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Basho Kioku

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Rating: 4.2/5 (116 votes)
Comments (28) | Views (4,555)

PsychotronicBasho KiokuBasho Kioku is the latest puzzle game from prolific designer Yoshio Ishii of Nekogames. You are faced with a grid of 36 squares, and your goal is to click on each of them in turn. Each round, a random combination of these squares lights up orange, and you must choose one of them. There is no indication of which squares you've previously selected, but if you pick a square more than once, you lose a life. Losing three lives ends your game. You'll be under a strict time limit, and your score depends on how quickly you make your choices.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? But unless your brain is much less packed with cotton than mine, it's impossible to remember more than a few steps back. The real game is in figuring out a system for keeping track of your progress, using the six draggable markers provided in a box on the left side of the screen. You can position these markers freely, even on the borders between squares, and it will pay to invent a foolproof shorthand for yourself.

Ishii coats the simple idea in an understated shimmery gloss, complete with wonderfully quirky and anxious background music. There is an unfortunate Flash-related exploit (find it yourself) that could potentially spoil the game, but there's really no point in cheating at a little puzzle like this. It's an otherwise flawless koan that plays on the tension between the randomness of your choices and the solidity of your strategy. Nicely done, Nekogames.

Play Basho Kioku


19 votes but not a single comment. ;_;

Come on people. Don't use the new rating widget instead of leaving your considerate, thought-provoking comments and feedback the JIG community is famous for.

(Maybe the rating widget was a bad idea.)

Anyways, about the game, I found the presentation and style to be wonderful. I was a little disappointed by the puzzle once I discovered how to play (I didn't read the instructions at first and when I got the first 11 levels correct, I was amazed by my ability without really knowing why.) Disappointed because I don't like to have to remember things. Memory puzzles only serve to expose how bad my memory really is, and that hurts my feelings. xD

Still, it's a highly creative game for such a simple idea, and it works (if you enjoy mental gymnastics). If you don't enjoy mental gymnastics, then perhaps you should get your brain exercising more. (Like me.)

This little puzzle is just the kind of thing that could actually help you increase your memory power.


I really like this mental gymnastics!

Im still trying to figure out the best way to use the 6 markers...And other strategies...


Woohoo! I beat it without losing a life, but I could've been faster. 12020 points.

That was fun. I like memory games a lot. The markers are useful, even though I didn't use them for a while.

I like the music, too.


Very interesting puzzle game. It's really easy if you use a way to record your old moves :P

I'd like to see someone beat this without using any tools besides the 6 markers. That would be pretty amazing.


Speaking of which, I managed to beat the game using the 6 markers with... 11170 points :D


This really is a great game! Im still working on a way to use markers. So far, I can only keep track of about 20 squares with them.


A good way to utilize all the markers is to find a way to not have to use them and still remember some squares you've used. If that makes any sense. I'm trying to be ambiguous here.


Wow. I didn't think I'd beat it on my 3rd try. Scored 10740.

I like the simple idea, the smooth gameplay, and minimalist graphics and music.

Dan Someone January 27, 2008 11:36 PM

I try to work in areas, and use the markers to signal which parts of each area I have hit already. I got in on my second try, with two misses (one of which was a mouse slip, the other a real error).

It's an interesting puzzle, but I don't see it as having any longevity.


WOW this is a really interesting site for flash games, i didnt know i could find a blog for Flash games, this is super cool. I think flash games own graphic-card-needed-Pc-gaming as they are fun and so much easier to play, you have your own community and leader boards, flash games are the best


It's been bothering me for a long time... I know that non-perfect English is a trademark for quite some Japanese game makers and that's OK, my English could me much better than it is, I know. But sometimes the grammatical, syntactical or vocab mistakes hinder gameplay and I even remember a case where it totally misled me.

Please, Japanese guys out there making these otherwise superb games, try to get a proofreader.

On the other hand, it's a great idea that you make your games available to us, non-Japanese and thank you for that.


I'm not sure at all but I think I just had an unbeatable round - I could chose from only two panels and I strongly think that I had chosen both before so I could not make a good move - and that was my last life.

I'm not sure. And I don't really think that the game's creator failed to ensure it that no such accident would happen.

I like the game. I'd be happy to see it in the "simple idea" category at the end of the year :)


A great, fun distraction. The choice of 6 markers was very interesting, since you can indicate a maximum of 4 with each by placing them, but there are more than 24 boxes, so a more complex system is necessary, or just old-fashioned memory work.

As for the ratings, I don't think it's going to stop people commenting. I guess the 19 ratings and no votes were from people who wouldn't normally comment (of which I imagine there are many).


Very fun game. I've beat it several times and keep coming back, hoping to find a better system with the markers.

One thing I would love is for it to show which squares you have clicked on if you die.

Kirbywarp January 28, 2008 6:16 PM

Finally, barely broke 12 thousand. I end up having to plan my moves around my marker-placement style, and with a randomly generated selection of squares, it gets tricky. Overall, great game!


Hah, yes, definitely nominated for Simple Idea!

I have a sytem which got me to level 36... and then I lost! :P


Very fun game. I've found the best method for completing the puzzle is to work on completing each of the 9 quadrants, which then frees up a marker for another quadrant.

shadowfox January 28, 2008 9:00 PM

wow, great game. Really confusing at high speed.
The markers helped immensely, too.
Took me two tries because i didn't notice the markers at first.


RedKlonoa, I beat the game on my second try with just the six markers. I lost the first time because it took me a few rounds to figure out what the object of the game was, and by that time I had no idea where I had already clicked so it was pretty much a lost cause. If you can remember that you already clicked say, the entire bottom two rows, you can use the markers for the rest. The key is grouping your clicks together as much as possible.

bioLarzen, there were a couple of times where all the orange squares that popped up were marked as already clicked, but it still said I was good when I clicked one. It's possible there's a glitch that makes it think you haven't clicked squares that you have... or we are just bad at remembering/marking things properly.

Gene Platt January 29, 2008 4:04 PM

This is how I used the markers:

I initially tried to attack an edge as much as possible. Whenever two adjacent squares were used, I placed a marker to cover them both. When three of the four squares in a 2x2 were played, I placed a marker such that its diagonal passed right by, but not over, the unused square. Whenever I completed an edge, I pulled all markers from that edge, since that was simple to remember.



Gene, I did exactly as you did. We must be soulmates! Or maybe it's just a good way of doing it...

AndrewBagel January 30, 2008 4:51 PM

I did that too, Gene and Anders.

It's a fun little game, and the visual minimalism is good at keeping things from being overcomplicated.

frozenfloes January 31, 2008 8:59 PM

Very interesting concept for a game; it's like a metagame almost. :D


I got to 23 on my first try, and I had no idea how to use the markers or what they were!


fun. i managed 12200 at the fastest, with most luck.


I played this game on a different site, where it run considerably slower than here. Once I reached the maximum of points. I use a system without markers: I imagine that field is divided into 4 separate 3x3 grids, which are quite easy to remember. I also try to select such a squares to create "nice shapes" of them (so they can be remembered without delay).


Very nice. I got 30/36 without cheating. That's pretty good! ...Right?


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