‘Koi’ Looks About As Tranquil As It Gets

If you’re aiming for tranquility, there are worse places to look than the side of a koi pond, enjoying the flowers and watching the fish swim by. You can dive into that experience in Koi, a game that recently arrived on PS4.

Koi has drawn some attention for being the first game developed in China to be released on PS4 in North America. Created by Chinese studio Dotoyou, it has players take the role of a koi cleaning the waters of the pond where it lives, bringing flowers to life, and finding the other fish that inhabit its small world. It isn’t a particularly long game, nor is it a particularly challenging one. It is, however, lovely–and often very relaxing.

Dotoyou recently spoke about the game with Kill Screen.

With Koi, Dotoyou is hoping to give players a bit to think about—like the effects of pollution. “[O]ur hope was that by making it the inspiration for the storyline, players would take a moment and reflect on this very important situation that is harming the existence of our planet— providing the opportunity to open up a larger conversation on this topic,” Dotoyou CEO Julien Li said.

Furthermore, the studio wants players to experience a range of emotions playing Koi. DAQ explained, “Through experiencing the fish, flowers and water in-game, we want players to feel what we call ‘lingqi’ or insight and realization—something that’s special, spiritual, beautiful and out of the ordinary.”

Like Flow before it, Koi’s tranquility eventually gives way to darker content–but it never quite leaves the pleasures of the koi pond behind.

[Kill Screen]
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