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Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Koan.html
Walkthrough and map by David Welbourn.

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Koan

by Esa Peuha

Surreal
2002

(based on 9 ratings)
2 reviews

Game Details


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

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
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.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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.

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