KOI is like a hybrid of Flower mixed with Journey. It stars a fish, stuck in a Koi pond that’s been infected. The goal is to revitalize the pond’s vegetation and wildlife before the curse was sprung. There’s text throw in now and again, but for the most part it’s a solitary journey, leaving interpretation up to the player. With that said, it’s not exactly trying to say anything profound. It’s a journey, sure, but it’s not a majestic one.
There’s not a lot of intricacy to the gameplay either and that’s okay. It reflects the relaxing nature of koi ponds in real life. Players control one fish that can gather other, color coded ones, to blossom flowers on the leaves, thus unlocking new areas. Small puzzles block paths as well including memorization and line segments. While it’s good to include variety, it takes away from the chill vibe. Simon says like memorization games are never fun especially when they’re randomized and elongated to frustrating degrees.
KOI tries it’s best to blend in with some of the best Indies, but just doesn’t make the cut. Everything about the game is average so it’s not exactly bad so much as it is bland. The game’s bright, colorful simplistic design is charming, but not iconic. Beyond the colorful ponds and some brief moments of joy, KOI won’t be a satisfying journey for most.
Score: 2/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review copy. This article was originally published on April 20, 2016 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.