JiG is on Patreon and Needs You! Click here for more information


  • Review

  • Browser Games

Koan


  • Currently 4.1/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 4.1/5 (58 votes)
Comments (6) | Views (4,594)

Koan

DoraZenmasters live up to their name with the lovely watercolour-swept puzzle platformer Koan, where you play an impulsive disciple struggling to understand the apparently passive ways of your master when all you want is to climb the mountain and get stronger. After all, what good did sitting around ever do anyone? Well, a lot, actually, since in this game meditating is what allows you to proceed. Using [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, you can move and jump (you'll grab hold of the edges of platforms you're close enough to), moving your cursor to the edges of the screen will scroll the level, and tapping [S] will make you sit or rise from a meditative state. Notice those swirling orbs throughout the stages? Grabbing them allows you to place temporary platforms wherever you like with the click of a button while meditating, and when they vanish after fading in and out for a few seconds, the orb can be retrieved to try again. Your goal in each stage is to use these orbs to make your way to the exit, without falling too far to your death.

KoanKoan is one of those games that's both simple and yet simply lovely. While the controls feel a little stiff in a way that puts me in mind of Another World (or maybe Lester the Unlikely), Koan's slow pace and mellow atmosphere doesn't exactly encourage you to move fast anyway. ... well, for the most part, considering the timed vanishing of the meditative platforms, which does sort of feel a bit at odds with the game's narrative. "Sit. Take the world in. EXCEPT FOR NOW NOW NOW BEFORE YOU DROP INTO A PIT OF SPIKES RUN GRAB THAT KEY" It forces you to be a lot more precise in some cases, yet allows for some awkward fumbling for success in others when the running, jumping, and climbing doesn't feel as smooth as it should. Though the game perhaps starts off as too easy for too long considering its slow pace, once you learn the ropes the levels become significantly more complex. No more relaxing climbs through the mountains for you, now it's all spikes and keys and double-sided locked doors and switches. It'll make you wish its rough edges were a bit smoother, though perhaps these are the sort of issues that can only be improved upon with experience as the developer improves... which is sort of apt, considering the game's subject. While not perfect, Koan is still a striking little game with a wonderful distinctive style, and makes me hope we see even more from the developer in the future.

Play Koan

6 Comments

csmithpub March 18, 2014 11:06 AM

For a zen experience, it certainly is astonishingly poorly optimised. On a middling laptop, it was jerky enough that I gave up after a few levels.

Reply
bearharry March 18, 2014 1:35 PM

I feel lagging at some point too... I am using a desktop...

Reply
rubenwulms10 March 18, 2014 3:39 PM

I have no idea what to do in the last level...
Or is it just a "do what you want" level?

Reply
cyberphlash March 18, 2014 4:21 PM

Very nice game & stylish design. Would like to see a sequel with more levels! (which probably goes against the entire premise of the game - that you're supposed to play this and realize that you should be doing something else besides computer gaming... :)

@rubenwulms1 - on the last level, if you start climbing up on blocks and keep going for a while, eventually you fall, and the budha guy talks to you one last time and you see the credits.

Reply

@Dora - Please add the "Add to favorites".

Reply

^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

Leave a comment [top of page]

Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • PLEASE UNDERSTAND SITE POLICIES BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)
1,301 Views
2 Comments
Frog Fable> Arceus You thought it would be a simple errand. Just run along and get some milk for the King of the Village's Friday pancakes, right? The trouble for protagonist Zbylut (pronunciation unknown) begins when guards block the entrance to the town....  ...
Greetings From Potato Island> Arceus Tell me--do you believe? Believe in what, I hear you asking. Santa? The Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? All good guesses indeed, but the answer Carmel Games' Escape from Potato Island was looking for was actually potatoes! Eye couldn't believe...  ...
Weekday Escape N°133> chrpa Hi! It´s time for a break, three escape games are coming on Weekday Escape! You can escape from reality to a virtual world for a while! And then find your way out from three places and come back relaxed, and...  ...
The Trader of Stories - Chapter 1> nomyle The Big Old Tree that Dreams came into our lives a few years ago, unfolding the fantastic universe of the Forest Bed, and telling the story of one character, Myosotis, The Trader of Stories. With Bell's Heart it got...  ...
Emerland Solitaire: Endless Journey

Recent Comments

 

Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Game of the week

Haunted Hotel: The Thirteenth

Your Favorite Games edit

add
Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Monthly Archives