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koan.z5
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Koan.html
Walkthrough and map by David Welbourn.

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Koan

by Esa Peuha

Surreal
2002

(based on 10 ratings)
2 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 1923
IFID: ZCODE-1-020904-FE7B
TUID: 42qwzijsxp3yjjhg

Awards

35th Place - 8th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2002)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


A one-concept puzzle with minimal implementation of rooms and objects. There's nothing to play with, no story, and not much to do: either you get it, or you don't get it. Points for austerity, I suppose, but not many for entertainment value.

-- Emily Short

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

In 1998, there was In the Spotlight, a tiny but enjoyable game whose entire purpose was to embody one clever puzzle. Then, last year, there was Schroedinger's Cat, a less enjoyable (though competently produced) game whose sole reason for existence was to embody a completely baffling puzzle. Now we have Koan, a fairly irritating and badly programmed game that embodies one more-or-less nonsensical puzzle. Clearly, we're on a downward slope here.
See the full review

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Number of Reviews: 2
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A one-puzzle, spare game, April 18, 2016
This game is not terrible. You are in a 3x3 grid of rooms with various objects. Your goal is to break a stone slab.

This is the whole puzzle of the game. There is helpful writing in the four corners.

As David notes in his walkthrough (which gives away the solution up front), he notes that the game is a bit underimplemented, and many responses are misleading.

Great idea, lacking execution, January 1, 2008
A koan is a question that beckons you transcend your preconceptions of reality and it's laws.
Considering the game's premise, I deem room exploration a time wasting design error. As for the puzzle on offer, the question and answer are linked, but arriving at the solution is an arbitrary process, mainly because of the lack of interaction with the solution's elements.
The game starts with a great idea that, in irony of it's zen roots, can only bloom under a more focused design.

If you enjoyed Koan...

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 19 June 2015 at 11:48pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item