Koi Farm Review

Collect and breed koi fish in more than a dozen colors and with procedurally generated patterns to create your own most beautiful koi in Koi Farm!

Format: PC via Steam
Play time so far: 3 hours

Koi Farm. Two ponds separated by a stream, all containing koi. The colors shown include white, black, yellow, orange, red, and grey in a variety of patterns.

Released Feb 26th, 2021 by Job Talle | 3xBlast

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Quick Overview

Major Pros:
  • Many combinations of colors and patterns
  • Procedural patterns for unique koi
Major Cons:
  • Cataloging book doesn’t have a slot to track all combinations
Minor Pros:
  • Koi can’t die and leave a gap in the player’s collection
Minor Cons:
  • Koi cards don’t list the pattern type
Koi Farm. The main koi pond shows over 20 fish with varieties of single, double, and tri-color patterns, including horizontal and vertical stripes and large and small spots.

Midgame, during my quest for the pink koi

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In-Depth Review

Koi Farm focuses on the selective breeding of koi fish to achieve new colors and patterns. Players acquire their first koi from the stream and can place them alone in either of their two ponds to allow them to breed. There are no genders assigned to the fish, and fish do not need to be fed or otherwise cared for to survive indefinitely. Depending on the pairing of fish, new mutations of colors and patterns can emerge. Players will be directed to seek out certain colors and patterns by their catalog book and any discovered fish can be shared with other users via image codes.

Koi Farm. The main koi pond shows 18 fish with varieties of spot patterns in white, black, and yellow.

See some of the simpler procedurally generated spotted patterns

There are more than a dozen colors and five base patterns. I specific “base” patterns because all patterns are procedurally generated meaning even if two fish have the “spotted” pattern, they are unlikely to look the same. Some patterns can also be layered on top of each other resulting in tricolored koi for even more variability. All patterns are available to all colors provided enough persistence to get the mutations to occur. I would however have preferred if the cards for each fish gave a name for the pattern and color so there was less comparing back and forth, particularly for light/dark blue and grey/black, as well as some spotted patterns that easily looked like stripes. This would have been more valuable to me than the fish’s size.

Koi Farm. View of the koi book with 6 out of 8 cards filled in. The patterns involve white, black, yellow, and orange, including two slots for tricolored fish.

Filling in the koi book. The two leftmost koi show the available fin shapes.

As a collector-type player, my instant desire was to collect one koi of every color and base pattern combination in the game. Nevermind that that’s over one thousand fish for the two-color koi alone, the goal of the game for me would very much be tracking and completing such a collection. Unfortunately, the in-game catalog doesn’t allow for tracking how many of the possible variants have been found, let alone provided enough space for players to store all such fish for their own tracking purposes. This was a big letdown for me as I’d have loved to have a tab for every base color to fill up with all my beautiful koi. Instead, my large pond became very crowded and it was hard to find fish I needed so I stopped playing once I unlocked all the pages in the catalog that I could.

Koi Farm. The main pond is filled with 50 koi, all with different colors and pattern combinations

My current army of koi with no slot in the book

Koi Farm has a very relaxing and low-pressure atmosphere. There’s no reason to rush in anything and even the wild koi take a long time to lazily pass by. The atmosphere is pleasing with occasional weather changes and the koi fish changing up their slow schooling around their pond. Yet at the same time, an active player hardly has to wait for fish to grow up or breed, bringing progression at a good pace. Granted, the player will still need some patience with the random outcome of breeding, but rarer random outcomes seem to become more common as the same two fish are continually paired.

Koi Farm. Koi fish in the main ponds are scattered. The lighting is darker and rain falls and ripples the water.

Rainstorms are my favorite weather effect because the sound is nice and the fish spread out for easier viewing

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Recommendation

Overall, I found Koi Farm to be a very relaxing and casual collecting game. I loved all the varieties of koi fish and the procedural patterns to give each fish a unique look. They also require no maintenance making the game very relaxing and letting players focus on their collecting. However, I wish it was possible to track all the combinations of base patterns and colors in the game and that these were more readily displayed in text. I recommend Koi Farm for players looking for a relaxing koi collecting experience with some beautiful fish.

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