Very special, dreamlike and artful game centered around dialogue. You choose what your character says, but pretty quickly it becomes apparent that your choices does not affect the game outcome in any shape or form. The only thing you really choose is your own poetry, your own inner narrative. You have no control over where the game takes you. I found this absolutely fascinating and thought it elevated the game to greater heights. It's beautifully done. This game is for dreamers enjoying a mystery that maybe never will make sense.
Cardboard's work is an incredibly rich, complex, personal experience, but for which it is very easy to feel empathy, since it manages to tell from the popular and human perspective greater events of each of us. A piece of video game history.
By the final cut to black, we're looking forward to making more connections like the ones we find here, before we take our final turn off Interstate 65 and fall into the Zero's dark, enveloping embrace. [Issue#342, p.102]
Exceptional dialogue served even in most exquisite forms (mini-games, different perspective, mixed chronology) are still not enough for the story to be compatible with this medium or to be worth telling altogether. The result is slow and difficult to ingest and sometimes even unpleasant in its archaic mechanics. [03/2020, p.54]
Even though I have only played the first two acts, I have to say that Kentucky Route Zero is one of the most wonderful gaming experiences I've ever had. Apparently a point-and-click graphic adventure, this is actually much closer to an interactive graphic novel. It's really good literature, or art, or however you may categorize it. Obviously, though, the "game" dimension is only the method used to put the player in the middle of the story. The difficulty is trivial, and it consists merely in finding the way through the different locations on the map and sorting out the meaning of the quest, which is but an excuse for a compelling story about lonliness, frailty and oblivion.
Now, about the script: it's more than excellent, it's really over the scale. Whoever has written the texts in this game has obviously read a lot and written a lot, and knows who Don Delillo or Faulkner are. Very often the choice of dialogues does not have any consequence on the development of the story --- it's just meant to let the player co-author the story, add and choose the details that frame the main characters.
You won't like this game if you're looking for shiny entertainment and action, for real-time emotions where you can prove your gaming stamina. You will love this game if you enjoy art, design, reading a good story, and obviously if adventure games were your favorite genre. It's very hard to explain how fabulously original, simple, light and complex is the graphic aspect of this game. The map interface is a great idea and the medium by which minigames find their right place into the game, creating a spiraling sensation that destroys the common notion of space as the story approaches the zero. Slowly, also the environments lose features of reality and represent in a fascinating way the tricks of immagination, irrationality, oblivion and selflessness.
Just play the game, you won't ever forget it. Especially if you like good literature and contemporary art & design!
Starts of great with the atmosphere and suggestion of possibilities and sense of mystery. However it only gets more whimsical and "mysterious" until I definitely stopped caring. I would say it is worth playing until the performance in the bar. Of course if you get that far you won't be satisfied that nothing is resolved... but nothing won't be later either. It is a commendable game for doing something different
I can't recommend this as a game because it's more of an animated comic book. And I'm also not too impressed by the comic that is slowly unfolding. While I love the visuals and the atmosphere, both seemed increasingly wasted.
Wasted on yet another narrative that is very keen to dazzle me by playing hide and seek, being oh so intricate and filled with heavy metaphors that it will find it's usual audience among the easily impressed. And while there might be an actual Jesus on this toast that some can see while most people only pretend to spot him, I stopped being intrigued to find whatever Cardboard Computer was burying with their equally sophisticated, but mundane dialogue and plot. There are no actual conversations, only people monologuing in turns, and most of the time I get the feeling that I'm listening to the writer trying to figure out what the hell is going on and where all of this is going, just like the reader.
There are however a lot of beautiful moments to be found, and even when I'd given up on the story itself, entering a new scene was always exciting because of the visuals. I'd recommend it for the art, if nothing else, so if you are looking at some screenshots of the game and don't feel at least a little enchanted, you should give this one a pass.
An absolute slog to get through and way too artsy for me. I would rather read a good book. While I understood most of the themes the characters did not do it for me.
You really have to be in synch with the writers to get something out of this and I clearly wasn't.