User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 77
  2. Negative: 16 out of 77
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  1. Mar 25, 2021
    0
    a grab bag of 20th century theater apeing and david lynch fanfic without any real art in sight, utterly painful
  2. Dec 31, 2020
    0
    Bar none one of the worst games I’ve ever played. Pretentious annoying claptrap that could be forgiven if there was any gameplay to speak of. Horrible
  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 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 forThe 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. 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 loved every second of it and I can't wait to play it again.
  5. 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 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 willKentucky 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
  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 obvious there was never a vision for the project from the get to.
  7. Mar 5, 2020
    4
    Boring...so boring! People should rethink about the word masterpiece...this is just a bla bla bla with no gameplay. Is not a video game, it's a time waster game
  8. 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 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
    A 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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  9. Dec 30, 2020
    3
    I have a nagging felling gamers who are blown away with this game probably simply never read a book. Same as with "What remains of Edith Finch", this is not a game but a visual novel. KR0 might appeal to David Lynch fans - everybody else should approach it with suspicion.
  10. Jun 20, 2022
    8
    Conway works as a delivery man for an antique shop, and his final job before the shop closes for good is to be made 5 Dogwood Drive in Kentucky. After getting lost he stops at a gas station to ask for directions, and thus begins his adventure...

    Kentucky Route Zero is a point and click adventure that contains very little in the way of traditional puzzles, and instead focuses on telling
    Conway works as a delivery man for an antique shop, and his final job before the shop closes for good is to be made 5 Dogwood Drive in Kentucky. After getting lost he stops at a gas station to ask for directions, and thus begins his adventure...

    Kentucky Route Zero is a point and click adventure that contains very little in the way of traditional puzzles, and instead focuses on telling it’s story. There is no doubt this game will divide opinion, and even as someone that liked the game, I have to admit there are times where it almost seems intentionally dull. On the other hand it’s unique style of storytelling routinely offers fascinating and incredibly memorable moments that’ll stick with me for a long time, and overall this proved a more than worthwhile experience.
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  11. Jan 12, 2021
    10
    More interactive novel than game, and that's a good thing. The depth of imagination on display is astonishing. A perfect experience.
  12. Jan 7, 2021
    10
    This is a tough game to recommend because I know its appeal is niche but personally I loved it. One of my favorite games of 2020 :).

    If you're a fan of the magical realism genre then this is definitely worth considering. Be warned though that this is a basically a visual novel. You can walk through areas, interact with objects and make dialogue choices and there's some very simple
    This is a tough game to recommend because I know its appeal is niche but personally I loved it. One of my favorite games of 2020 :).

    If you're a fan of the magical realism genre then this is definitely worth considering. Be warned though that this is a basically a visual novel. You can walk through areas, interact with objects and make dialogue choices and there's some very simple vehicle sections but you're playing it for the story and the artstyle.

    The appeal for me comes from the strong character writing. I love how i'm able to shape a character's backstory as well as their choices and how that influences the story. It feels very much like i'm part of a living novel. The way different characters see their reality is conveyed in some interesting ways as well. It's a very unique game with some great music, a wonderful art style and a world which captivated me. Not for everyone but it might make a very big impression if you're the right audience.
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  13. Jan 25, 2022
    1
    I found kentucy route zero boring and tedious. I pushed myself to play for 2 hrs in light of the positive reviews but starting ACT 2 and being made to ride an elevator up and down several times to simply find an address without any real story or character development became far too monotonous for my liking (and i endeavour to always finish games I start). i had to give up on this one.
  14. May 14, 2020
    10
    KRZ is more than a game, it’s a total artwork. Conceptual, cinematic, theatrical, poetic, musical, audio-visual... it’s an amalgam of the arts in video game form. The dialogue unfolds like poetry in motion, and the story goes to some unforgettable locations that seem to hang between dream and waking life. There’s an exhibition interlude, and several in-game concerts, stage plays and filmKRZ is more than a game, it’s a total artwork. Conceptual, cinematic, theatrical, poetic, musical, audio-visual... it’s an amalgam of the arts in video game form. The dialogue unfolds like poetry in motion, and the story goes to some unforgettable locations that seem to hang between dream and waking life. There’s an exhibition interlude, and several in-game concerts, stage plays and film pieces that the player watches or takes part in. A surreal masterpiece that transcends the format. Expand
  15. 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's - and the setting's - connected comorbidities: racism and settler colonialism.
  16. Dec 13, 2020
    10
    This game is a masterpiece. But people should not expect the game to have some kind crazy wild gameplay. This is more relaxing breathe of fresh air where you can enjoy an immersive world. Narrative wise, this game is amazing. I mean i'm a gameplay kind of guy. I like to play games that have satisfying and innovative gameplay and this does not deliver them. But just from the game'sThis game is a masterpiece. But people should not expect the game to have some kind crazy wild gameplay. This is more relaxing breathe of fresh air where you can enjoy an immersive world. Narrative wise, this game is amazing. I mean i'm a gameplay kind of guy. I like to play games that have satisfying and innovative gameplay and this does not deliver them. But just from the game's narrative I'm willing to allow it. People need to understand the context of what this game is. It's not trying to wow you with gameplay but what it's trying to do is to create an immersive storytelling. It's not a game for everyone but I would advise to have everybody to at least try it once. It's a game where you can just chill with others while playing it. Wait for discount if you don't want to play for full price, but I would say this is a must buy. Expand
  17. Jun 30, 2022
    6
    I found it incredibly difficult to rate this game. I played it because I had previously played Mutazione and several reviewers of that game claimed that Kentucky Route Zero was a clear influence. I loved Mutazione so much that I paid the rather hefty price tag for Kentucky Route Zero but was ultimately disappointed to discover there's no real siilarity between the two games at all, beyondI found it incredibly difficult to rate this game. I played it because I had previously played Mutazione and several reviewers of that game claimed that Kentucky Route Zero was a clear influence. I loved Mutazione so much that I paid the rather hefty price tag for Kentucky Route Zero but was ultimately disappointed to discover there's no real siilarity between the two games at all, beyond the fact that they are both essentially point & click adventures … which would be like saying that Monkey Island and Grim Fandango are similar games. They're really not.

    It gets even more difficult to review because, after a little while, I did start to get drawn into the game. I wanted to know more about the characters and what was happening. I was immersed, even if only for a short while. But sadly as the game went on it got more and more confusing, more and more abstract, until eventually I had literally no idea what was going on and it ultimately turned into a grind to simply reach the end.

    It was, however, very pretty in its own distinctive way. And the dialogue was compelling. It was just the story was so meta that my Switch nearly folded itself in half.

    A few other reviewers have compared Kentucky Route Zero to David Lynch's work, and I'm inclined to agree: I think that's a good comparison. If you enjoyed the likes of Rabbits, or the fever-dream inspired parts of Twin Peaks, then this game will be right up your alley. For everyone else, sadly, I'm not convinced there's very much to get excited about.
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  18. Nov 25, 2021
    10
    Some of the most poetic writing I’ve read in anything, let alone a video game. But it could only exist as a game, never a book or a movie. It lives in its medium perfectly, with unique perspective changes that may or may not align with the written words, and choices that make the player feel like a creator, while leaving one curious what they missed in choosing one answer over another. TheSome of the most poetic writing I’ve read in anything, let alone a video game. But it could only exist as a game, never a book or a movie. It lives in its medium perfectly, with unique perspective changes that may or may not align with the written words, and choices that make the player feel like a creator, while leaving one curious what they missed in choosing one answer over another. The music is inspired. The visuals are gorgeous.The message speaks perfectly to the broken world we live in, the one not repaired since the 2008 recession that inspired this game. When someone asks if video games can be art, this is the game I will point to in response. Expand
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Jan 20, 2021
    90
    To speak of entrancing elements, head writer Jake Elliott has taken nearly ten years to spin the intoxicating yarn present in this game. He is frequently fussy in his prose (and obtuse in proximity to reality) throughout Kentucky Route Zero but nonetheless deserves a massive amount of praise. He runs with each environmental detail and every stray thought presented by the main characters, giving them ample space to breathe and worm their way into your thoughts. The excellent dialogue and theming are well-supported by Tamas Kemenczy’s polygonal vector art visuals, which suffuse each scene with a haunting beauty fit for this weary, broken world. The characters are blank-faced, but they require no expressions to communicate their state of being with clarity and appropriate gravitas.
  2. 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.
  3. Feb 27, 2020
    91
    Kentucky Route Zero takes place in your head just as often as on the screen. Not only the story is vague; everything is vague. Developer Cardboard Computer apparently knows exactly how graphics, sound and storytelling can support your imagination. Goosebumps. David Lynch would be proud of it.