[Review] Kentucky Route Zero (The First Three Acts) (PC)

Remember that dinner you had…you know the one…a spicy burrito that gave you heartburn and indigestion…you try to assuage your aching stomach by lying on the sofa? Then you succumb to a siesta. And end up having the WEIRDEST DREAM EVER?

You have just driven down Kentucky Route Zero, my friend.

I hope I’m not selling this game as a bad burrito, because it isn’t! Far from it! This is one of the best I’ve played this year so far, in fact!

It’s an odd tale that takes a weird turn somewhere at the gas station. Conway is a delivery driver for an antique shop. While on a delivery route in Kentucky, he tries to find Dogwood Drive to drop off an antique piece. He gets lost and stops in at a gas station, Equus Oils, for directions. The proprietor, Joseph, tells Conway he needs to take Route Zero, but doesn’t know exactly how to get there. He directs Conway to someone who does know, a woman named Weaver. In doing so, Weaver gives Conway directions, and vanishes into thin air shortly thereafter. Route Zero leads Conway down a proverbial rabbit hole…the plot takes twists and turns in a fantastical dreamscaped tale that sounds like a drug-induced high with a broken sense of time. But, I say: who wants to come back to reality when there is so much oddity and beauty on Route Zero?

Where does this road lead? I’d hazard it leads to a different dimension or parallel universe, but you’re never quite sure. Things are odd on Route Zero…yet hauntingly beautiful.  I immersed myself in it for two evenings straight. And I am not quite done yet, as I have only play the first three Acts (two more are forthcoming).

Kentucky Route Zero is a point and click narrative game. The player is given plot choices on-screen through dialogue between the characters. You are also made to move your character to different areas on-screen via mouse click. About the only barrier that I can see to this game is that Kentucky Route Zero is heavily text-based, which means, dialogue is never orally presented – it is always in text format, on screen. If you are not into reading, then sorry, this is not your game!

The look of this game fills my heart with the feels! The graphics are so dark…emotive…thoughtful and mysterious. And I need to talk about the music! I really enjoyed the soundtrack of this game to the extent that I sought to find the music on YouTube. Anyone interested in a fusion of bluegrass, ambient, trance and electronica need to look into Ben Babbitt’s work on Kentucky Route Zero (looking at you guys: JHubner73 and 1537!)

Overall, Kentucky Route Zero is a different kind of game that caught me by surprise, and now I can’t wait to see how it ends! Check it out on Steam for yourself!

Kentucky Route Zero
Developed by : Cardboard Computer
Released: 2013 – 2014

 

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8 comments

  1. That sounds really good – you’re damn right there are some really interesting things going on with game music these days, it’s no longer just 8bit filler.

    Those graphics look absolutely gorgeous too. I will check this one out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s me a few days behind again! This sounds like an interesting game – your description is excellent! Feels! Haha! Well done Sarca! I hope the ending of the game pleases you as much as this first bit has!

    Liked by 1 person

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