Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero, one of the best indie games ever made, headlines this week's Humble Discovery Bundle: pay $10 and you can play it alongside five other games. You'll get the season pass edition, which means you'll get access to the fifth and final episode when it finally comes out. 

The bundle also contains the Dungeon Keeper-inspired War for the Overworld and deep space survival game Osiris: New Dawn, which are worth a look.

Rounding out the bundle are physics-based building game Tricky Towers, tactical RPG Phantom Brave and co-op hack-and-slash RWBY: Grimm Eclipse.

The cheapest Kentucky: Route Zero has ever been is around $7.50, so if you see $2.50 worth of value in the other games, it's a good buy. Grab it here.

Humble is also selling three of the Tales JRPG series games—Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Zestiria and Tales of Berseria—for $23.99, which is an 80% discount.

And lastly, don't forget you can pick up the full first season of Hitman for $12 if you sign up to November's Humble Monthly Bundle

Kentucky Route Zero - Jake
Hi y'all -- Just wanted to pop in and share an update about what we've been working on lately.

First, here's the poster art for Act V:



Work on Act V continues at a good pace. It's hard to imagine moving on from this project, but we're eager to share the concluding episode with you when it's done.

Earlier this year, we published the free interlude between acts IV and V, "Un Pueblo De Nada." Definitely check that out if you missed it! http://kentuckyroutezero.com/un-pueblo-de-nada/

That's the news from us. If you'd ever like to reach us directly, you can email us at cardboardcomputer@gmail.com. News usually hits our Twitter page @cardboardcompy first. And you can also follow us on Patreon, where we've been sharing some articles about our process and printing up some postcards & other art clutter. We also run an email newsletter if you prefer -- there are instructions to sign up for that in the game's steam install folder, in a file called "subscribe_to_mailing_list.txt"

We're a small crew of only three people without contractors, and we're all working on the game -- no community manager or PR person -- so we don't keep up on the steam forums or other sites' comment sections, etc. Those links above are the best places to contact us or keep up to date on development.

More soon, thanks for reading!
-jake+tamas+ben

http://twitter.com/cardboardcompy
http://patreon.com/cardboardcomputer
Kentucky Route Zero - Valve
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*Offer ends Wednesday at 10AM Pacific Time
Kentucky Route Zero

"Your choices matter" is a refrain repeated again and again in the marketing campaigns of dozens upon dozens of narrative-driven games. Like most things with video games, it's the promise of scale and scope. The more variances that can occur, the more drastic the consequences, the more the game is seen as a success. The recently released Detroit: Become Human promoted itself on this basis, touting huge choices and variations. True enough, the game can play out with drastic differences. The problem is that no matter what way it played out, I felt nothing.



I'll wager that the most meaningful decisions you've had in these kind of games, the ones that really moved you, were the smaller choices. Not whether you saved the entire galaxy in Mass Effect but whether you rescued your good buddy Garrus from giving in to vengeful bloodlust. Not who rules the world's kingdoms by the end of The Witcher 3 but whether you took the time to bond with your adopted daughter Ciri, to help her grow as a person.


With that in mind I think Kentucky Route Zero is the game that really points the way forward on "meaningful" choices. It follows a delivery truck driver named Conway as he's pulled into an increasingly surreal world beneath Kentucky. See, it takes a completely different approach to choice. It doesn't have big branching narratives. Instead the choices you make are largely contained within a scene. Some carry on throughout the game's episodes (only four of five have been released) but don't change the direction of the plot. Take, for instance, the first choice it gives the player. What's the name of Conway's faithful canine companion? No matter what name you choose it doesn't change anything that follows. But does it change how you feel about that dog? Damn right.

Read more…

Kentucky Route Zero - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

soul-calibur-vi-guests-7

This is Brendan, broadcasting live from rumour world, where everything is made of a nebulous candy floss-like substance. The locals call it hope. Amid this sticky cloud, a figure has formed. It s Geralt of Rivia, hero of popular Gwent spin-off, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The monster-hunting swordsman will make an appearance in another game later this year, according to CD Projekt Red community lead Marcin Momot. Some have asserted that he’ll be a guest character in upcoming fighting game Soul Calibur VI. Which makes sense given the close business ties between the Polish studio and Japanese publisher Namco Bandai.

It isn’t confirmed. But it does raise the question: who else deserves a place on the stage of history? I asked the RPS treehouse who they d like to see. Here s the list we all settled on. (more…)

Kentucky Route Zero - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

kentucky-route-zero-interlude

Hopefully this is a sign that the long-awaited fifth and final episode of the incomparable, theatrical road trip adventure Kentucky Route Zero is not far away. Devs Cardboard Computer last week snuck out another of their brief, experimental ‘interludes’, free game-ettes which also act as as previews and alternate perspectives on scenes and themes in forthcoming episodes. Previously they’ve done VR theatre, mystery phone calls and installation art, and now ‘Un Pueblo De Nada‘ adds live-action TV into the beautifully unpredictable mix.

(more…)

Kentucky Route Zero

Developer Cardboard Computer has released a new Kentucky Route Zero "interlude" mini-episode ahead of the game's long-awaited fifth - and final - instalment.

Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist road trip adventure focussing on the titular secret highway and its strange surrounding areas. Five episodes (or "Acts", as Cardboard Computer would have it) are planned in total, and the game's final episode is scheduled to release soon, seven years after development began.

Interlude episodes have become a bit of a tradition now for Kentucky Route Zero, and are low-key, often highly experimental, narrative experiences that loosely tie the main episodes together - and offer an excuse to explore other peculiar corners of the game's richly textured world. Previous interludes - Limits and Demonstrations, The Entertainment, and Here and There Along the Echo - are entirely free to play, if you're curious.

Read more…

Euro Truck Simulator 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

non-violent-games

My nerves have been sufficiently jangled and my trigger-finger sufficiently itched by the glut of action games which landed in the closing months of last year. I crave an altogether more sedate beginning to 2018, and so my mind turns to games in which violence, reflex or any other kind of unblinking attentiveness takes a back seat.

Primarily we’re talking violence-free games here, but I wanted to drill a little deeper than that – so nothing that generally requires a competitive streak. I’m chasing a certain feel rather than a certain category. Flying, walking, puzzling, driving, building, dreaming, climbing, stretching, swinging (not like that), swimming, wondering: these are just a few of the ways in which flashing pixels can make you feel a very different sort of accomplishment.

And, of course, these are not even slightly the be-all and end-all of non-violent games on PC – please do nominate more in comments below. (more…)

Kentucky Route Zero

It's been seven years since the "magic realist adventure game" Kentucky Route Zero successfully completed its $6500 Kickstarter campaign. Four acts have been released since then, the most recent in July 2016, and in September of last year developer Cardboard Computer said it was "totally focused" on finishing the game. It appears that the work might finally be approaching completion, as the studio dropped a tweet today that leads to a surreal trip inside a tiny independent television station somewhere deep in the Bluegrass State. 

The "station" is actually broadcasting, sort of, at wevp.tv, in parallel with the events of the mini-game interlude that can be found through the above link. If you don't care for Rita's broadcast, a selection of others can be found behind the "copy-it-right" message at the bottom of the page (or here). Selections include Junebug Teaser, Aunt Connie PSA #2, A Five Minute Romp Through the IP, and WEVP Technical Difficulties. 

It all comes off as very true to the spirit of public access television, leavened with Kentucky Route Zero's supernatural undertones. And the simulation runs pleasingly deep: I don't want to spoil too much but I will suggest that if you're intrigued, you might want to try that phone number. Also, the Bureau of Secret Tourism is real. Just putting that out there. 

There's no hard release date for Kentucky Route Zero Act 5 just yet, unless it's buried somewhere in WEVP video databank. (If so, I haven't found it yet.) But it's reasonably to say that it's probably coming soon—in the meantime, find out why Joe chose it as his "Staff Pick" for our 2016 Game of the Year Awards. 

Kentucky Route Zero - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Nrrrrrr-nee-nurrrrrrrr!

BAM. A sound captures your headphones and holds you hostage. It’s the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. We’ve been lying in wait for the past three weeks, consolidating our strength and preparing to kidnap you by the ear canals. “Listen up, 2018!” we shout out from atop this metaphor. “We have a list of demands and we’re not releasing this poor listener until you’ve delivered! Or until the one hour playtime is up, whichever comes first!”

(more…)

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