The gaming landscape seems to be full of 80+ hour games these days, and hardly anything that can be beaten in a single sitting. Much like Journey or Flower from thatgamecompany; developer Dotoyou has decided to create an experience that is not only short, but has a sweet message behind it.
KOI is a top down 2D game, you are a Koi fish trying to return to its owner in a pond that has been overcome with pollution, and you must guide fish to certain lily pads and make lotus flowers bloom. Yes, the premise doesn’t really make much sense, but it is intriguing enough to keep you playing. There are enemies and traps to avoid as well as collectables. You will find yourself roaming around this laid back adventure and slowly absorb what is happening without too many problems.
The world begins light and bright, and as you progress it gets darker and more dangerous, reaching the inevitable end for anything that has a beginning. Finally free from these constraints, you play a level that removes all the fears that plague you before and everything is at peace.
By far my favourite part of this game was the soundtrack, it is genuinely brilliant and a great orchestral backdrop to the ever changing moods of the game. The soundtrack is cheerful during the fast moments, and dark and ominous in the gloomy portions of the game, and I hope the soundtrack will be made available to purchase on its own soon.
A single playthrough of KOI can be completed in an hour, but finding the collectables could easily double or triple this amount. However, I found it hard to replay as the pace is incredibly slow, and the gameplay is rather dull to go through it again, but the 1 hour length of the game is perfect to keep you entertained.
KOI is a pretty game, it is short, and sweet, but it mirrors many ideas seen in Flower; some are scarily similar, and it is clearly the influence for this game. If you are looking for something different then this may be for you, but if the ratio of price to hours of gameplay is something you look for then this definitely is not for you.