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.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (16 reviews) - 62% of the 16 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,259 reviews) - 86% of the 1,259 user reviews for this game are positive.
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

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Recent updates View all (1)

July 20

Act IV Available Now!



Howdy!

We’re happy (and more than a little relieved) to let you know that Act IV is done & ready to play. This has been a challenging process for us, but we’re excited about the work and eager to share it with you.

Here’s an observational trailer for Act IV.

50 comments Read more

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

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.

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

The game is split into five acts. Acts I, II, III, and IV are available now. The remaining act will be released when it's 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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (16 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,259 reviews)
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1,154 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 4
KRZ is like a work of art that deserves the title masterpiece. The sound, the visuals, the characters, the story are bundled together to create an experience unlike anything i've seen in years. Totally recommended.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
This game is probably not for everyone, but it's perfect for a guy like myself. Despite a few minor bugs (nothing game-breaking) I'm loving it. As I write this I have finished all but Act 4. It has a dream-like quality that I can appreciate, and some interesting psychological as well as technological points to make. Fans of movies by the likes of David Lynch and some of David Cronenberg's will feel at home playing this game...also makes me think of writer Philip K D*ck. I went in pretty blind so won't say much else to that end. There is a quite a bit of dialogue which - while interesting and well-written - does not seem to affect the outcome much. Even so, I appreciate the writing more than in most games that are dialogue-heavy. The characters are well written and interesting, and the dialogue feels true to them. It's definitely worth picking up on a sale if you are into atmospheric games with some pretty unique themes.

I definitely hope to see more games like this in the future. I believe it will be a game I will play through again at some point, the same way I periodically rewatch Twin Peaks every so often.

The only bug I really encountered relates to saving the game. While in the Forest I saved the game and exited before I got to the doctor. Later when I loaded the game back up, the triggers to progress had disappeared. I ended up having to restart the entire Act, which was a bit frustrating because it was at the very end and I could not restart just at that scene, but had to go all the way back through all the scenes. I didn't mind terribly going back through and choosing the other dialogue options along the way, though the outcome is the same regardless. I can see this frustrating some folks more than myself.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
I love point and click adventure games more than any other genre, this one really does try to be different and some people are going to love it, for me I just can't get into it or enjoy it. I guess for the money I spent on it £1 (keysite) I haven't wasted too much.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
This game was beautifully done! The story is so strange, but in a good way. The characters are cool and the music is amazing! Can't wait for act V!
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
One of the most well crafted games i've seen in years! Excellent work and can't wait for that final act!
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8 of 15 people (53%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
This game is by far one of the most beautiful games I've ever played.
It is a mystery game, but not a bit cruel. Even the music blends perfectly in. You don't even miss the voices; it feels perfectly natural to read and click screen messages,
I played through chapter 1, 2 and 3 and could not wait for chapter 4 to arrive.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to follow the story anymore. Up to chapter 3 there was a complex, but interesting story unfolding. But I haven't yet found the story within chapter 4. It all seems a meaningless bunch of gibberish, and so I could not make my mind up if I should play it any longer. It's a shame, but I have the feeling the great potential of chapter 1 to 3 has just been thrown away. What a pity.
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9 of 24 people (38%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
36.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 19
I loved this game. I was enthralled by it's story and presentation. It truely is a piece of art.

But I cannot recommend it or support it with a positive review until it's complete. The wait for Act V has been beyond acceptable.

Come on guys - finish the story.
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2 of 10 people (20%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
Meh- Art is kinda cool in a way... some people have said they liked the slow, "magical" gameplay... It brings back memories of Myst, except there are acually some people characters in this game. Still, the game feels a little lonely and slow for my taste. I don't feel that there are any real decisions in the game. Even the "choices" you can make in the dialog pretty much seem like they will lead to the same end result and/or storyline. The gameplay really just revolves around you moving a charactar back and forth to reveal more of the simple story, or the next peice of the path along this route. It's a little interestng. And also wierd. I'm not sure if I'll play past the first act or not, but I'll be taking a break from it.
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7 of 23 people (30%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
I am waiting for 2025 to play the final act :'O
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9 of 28 people (32%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
This game is a huge mess packaged in a nice style.

It's like a hipsterish fontdesigner had a stroke, and this stroke got mixed with dementia and written down as the story of this game. It starts storylines, introduces characters and events sometimes randomly and then they abruptly end... or just show up again. Or get mixed with other storylines.

The gameplay feels like never reaching an ♥♥♥♥♥♥, it just keeps starting and after a short time ending the stimulation, never letting you reach full satisfaction. After a while of playing it i just feel like i have to reach the end of the story, just for the sake of it. It just doesn't even feel in the slightest pleasurable anymore.

Also the dynamic is not so good... the controls.. just don't work very well with the environment. Everything is too slow, it's sometimes hard to get to places because of how the environment of a level is designed, othertimes the angle of the camera is just a huge nuisance, and usually progressing is exhausting because it's just slow and very inefficient. It feels like you have to work so hard to just get an interesting scrap of the whole story.

Not even the Joker would like this incoherent Chaos.

2/10 for effort i guess.
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Recently Posted
maximelesage
2.5 hrs
Posted: October 1
Whaowwww - fantastic story. Graphics are in line with the atmosphere of the game.

Lovers of non-sense movies, books should really give it a try.

Reminds me how lost I was when I watched Naked Lunch.

Good stuff
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Robot
6.3 hrs
Posted: October 1
Marvelous experience
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Demonseed Elite
8.4 hrs
Posted: September 30
Wow, better late than never. A truely epic game, and well worth the money and the wait. They can take as long as they like for the last act, providing I get to play it before I die. :)

Helpful? Yes No Funny
soma
9.3 hrs
Posted: September 30
A STRANGE unique and beatiful adventure game where you actually change how the story unflolds.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
impiaaa
7.4 hrs
Posted: September 27
The Destructoid review above likens KR0 to the feeling of sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories. It's definitely that, but also, like,

Have you made friends where you thought there were none to be found?

Have you ever stared at the stars and realize how ♥♥♥♥ed we all are, and, in the same moment, realize how insignificant we all are in the universe?

Have you ever gone outside, late at night, to watch the city, and just feel everything…

slow…


down…



?




That's this game.

At least, that's what the first act is like. The second one picks up the pace a little, and the third and fourth - well, they're spooky enough they might as well be a horror game. Not, like, frightening, just unsettling. Still a great atmosphere. There's no anti-aliasing so I originally forced it on in my graphics settings (MSAA, not any of the junky screen-space stuff), but apparently it was an artistic choice by the developer to leave that out. Looks amazing either way.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Azriel
13.9 hrs
Posted: September 25
One of the most beautiful and sad games I've ever played. Perfectly crafted. Act IV, while released after some delay, is the furthest from disappointment that I could hope for, especially as it's to be played twice (it seems). Easily in the top five games I've played.
Helpful? Yes No Funny