with the most difficult puzzles. While one shows a video "revealing" Kairo as a giant coffee maker for Godzilla, most of them are world building: they show Earth in ruin and suggest the player character was an astronaut before being revived.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: After solving enough puzzles, you come across some sort of observation room with a skeleton at the desk and some very startling words engraved into the arm of the stone chair: "I AM ALONE HERE"
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: If you finish the game without once having to look at all three of a puzzle's hints, and without then smacking your forehead over the stupidity of either yourself or the puzzle...give yourself a cookie.
  • No OSHA Compliance: In spades. There's nothing preventing you from trying to fall in any platform.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The trailer took this route.
    • The game in general takes this route. The most noise you can expect to hear while playing is the whirring of mechanisms operating, the footsteps of the player character, the static of the occasional monitor/screen you come across, and the sudden and rather loud gong noise that sounds when you solve a puzzle.
  • Ontological Mystery: Who or what made this place, and what are you doing there?
  • Precursors: An alien script is found on the back of the starting point.
  • The Reveal: In-game architectural clues spell out that Kairo is a machine-planet designed to revive Earth in case of extinction. Images of disaster and an atlas of Earth give way to puzzles that once completed generate raw materials, water and even birds. The fact that Kairo is a giant box of puzzles is Hand Waved by suggesting that if humanity really deserves a second chance, it has to earn it.
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The starting area is influenced by Greco-Roman architecture. This thread appears nowhere else in the game.