Chinese indie developer Dotoyou is a small fish in a big pond, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a big splash. Their first console release, Koi, is a stylistic puzzle game that boasts beautiful visuals, an intriguing musical score, and a delicate balance of calming and meaningful gameplay. Combined with a short playtime, this is one title that is packed tightly to instantly swim into your heart.
Koi is gorgeous from the menu screen; the bright and bold colours of blue, green, white, and yellow visually pop. The art style is minimal and clean, void of unnecessary textures or detail, proving that flashy graphics are peripheral, and it’s instantly memorable. It would be hard to walk away from the game and not perfectly visualize its art direction.
While the interface of the main menu is stunning, it is also somewhat confusing. There are no words to help with navigation, only icons. Some of the pictures can be made out instantly, such as the gear (settings) and the controller (controls), but the puzzle piece, t-shirt, and nine dots are a little more of a challenge. To make things even less convenient, the circle button is used to select an action, and the “X” button is to go back. This control mapping is for the entire game, and you definitely get used to it, but trying to get to the first level is a slight annoyance.