Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition Image
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 69 Ratings

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  • Summary: Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky. An antique furniture delivery man trying to make his small shop's last delivery gets lost along the way and meets a haunted TV repairwoman, a young boy and his giant eagle brother, aKentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky. An antique furniture delivery man trying to make his small shop's last delivery gets lost along the way and meets a haunted TV repairwoman, a young boy and his giant eagle brother, a pair of robot musicians, and dozens of other characters. Together, they explore the nocturnal highways and country roads of Kentucky, the storied Echo River by ferry, and the mysterious Route Zero, the secret highway that runs through Mammoth Cave. Expand
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First 15 Minutes Of Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition Gameplay
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 100
    Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is an overall landmark effort in the realm of video games. It explores various facets of the medium’s abilities with storytelling and evocatively shifts its gameplay and gorgeous visuals to keep things interesting. Paying dividends if you decide to input your own personality, it’s a work of art that I can’t recommend enough.
  2. Jan 30, 2020
    95
    Kentucky Route Zero is a brilliantly told story that takes chances, and unapologetically is what it is. Sounds suspiciously like art to me. Damn good art.
  3. 95
    Overall Kentucky Route Zero may not be for everybody, but those for whom it is for will find it an incredibly well put together experience. The dark and mysterious atmosphere and memorable locations mixed with well written and human feeling characters make this game something that players who value a narrative focused experience won’t soon forget. It’s a story about looking for that which you’ve lost, and maybe finding some new stuff along the way, whether you really mean to be doing so or not. Those looking for a challenge or something a bit more action packed won’t find what they’re looking for here, but those looking for a surreal and mysterious tale will have come to the right place.
  4. Jan 27, 2020
    90
    Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is the full and complete Kentucky Route Zero experience. A magical realist point-and-click adventure that takes you on a beguiling journey to a place that exists both below and beyond. It's a trip to be savoured, ruminated on; no need to rush. Each act here brings with it some new perspective, new places and people to forge deep connections with. You may be confused, even bewildered by your initial steps down into the subterranea that exists somewhere beneath this version of Kentucky but, by the end of your journey, you'll have made friends and memories and been escorted through a rich and beautiful experience that will stay with you much longer than you may expect.
  5. Jan 31, 2020
    90
    As the video game industry experienced tumultuous change in the last decade, Kentucky Route Zero has felt like an anomaly, unconcerned with industry trends. Even as an episodic game, developer Cardboard Computer took years at a time to release acts — something most episodic titles try to avoid. It’s like Kentucky Route Zero was rejecting every rule, doing things its own way. Through that, it became one of the most important experimental games ever, establishing itself as a major player in the discourse of whether games are art. Kentucky Route Zero screams an emphatic and stubborn “yes” to that question.
  6. Feb 28, 2020
    83
    Kentucky Route Zero tells a story unlike anything else you'll find in gaming. It uses a point and click adventure format that's pretty basic, but hits high notes with its dialogue, themes, and music.
  7. Jan 27, 2020
    70
    Kentucky Route Zero is a coffee table book of a game. I don’t feel like you’re really supposed to try and take it all in as a whole. Instead, KRZ, with it’s myriad of references and views, seems like it’s supposed to be taken a piece at a time. Some players are sure to absolutely love that, while others, like me, would prefer something more grounded...I don’t like Kentucky Route Zero, but I’m glad it exists.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 5 out of 13
  1. Feb 9, 2020
    10
    This game is one of the most beautiful, artistic and tragic games I've ever played. It's more like a great book than a video game. I lovedThis game is one of the most beautiful, artistic and tragic games I've ever played. It's more like a great book than a video game. I loved every second of it and I can't wait to play it again. Expand
  2. Jan 30, 2020
    10
    Kentucky Route Zero is an absolute masterpiece. The characters and themes will both keep you up at night and put you soundly to sleep. I hopeKentucky Route Zero is an absolute masterpiece. The characters and themes will both keep you up at night and put you soundly to sleep. I hope this game gets studied in literature classes, as its metaphors and character work and unparalleled even by works in other mediums. This is one of the many reasons the video game must be appreciated as an art form, and I have no doubt this game will be something to tell your kids about years ahead, or years soon to come. Expand
  3. Gwz
    Feb 5, 2020
    10
    The David Lynch analogy has been played to death, but I think it's apt in this case. Playing "Kentucky Route Zero" reminds me a lot of seeingThe David Lynch analogy has been played to death, but I think it's apt in this case. Playing "Kentucky Route Zero" reminds me a lot of seeing "Twin Peaks" for the first time. I haven't seen something like this before, I'm not sure if it's "good" but I really, really like it. It tells a story in a way I haven't seen in any media. You KNOW that Kentucky Route Zero will change something for the game medium, but it will not spawn a lot of clones because it's to unique. Perhaps a different tone, a "feel" or just open up for new ways to tell a story, or even a new wave of art. You may very well tell your future kids about how you played Kentucky Route Zero back in the days. Expand
  4. Mar 22, 2021
    8
    A dense piece of deeply experimental interactive literature, Kentucky Route Zero was released over a period of seven years. It's a unique gameA dense piece of deeply experimental interactive literature, Kentucky Route Zero was released over a period of seven years. It's a unique game that touched people in ways that no other game could.

    PROS:
    - SETTLES THE "ARE GAMES ART?" ARGUMENT: You might debate whether KRZ is a game, maybe–but there's no doubt that it is art. The game's relentless, uncompromising experimentation resonated with a surprising number of people–and that's a reason to be hopeful about games as an art form.
    - GORGEOUS GRAPHICS AND SOUND: From the obsessively detailed low-poly environments to the fantastic sound work, there is a lot of beauty to savor in this game.
    - IT TAKES YOU PLACES: Kentucky Route Zero didn't always engage me, but when it did, it did it with power. Some sequences, especially the ones that involved songs, will be hard to ever forget.

    CONS:
    - THICK SYMBOLISM: The game sells itself as "magical realism", but it feels more like surrealism–and ten hours of surrealism in a row can be overkill. The most plain and mundane dialogues were often a welcome break from the endless waves of oniric weirdness.
    - SUBVERTS ONE EXPECTATION TOO MANY: The game takes joy in continuously subverting your expectations, and throws more experiments at you than a dozen experimental games. Sometimes that might be a bit too much, and alienate you from the story's protagonists.
    - TOO VERBOSE AT TIMES: Some sequences, especially in acts III and IV, simply drag out for too long. KRZ wouldn't have lost anything if the authors had cut one or two hours of content.

    I play games mainly because of the pleasure they give me. KRZ was beautiful, but not always pleasant–so I cannot honestly give it more than an 8. However, if you have any interest for interactive fiction or "art house games", then this is a milestone game that you can't miss.
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  5. Jun 22, 2020
    5
    An atmospheric game set in Kentucky that has some bad things to say about capitalism without meaningfully addressing a couple of capitalism'sAn atmospheric game set in Kentucky that has some bad things to say about capitalism without meaningfully addressing a couple of capitalism's - and the setting's - connected comorbidities: racism and settler colonialism. Expand
  6. Apr 3, 2020
    4
    Doesn’t even classify as a game. Clicker on a rail. It started out well written and promising but each subsequent chapter made it obviousDoesn’t even classify as a game. Clicker on a rail. It started out well written and promising but each subsequent chapter made it obvious there was never a vision for the project from the get to. Expand
  7. Mar 25, 2021
    0
    a grab bag of 20th century theater apeing and david lynch fanfic without any real art in sight, utterly painful

See all 13 User Reviews