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 and Tamas Kemenczy). The game's soundtrack 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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Some haunting visuals and impressive storytelling moments at time, but unfortunately filled with flavorless text that goes on-and-on, making a lot of dialogue feel like a drag. I can't count the amount of times I just wanted some conversations to end and move on. The writing really needed to be cut down and edited to be sharper, it often feels like a first draft and lacking any character. I'll remember the visuals, music, little moments, and the overall message (at least what I interpret it to be) but the unnecessary chaff really drags it down.
I love this game. I love the mythology, I love the directing, I love the characters, but above all I love the thoughts that it left me with. For me KRZ succeeds wholly as interactive fiction. It has themes that touch upon the most crucial aspects of what it means to live, to be free, and to die, while weaving a really well thought out vehicle for the conveyance of these things in the writing. KRZ advances the medium in the context of interactive story telling, and in a way that can only be done uniquely as digital art, and this would be the first thing I'd recommend to someone who enjoys reading but might not understand or respect video games.
I'll probably update this review with more thoughts at a later point, but for me this is a must play. Or must read, if you will.