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 (801 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

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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

PC
Mac
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
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Truly incredible. Scary, smart, different. Amazing narrative. Act III was particularly remarkable. Can't wait for more.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Kentucky Route Zero takes you on a surreal journey like none that I've experienced in a long time. I especially like how the games shifts which character you control without telling you, but it always makes situational sense. This is truly an interactive story - beautifully woven narrative and some subtle and not-so-subtle imagery sprinkled throughout that makes you wonder what this story is really about. Do yourself a favor and go play it now.

Side Note: Playing this game makes me wish I had better reading comprehension skills. It's something I've struggled with my whole life, but this game in particular makes me wish I could process prose more completely. I'm absolutely certain that there are subtleties in the writing that I'm missing, but that doesn't make the game any less enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
I don't play many point and click games, but I really have to say that this is probably the best I've ever played. While technically barely a "game," its ability to draw emotion and bewilderment in equal amounts consistantly make it a memorable experiance-at least the first three acts have been. The soundtrack is also a must have.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Great atmosphere. Interesting and silent quest.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
Beautiful looking game, some interesting moments....... but ultimately pretty dull. I really enjoy adventure games, but this seems to be a case of style over substance.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
This game is a piece of art. It makes you feel sad in a beautiful way as it wraps you up in a magical realist tale in the heart of the Bluegrass State.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
This is exactly how game could be if produced by someone like David Lynch :).

Strange, twisted, mystery and catching story with very nice atmosphere and art, both visual and sound/music.

Kind of materpiece adventure game for me.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occured to you that you don't go on forever. Must have been shattering. Stamped into one's memory. And yet, I can't remember it. It never occured to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it. Before we know that there are words. Out we come, bloodied and squawling, with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, theres only one direction. And time is its only measure.
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Buyer beware.

No matter how good reviews are for a "point & click adventure game", if that is NOT your thing...

Then you will not enjoy this game.

I really tried to like it, but you have to be in a very specific mood to be able to watch blocks move across your screen at the speed of snail. Sure, the designs are fantastic, but the dialogue is silly, and the characters are not very engaging, imo.
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
This probably is my biggest mistake ever in term of game purchases. I have no idea how something like this has such a high "pro critic" score. Or maybe I do.

Do yourself a favor and watch 30 minutes of gameplay of this on youtube before buying it.
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
NOT RECOMMENDED.
Despite it has very original graphics and approach, this is more a text adventure game than anything else.
Slow and peaceful playing. Absence of ambiental music and sounds and, when music sounds is just horrible.
Story line is somewhat discontinous and disconnected, paradoxical and absurd.
Every little conversation has several options for answer. Maybe it changes which Act follows but, I don't feel in the willing of repeat the game more than once to 'enjoy' the several branches of the story.
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2 of 11 people (18%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
If you like overpriced, unfinished games that get overrated by fanboys. Clicking similators that have little to no gameplay what so ever. Has an insanely pretenious 2deep10me story that doesn't make any sense and is needlessly vauge. And you also wear a fedora. Then this game is without a doubht for you.
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0 of 9 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
This is not even a game, this is an interactive movie.
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2.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
This is a wildly original and infinitely intriguing point and click. Strong David Lynch vibes.
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5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
This is, hands down, THE best narrative experience I've ever encountered in a video game. Its weirdness... The craftsmanship of the characters, sounds, and environments... I've never come across anything like it before. Numerous times I just stopped playing and stared at the monitor, thinking outloud, "Wow" in just sheer wonder and amazement at how creative and compelling the scenes are.

If you're in the mood for something a bit off the beaten path, definitely give this game some of your time. It reminds me of O Brother Where Art Thou and I loved that movie for having many of the same qualities.
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1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Cool
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7.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Simply one of the most interesting, artistic, and moving peice of media I've seen in a long time. The sound and visuals work together to create moments that are down right chilling, in that spooky but not cower under the covers kind of way. Its just a beautiful game, and ANYONE can enjoy it I think.
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3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
TL;DR
DON'T PLAY YET.

This is very strange "game". It is a point & click adventure, but not like Monkey Island games. You press button and your character moves and story goes on. Story feels good with mysteries and strange atmosphere. Story telling is even greater and I think that is the reason for so many good reviews.

And here comes the bad thing. Game isn't finished and if you start playing this now you dont remember what has happened before, when next Acts will be released. So only play this game when all Acts are released! Otherwise you probably only get angry of few hours of gameplay and unanswered questions.

Pros:
+Story telling is awesome
+Mysteries
+Atmosphere

Cons:
-Not a "game"
-Game is not finished

Story has left great questions and I really want to play this game through!
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3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
I've been putting off playing this game in favor of more action packed, shiny distractions. That was a mistake. The game (story? narrative? memory?) doesn't ask you to suspend your disbelief for its rich, aluring, surreal atmosphere; it doesn't need to. It draws you in, inviting, aluring, mysterious and yet sometimes disturbingly familiar. Simple and satisfying, that is Kentucky Route Zero... but be warned: once you figure out some of what's driving you along this highway, you might just stop looking for an off ramp.
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9.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
First video game to execute post-modern themes successfuly. Interested to see how the remaining episodes turn out
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