Kentucky Route Zero Review Spukende Drifter

Street to nothing.

The hard-faible adventure game of Cardboard Computer receives a last episode and a console version.

A meandering journey comes to an end. Kentucky Route Zero, a magical-realistic adventure game, was financed in 2012 in a modest way of Kickstarter. The first of the five episodes was found in early 2013, the second a few months later, the third one year later, the fourth two years later. Now, following the almost exponential trend, we will receive the conclusion of the game after another three and a half years – in addition to a new console version of the entire series.


Kentucky Route Zero rating

  • Developer: Carton Computer
  • Publisher: Papper Computer (PC), Annapurna Interactive (Console)
  • Platform: Revised at the counter
  • Availability: ACT 5 was published on the PC on January 28th. Kentucky Route Zero: The TV issue was released on January 28 on Switch, PS4 and Xbox One

If you have followed this game from the beginning, it was a long and perharmacent. Not that this would not have been a suitable way to experience Kentucky Route Zeros history from a gang of outer ladders, which were drawn into the Quixotic search of a truck driver to deliver his cargo antique furniture to an address that goes with every step seems to come. Some have closed peace because the end of the fourth act was as good as everyone else to leave him – and they did not get wrong. But I doubt that they will be disappointed in the fifth act, which will be released this week. Strikingly different in style, it is a beautiful epiloga that finds a solution and at the same time resists the urge to solve one of the many puzzles of the game.

If you were with the game on this long journey, I envy you. I played Kentucky Route Zero within a week from start to finish – all five episodes as well as the four games published by developer Cardboard computer for free – and I’m not sure if it’s the best way to attack Kentucky Route Zero is a beautifully illustrated and animated text adventure. It is slow, bizarre, inside, elliptical and sometimes intentionally frustrating. It is also inspired by theater and installation art as film or video games. It is tight with remembrance, excursal and fragmentary, semi-remembered tradition. It’s not long, but it has too little action and too much history to consume you comfortably suddenly. Like a meal, which consists of dozens of delicious side dishes, there is a risk that they are full but unsatisfied. It is better to give every serving to their place (although three and a half years space could exaggerate) to enjoy the flavors that stay lingering for a long time after the game.

Conway, the truck driver, asks on a petrol station decorated with a huge horse head after the way. In the basement he has the first of many encounters with people – ghosts? – which do not seem to exist in the same time frame as he seems. He is directed to the Zero, a secret, underground, extradimensional highway; It is the only way to achieve its goal. It will not be easy to get to zero, but it will be even more difficult to navigate them and the spaces – and people – to whom they lead. He acquires a travel companion, Shannon, who like to repair old televisions and see visions of their disappeared sister in white noise. (This game has a strong retro fetish for analog technology: cathode ray tubes, radio static, magnetic tape, theremic. The proposal is that these old machines left more room for magic and mysteries than the digital world – a tempting, though strong nostalgic View.)

In search of the zero, Conway and Shannon explore an old mine in which he injured on the leg. You will find the mystical way, but he only leads you into a bureaucratic purgical purity of dead ends, strange characters and illogical institutions. They are retired again and again. There is a huge bird that carries houses; A game in the game running on an old mainframe and telling the story of his own work; A tractor on a subterranean river. A scrain boy joins them and a cool musical couple and other lost souls drift into the scene and out of her. Nobody seems to be completely present and constantly being withdrawn with his own thoughts, his own reality. The final goal of delivery is less sought as aim.

That’s what cardboard computers with magical realism means: a recognizable real world, in which fantastic things can happen and rule in the dream logic. Kentucky Route Zero is clearly inspired by David Lynch, although other video games do not quote his influential mystery horror soap Twin Peaks in the Totemist manner. (You know what I mean: red velvet curtains, ingenious investigators, torching boots in street sweeps, creeping discomfort in the quiet small town in the US.) Many games have prescribed to the presence of their own more or less conventional concerns of Deadly Premonitions Horror As an outsider of art against Virginia’s elegant approach. Kentucky Route Zero approaches the disturbing core of Lynch’s work in which things that the least meaning are the greatest effect – in which the unreal and impossible contains a terrible, relentless truth. (There is also a torch in a streetbar.)

In this world, a group of distillery workers appears as glowing skeletons; They all make restless, but no one notices it. The laws of space and time seem to be easy to penetrate or wrinkle, which characters react at most with a vague amusement. The pictures and moments that Cardboard computers conjures from this dream landscape have a haunting force. The problem is that there is no reality in this magical realism. In Lynch, the surreal and horrible suddenly suddenly from a landscape of extreme, almost stunned normality. In the middle episodes of Kentucky Route Zero, however, it emerges into the concept of head-spinning according to the concept of head-spinning and goes as far as possible – a very video playful thing.

Sometimes this is almost alienating, which is a risk if your game gives the player such a slim stop in the narrative. Despite all its curiosity, it is a pretty linear piece of storytelling, in which the decisions they meet less the next events than rather the inner life of the characters concern: where their memories lead, how curious they are, the lyrics that they are Play. They spend most of the time reading games. The screenplay by Jake Elliott is good, with a compassionate humanity, which balances the occasional excesses of surreal southern Gothic. I liked the passages in which the perspective suddenly shifted and a voice from another time frame broke – like the scene told by a few bored office workers from the future, discussed the old CCTV cassettes.

Kentucky Route Zero is a word game, but there are Tamas Kemency vector graphics to which the game will remember. It is exceptionally beautiful. Small, fragile, blurred figures trains their way through the skeleton dreams. The lighting is steamed and suggestive, whereby silhouette and negative space are used to leave their imagination free run, and there are some amazingly beautiful effects. It often looks like a flat, paper-cut diorama until the camera turns slowly and reveals its surprising strength and depth.

The game has many obsessions: death, memory, the decline of rural America. There is a pretty stubborn electrical action that the entire region is in danger to the electricity company. Above all, it fascinates the art. It is full of artworks: videos, songs, installations, poems and this primitive, fully playable adventure game. Half of the characters seem to be artists or frustrated artists. If the dangerously sounds itself, then it is probably too. It seems pretty busy with the hipster bubble in which it is too easy to assume that the game was created.

However, some of the most convincing moments of the game take place in this type-in-way. I think in particular at two of the intermediate games (which you can download free on the game’s website). The Entertainment is a play that is experienced from the perspective of one of the performers and introduces a place and characters that will emerge in the following episode. Un Pueblo de Nada throws a look behind the scenes of a tiny community television broadcast during a violent mirror and leaves the last act. Both use a single fixed camera point to achieve a brilliant effect, creating a strong unity of the place and give a much needed image of reality in the midst of magic – despite the air citations in which they appear.

This trick is repeated in the fifth act of the game, which breaks formally with the fragmentary, collagen approach of the previous four. Everything turns out to a single place, with a single camera that floats high above the events and follows the player’s focus (quite sweet in a creeping cat). Characters are detected in different moments and settings when the camera is running over them and we hear what they have to say. The sun warms the scene and for the first time the world of Kentucky Route Zero feels tangible, completely, held together. After a week in Cardboard Computer’s hard capable dream of a game this was quite a moment. I can only imagine how it feels after seven years.


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