Kentucky Route Zero Wants Your Money

Cardboard Computer, indie developer of A House In California an the excellent I Can Hold My Breath Forever has created a Kickstarter page for his next game, Kentucky Route Zero. It looks like another riff on the the theme of companionship, but with a much more confident and heavy-handed use of magical realism. Are you sitting comfortably? Then please, watch the video below. If only all trailers could be this entrancing.

It looks like something, eh? The trance the trailer put me in was snapped cleanly in two when the platforming made an appearance at the end, but still. Just allow me to quote the following from the Kickstarter page-

Gameplay in Kentucky Route Zero is slow-paced, focusing on exploring new environments and talking with new people. In one section, Conway meets a robotic country singer named Junebug who is trapped in the abandoned restaurant that once employed her, and has to explore the cavernous depths below the restaurant in order to shut down a security system and free her. In another, Conway and his companions explore a Civil War era battleship that ran ashore in an underground river hundreds of years ago and is now populated entirely by cats.

A battleship populated entirely by cats. Here‘s the Kickstarter link again.


  1. BooleanBob says:

    I think my immersion was shattered by the colloquial accumulations of the word ‘fantastic’ which made it sound like I was being advertised not realms of fantasy but twelve locations that were, in the words of a radio DJ struggling for a third synonym with which to praise his new favourite album, ‘just y’know… really, really good areas. Fantastic areas’. Persisting with a word in spite of its more commonly understood meanings and associations is the folly of the arrogant writer.

    Still looks pretty interesting though!

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Really? Because I was refreshed that they were actually using “fantastic” for it’s intended purpose.

      People being carried over a fallen bridge by a giant eagle isn’t “good”, it’s fantastic. It has elements of fantasy.

      Ditto with a battleship filled with cats.

      (I wonder, will it be a wooden ship-of-the-line type, or an ironclad?)

  2. Da5id Jaz says:

    This looks amazing. Love the music

  3. Sagan says:

    If the kickstarter page had an option to pre-order the game, I would do that. The options available aren’t interesting to me. I just spend too much money on games already to justify that I a) donate money so that this game gets made only to then b) pay again to purchase the game.

    • Sam Crisp says:

      From the Kickstarter page:
      “We don’t exactly know how the final game will be distributed yet, but if you pledge $40 or more we promise we’ll find a way to get the game to you for free once it’s released, on your (supported) platform of choice.”

    • Xercies says:

      I would say that’s a good way of doing it to be honest.

  4. Atic Atac says:

    I would love to support this but it needs an option for getting just the game.

  5. Zanchito says:

    Woah, sweet video!

  6. Saul says:

    Now, please.

  7. HexagonalBolts says:

    I love that style of animation, does it have a particular name?

    • Mistabashi says:

      I don’t know, it looks very familiar but I can’t quite place what it’s reminding me of. It’s spectacular anyway, kind of looks like rotoscoping but applied to 3d models rather than live action footage. The eagle in particular looks amazing, the way it shuffles along the hanging girder and up the chain, really full of character but with a kind of realism you don’t often see from straight CGI stuff. The platforming bit looks a little more rigid in comparison, I hope that can be improved on a little as it did slightly break the dream-like immersion of the trailler, but if the actual game can replicate even a bit of this atmosphere I think it’ll be a success.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Yeah it was really working for me until the Standard Platform Jump modeling, it was like Mario wandering into Brother Where Art Thou. Could really do with a clever context-sensitive jump

  8. speedwaystar says:

    Looks very Coen Brothers.

  9. Strand says:

    This moved me. Goosebumps were involved.

    This may be the finest (official) trailer I’ve ever seen for a game.

    Interest profoundly piqued.

  10. Pani says:

    I’m a Brit who lives in Kentucky (over 3 years now) and let me be the first to tell all my fellow Brits back home who have never been over here, that this is a 100% accurate representation of how Kentucky actually is. That is all.

    • Canthros says:

      As an American who’s lived in Kentucky almost my entire life, I feel as though I should point out that robot bluegrass singers, underground highways, giant eagles, etc., are awful thin on the ground.

      We do have a hell of a cave system, though, and a fair number of (not-robotic) bluegrass musicians. (And maybe the odd (not-bald) eagle, but more hawks and buzzards.) And we’ve become mighty fascinated with ya’ll’s fashion of wearin’ shoes.

  11. Robert Yang says:

    The music is fantastic. Thinking of pitching in at the $40 level.

  12. thesundaybest says:

    Not to get all art vs. videogames again, but I WOULD sponsor this just to see it get made, in the same way I might support a playwright just to later pay to see her play, or any other artist to create something that I had no hope of owning.

    I know that’s not always going to hold up, but in this case I think, especially if you liked their previous work, it would be justified.

  13. Navagon says:

    If the full game holds my attention anything like as well as the trailer does then this will be something special indeed.

  14. TeeJay says:

    Love the art style, love the music, love the atmosphere. :)

  15. GoodPatton says:

    If the music as a whole is as good as the trailer I will buy solely on that alone!

  16. xrabohrok says:

    Its refreshing to see this art style without zombies involved. or killing. or lovecraftian horrors.

  17. KillahMate says:

    What they said. The music and art are already superb, and the setting seems fascinating. The game seems quite worth pitching in for.