Kentucky Route Zero

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Kentucky Route Zero
Developer Cardboard Computer
Publisher Cardboard Computer (PC), Annapurna Interactive (Console)
Designers Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy
Composer Ben Babbitt
Engine Unity
Platform Windows, macOS, Linux
Release Act I: December 2012
L&D: February 2013
Act II: May 2013
TE: November 2013
Act III: May 2014
HATATE: October 2014
Act IV: July 2016
UPDN: January 2018
Act V: 2018 (forthcoming)

Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it. The game is developed and published by Cardboard Computer, an independent studio consisting of Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt. The project was first revealed on January 7, 2011 on crowdfunding website Kickstarter to reach a goal of USD $6,500, and successfully exceeded the goal, acquiring $8,583 with 205 backers. A second, heavily-revised trailer was released on October 17, 2012. The game is separated into five acts, following the narrative of a truck driver named Conway and the mysterious people he meets as he tries to cross the fictional Route Zero to make a final delivery for the antique company for which he works.

The first act was released on January 7, 2013. The game is currently available via Steam, itch.io, GOG.com, and the Humble Store, and will release on all major consoles in 2018. Players receive all available acts upon purchase, with future acts and updates free-of-charge. The second, third, and fourth acts, along with four shorter, free-to-play supplemental games, have since been released, with the final act forthcoming.


Gameplay

Kentucky Route Zero is a point-and-click game which contains text-based dialogue instead of vocal audio. There are no traditional puzzles or challenges; instead, the game focuses on storytelling and atmosphere. The player controls Conway (and other characters) by clicking on the screen, either to guide him to another location, or interact with other characters and objects. The player also has the choice to choose characters' dialogue during in-game conversations. These choices do not affect the storyline as in a branching narrative, but rather the poetic dialogue of characters later on.


Synopsis

Act I/Background

Act I

Act I/Synopsis

Act II

Act III

Act IV


Development


Reception