The second act of the excellent Kentucky Route Zero snuck out late last week. Adam explained why you should play the first part back in January. I’m going to explain why you should play the second part right now. Here’s wot I think:
RPS Feature Recurring Dream
Making something that’s really, really different from all the other things takes time. The first Act of Kentucky Route Zero, for instance, was a perfectly serene drop in this industry’s bellowing ocean of shooty shooty bang bang madness, a soul-rehabilitating triumph that plucked both heart and banjo strings just so. Part traditional adventure, part ode to theater, it was so very effortlessly bizarre and bold. So naturally, it spent years in the making, weathering multiple revamps as well as life’s countless ups and downs. With the groundwork laid, however, Cardboard Computer was pretty confident that Act II could make March. Or not. Or April. Or not. But May? Well, depending on which territory you’re in, the madly methodical developer kept its promise. Kentucky Route Zero Act II has finally arrived.
Have you been on the fence about Cardboard Computer’s magnificent Kentucky Route Zero? Well, get down from there, you. It’s dangerous, and honestly, you just look silly. I wasn’t going to say anything, but everyone’s talking about it. OK, OK, since you’re apparently either very stubborn or a cat, let’s try enticing you down. How about a demo? It’s not just any regular old nipped and tucked snippet, either. As co-creator Jake Elliott put it, Limits and Demonstrations is “unique and doesn’t overlap with Act I, and it starts sketching out some backstory for a few already-introduced characters.” It’s also free! Freer than coffee. Freer than moody bluegrass tunes. Freer than freedom.
RPS Feature Kentucky Fried Chattin', Pt 2
Yesterday, we began our journey down the winding highway that runs through Kentucky Route Zero co-creator Jake Elliott’s brain, and today, we’ll resume it. But while looking back is all well and good (especially on brain highways, where traffic’s fierce and blind spots can hide unspeakable dangers), doing it at the expense of moving forward is unwise. So now it’s time to delve into what’s next: the release schedule for the rest of KRZ’s Acts, how our choices will carry over, The Walking Dead‘s influence on the process, and a fairly mindblowing portion of Act I you probably missed. Don’t worry, though. It wasn’t your fault.
RPS Feature Kentucky Fried Chattin', Pt 1
Kentucky Route Zero is a joyously original, heartfelt thing. If you haven’t already played it, go do that. If you have, then step on down to the RPS porch, pull up a slightly weather-worn deck chair, and let some soulful bluegrass overwhelm your senses. Easy, easy. The interview will begin soon, but for now, there’s certainly no rush. Oh, fair warning: it’s pretty SPOILERY. Co-creator Jake Elliott and I discuss Kentucky Route Zero’s unique approaches to storytelling, theater’s heavy influence on the game, the negative general perception of the American South, talking to animals, ghost stories, economic hardship, and a number of specific in-game scenes. So then, stroll on inside RPS’ quaintly rustic hilltop abode whenever you’re ready. Or don’t. There’s always time.
RPS Feature Empirical State of Mind
Kentucky Route Zero tells a story about an underground highway and you can experience that story by pointing at things and clicking on them. So is it a point and click adventure? Sort of. But it’s also a weird and wonderful bluegrass ballad, a poem about play, and a showcase for intelligent writing and gorgeous art. Here’s wot I think.
Ruins was a superlative, short-form exploration game starring a dog and the chaps behind it have now released the first part of their gorgeous adventure, Kentucky Route Zero. I don’t know how well the humble canine is represented this time around but the game does include a “Civil War era battleship that ran ashore in an underground river hundreds of years ago and is now populated entirely by cats”, so look forward to that. Act I costs $7 but the remaining four acts, to be released throughout the year, can be purchased as a bundle for $25. I plan to try it this week and shall report back. In the meantime, allow your eyes to feast on this trailer.
[Sits down on a stump next to a moonlit campfire, pulls out a banjo and plucks a few strings, flings banjo into a thistle of nearby cacti when he remembers he doesn’t know how to play the banjo.]
Oooooooooooooo, Kentucky Route Zero / comin’ into town / Kentucky Route Zero / probably won’t make you frown / Kentucky Route Zero / Kickstarted before Double Fine / Kentucky Route Zero / I want to make you mine / Ooooooo, Kentucky Route Zeroooooooooo / [34 second off-tune, cactus-thorn-perforated banjo solo] / magical realist with a sci-fi twist / yeah!
(There’s a gorgeous trailer of this hyper-promising exploration adventure after the break. And maybe more country songs!)
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.
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