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. Developed by Cardboard Computer (Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy), the game features an original score by Ben Babbitt, along with a suite of old hymns and bluegrass standards recorded by...
User reviews: Very Positive (1,053 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 22, 2013

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Buy Kentucky Route Zero - Season Pass

All Five Episodes of Ketucky Route Zero will be automatically available upon their release

 

Recommended By Curators

"A powerfully evocative and beautiful subversion of point-and-click rote, but occasionally opaque and disorienting."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

"Smart, thoughtful, sweet and incredibly well crafted – it’s the perfect game to play in the small hours of a lonely night. Be warned though; it’ll leave you hungry for unknown roads and longing for an invitation to the blues."
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

"Evokes the feeling of old ghost stories told around a campfire. There's the familiarity of friends and family around a warm, man-made fire, but with it comes the unnerving tale of the strange and unusual. Kentucky Route Zero is beautifully bizarre and perfectly poignant, and most of all, deserves your attention."

9.5 - Destructoid

"However you respond to its ethereal imagery, this is a game which makes a rare suggestion: who a player is may be more important than what they do."

84/100 - PC Gamer

Steam Greenlight

About This Game

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.

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

The game is split into five acts. Acts I, II and III are available now. The remaining two acts will be released as they're completed. Taken as a whole, Kentucky Route Zero is roughly the length of a summer night.

Key Features

  • A focus on characterization, atmosphere and storytelling rather than clever puzzles or challenges of skill.
  • A unique art treatment inspired by theatrical set design.
  • A haunting score accompanies the ambient sounds of the bluegrass state.
  • Wander the highways of Kentucky.
  • Make some friends before morning.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows 7
    • Processor:1 GHz
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:Directx 9.0c compatible video card
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:250 MB HD space
    • Sound:Sound card
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7
    • Processor:1 GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Directx 9.0c compatible video card
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:250 MB HD space
    • Sound:Sound card
    Minimum:
    • OS:OSX 10.5 Leopard
    • Processor:1 GHz CPU
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:OpenGL 3.0+ compatible video card
    • Hard Drive:250 MB HD space
    • Sound:Sound card
    Minimum:
    • Processor:1 GHz CPU
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:OpenGL 3.0+ compatible video card
    • Hard Drive:250 MB HD space
    • Sound:Sound card
Helpful customer reviews
244 of 320 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
I'm sorry. I can't recommend this game any longer. It's been out for over 2 years now I think. It's supposed to include 5 acts...the THIRD act was published over ONE YEAR AGO...this is ridiculous (after already waiting for one year after Act 2). IF the game is ever going to be finished, judging by the glacial pace the dev is setting, it's going to be somewhere in 2018 probably, so...stay away from it.

Now, what IS the game? It's actually a weird pseudo psycho trip. Calling it an adventure would be grossly overestimating the game's abilities. It's a narrative driven story that drifts so far into lunacy it's getting extremely hard to even follow it, let alone understand what's going on. It's definitely "interesting" and I would have liked to actually finish it, but again...where are the remaining 2 episodes? You can't charge 23 bucks for an episodic game and then after over two years not even finish the story...that's actually a scam if I'm totally honest, so I wonder if you would get your money back from Steam...probably not, because Steam customer support sucks ♥♥♥...
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136 of 194 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
This game is a scam.

There. I said it. I tried to come up with a nicer way of saying it, but I just can't sugar-coat the truth. This game is a complete and total rip-off, and here's why...

They're charging full price for a game that isn't just unfinished, but shows no signs of ever being finished. Simply put, the game is trying to follow the pattern of timely episodic releases popularized by Telltale Games. There's just two problems with that:

1) You can't buy individual episodes. The only purchasing option on Steam is a full Season Pass. You can't buy the first episode for $5 and then decide if you like it enough to buy the rest. Nope, it's all or nothing.

2) Releases have been anything but timely. The first two episodes came out in January and May 2013. The third was released in May of 2014. There is no announced release date for the fourth.

Think about that for a second. They are charging full price for a game that has been only 60% done for over a year. Early Access games wish they could get away with this.

What's worse is that game critics have been tripping over themselves trying to heap praise on unfinished product, and it's not hard to see why. The visual are striking, the music perfectly captures the feeling of rural Kentucky, and the story certainly has me on edge for the next two episodes...

What's been delivered is certainly worth an 8/10. Unfortunately, since two fifths of the game is missing, that gets dinged down to a 4.8/10. Until the developers get their ♥♥♥♥ together, I suggest you turn your attention elsewhere.
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90 of 125 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
This is a good game, but don't buy it until all episodes have been completed. I bought it early, and I've been waiting for years for this game to be finished...
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24 of 32 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
The description for Kentucky Route Zero says that it takes "roughly the length of a summer night" to finish the game. Having had overwhelmingly positive experiences playing other games (Bastion, Minecraft) during summer nights next to an open window, I decided to do the same with this one. At around 12pm, I started the game.

After 3 Acts and 4 hours of absolute bliss, I looked up from my screen and saw the light of dawn creeping into my room. Feeling a bit lightheaded, both from sleep deprivation and the emotional overkill I had been feeling, I decided to put on some pants and climb the hill behind my house to watch the sunrise, which felt like a wonderful conclusion to the events in the game and was generally a great start into the following day.

Pros:

- Great Atmosphere, Storytelling, Plot, Soundtrack and Art Style
- Wonderful blending of Point-and-Click and Text Adventure mechanics, leaving a lot of the game to the player's own imagination
- This game not only has character development, this game IS character development, both on and off screen

Cons:

- only 3 acts available so far
- staying up all night left me slightly tired the next day

Definetely get this game!
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22 of 35 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 26
As much as I want to praise the game for it's beautiful soundtrack, inspired style and relaxing gameplay the thing is, it's been a full year since last episode and no sign of life from the devs. Since there's supposedly two more episodes left, what the hell is going on at Cardboard Computer?
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