Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition

released on Jan 27, 2020

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. Gameplay is inspired by point-and-click adventure games (like the classic Monkey Island or King's Quest series, or more recently Telltale's Walking Dead series), but focused on characterization, atmosphere and storytelling rather than clever puzzles or challenges of skill.

The game is developed by Cardboard Computer (Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt), and features an original electronic score by Ben Babbitt along with a suite of old hymns & bluegrass standards recorded by The Bedquilt Ramblers.


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Destinato a rimanere relegato nelle classifiche di uno sparuto manipolo di temerari, "Kentucky Route Zero" è un videogioco di enorme importanza, non fosse altro che per la capacità di mettere in luce gli enormi limiti della critica e del pubblico di giocatori, entrambi relegati ancora a una condizione di minorità.
L’opera magna di Cardboard Computer - frutto di dieci anni di lavoro - è un’avventura grafica colta e raffinata, un romanzo interattivo che usa e rielabora innumerevoli fonti letterarie e cinematografiche (da Lynch a Márquez, tanto per citare i riferimenti immediatamente evidenti) attraverso cui costruire il drammatico racconto di un’America popolata da emarginati della società in piena crisi economica, senza rinunciare a una vena di brillante ironia. Strutturato come una pièce teatrale in cinque atti e cinque intermezzi, "Kentucky Route Zero" ammanta situazioni e personaggi del realismo magico tanto caro alla più celebre letteratura sudamericana, creando un’atmosfera di lucida assurdità che rimanda a tanti classici del fantastico, conferendo ulteriore fascino al racconto dal ritmo compassato.
Recensito con il consueto pressappochismo dalle testate italiane per poi scomparire velocemente dai radar, KRZ innalza il livello del medium videoludico e attua una riuscita commistione tra differenti linguaggi amalgamati in maniera sorprendente, candidandosi di diritto a gioco del decennio. Un’esperienza che - per i motivi espressi sopra - non può essere adatta a tutti ma deve essere consigliata a tutti, aiutata dall’ottima traduzione italiana, realizzata in uno stile molto vicino all’elegante prosa dell’inglese originale.


The most boring video game ever made. It was such a huge pile of self-indulgent, fart-huffing excrement that I made a thread about it on ResetEra just to express my overwhelming contempt for being scammed into spending actual monies on it. Trash. Garbage. Waste. I've found all manner of putrescence stuck between the seats of my local cinema that have more worth than this crap.


Best book I ever played, best game I ever read.


Just a normal delivery sim nothing to see here


There's no question that Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is one of the most inventive writing experiences I've ever had. It's not just the story or the characters, but the way the game itself is structured that creates such a unique and powerful experience.

The game is structured around five main acts, each one representing a different stage in the game's development. You begin the game by choosing one of three starting points, each providing different context for the events that follow. From there, the game progresses through a series of branching paths, giving you the opportunity to explore different aspects of the game's world and characters.

It's this nonlinear structure that allows the game to play with time in such a fascinating way. The game's present is constantly shifting and being rewritten by your choices, giving the story a sense of unstoppable forward momentum. Even as you revisit familiar locations and characters, there's a sense that things are always moving forward, always changing.

It's this constant forward motion that makes the game's ending so heartbreaking. After reaching the game's final act, you're given the choice to continue playing or to stop. If you choose to continue, you're taken back to the beginning, where you can start the game again with a new character. But if you choose to stop, the game ends forever, with no possibility of return.

This choice is representative of the game as a whole: a choice between an endless cycle of repeat play or a finality that can never be undone. It's a choice between a never-ending story or a finite one. And it's this choice that makes Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition one of the most emotionally powerful writing experiences I've ever had.