I’ve barely played enough of this game to write about it, and yet I can’t wait. Kentucky Route Zero is a point and click adventure that takes place in five acts, and it is simply a work of art. Some of you self-proclaimed hardcore gamers out there may dismiss this game as one of those “barely a game” games (see To the Moon), but the thought provoking interactive narrative alone fills the space left by a lack of challenging game mechanics. The game is played through a standard point and click movement system, which does not at all detract from the experience.
Obviously, this game is story driven. You start off by playing as Conway, a delivery truck driver working for an antiques shop. Conway steers his truck off of the Kentucky highway to pull into Equus Oils, having failed to find a delivery site on Dogwood Drive. He soon finds out that the way to Dogway Drive may be found on the elusive Route Zero. Conway’s stop at this gas station sets the tone for the game, which consists of several such scenes built with a mixture of surreal and yet strangely typical interactions. These scenes are punctuated by a simple roadmap on which you may guide Conway’s truck.
There are also several opportunities to engage in dialogue, not just as Conway, but also as the other persons involved in this strange tale, which reveal interesting glimpses into each character’s mind. You are most often given dialogue choices, which give you limited control over character development, even if these choices do not largely affect the main plot. You’ll most likely find something relatable in every character, and the plot and sub-plots throughout the game hover in a tantalizingly vague space, allowing for you to do most of the projection. The writing for the dialogue and narrative is excellent, and the artwork is solemnly dream-like.
10/10 artsy, would play again. This game just makes me feel like a genuine intelligent and cultured snob, which is a vast improvement over most of the things I’ve been called in the past. I hope Kentucky Route Zero touches you in the same way.
If any of you out there have already played this game, or are just as excited as I am, please start some interesting dialogue with me in the comments section. I would love to drag out this smarty-pants feeling for as long as possible.