Have you ever driven down a completely dark stretch of highway in the middle of the night? The entire world seems to shrink to exactly the size of your headlights illuminating the road. The nighttime is almost another country, one where it seems anything can happen.
Kentucky Route Zero takes this idea and runs with it. It evokes a sense of magical realism that permeates the game, and coupled with a fantastic, slightly-pixellated-but-not-really art style that reminds me of Sword & Sworcery, launching the game is an immersive experience, one that doesn't let up until the act is over.
You play as Conway, a deliveryman working for an antique company trying to find an address. As you might imagine, getting there isn't easy, and according to several of the characters around it requires travel on the Zero, a conceptual highway. The destination doesn't really matter in KRZ, though; as ever, it's the journey that's truly breathtaking.
Between story beats you can (and I wholeheartedly recommend) just drive around the little bit of Kentucky and explore all of the different sights, abandoned buildings with weird little encounters in them. These are where the game truly shines, the little vignettes that occur largely through text as you explore different areas. I wouldn't want to spoil any of them, but let me just say that they're not to be missed. Every time I finished one I felt this kind of Zen serenity, like I had just read a koan. Finishing an act is even more overwhelming, usually with something utterly fantastic happening, and I just had to sit for a good five to ten minutes sorting through it in my head.
I recommend Kentucky Route Zero, but only if you like a slow-paced, introspective, slightly weird experience,