(This is a guest post from our very own Kim)
Well, they tell writers to write about what they know. Now, this videogame seems like it might be written by someone who knows an awful lot about getting lost. The kind of man who, while driving from Fort Smith to Lansing, gets lost in Kentucky.
There’s many a fine book been written about rural America, delving into the deep nooks and crannies. This game isn’t about that. It’s about getting lost on the open road. About a certain superficiality, and timelessness that starts to set in. A direction, and a destination that seem farther away by the minute.
And it’s about “You can’t get there from here.”
Little background for those folks who aren’t from Kentucky — The limestone caves run so deep that it’s an old legend that you can get from one side of the Appalachians to the other just by headin’ through ’em. They call that Kentucky Route Zero.
Atmosphere: This is a game about loneliness, about the journey rather than the destination. And it’s about the tricks your eyes pull on you. Things you aren’t quite sure are really there.
Gameplay: Fundamentally, this is a combination of a “Write your own Adventure” game and a puzzle game. The puzzles aren’t challenging, but the writing allows you to make your character. You answer question after question, like “why are you here?”, and your character falls into place.
Visuals: Stunning, absolutely stunning. Befitting a game that claims to be “magical realism,” what you see is apt to change — so look careful like.
Music: Haunting and folksy. Mostly in the background, though it occasionally does jump to the surface.
WorldBuilding: Don’t get too caught up in solving the puzzles as they’re presented. There’s plenty of places to explore that they haven’t told you about, after all.
And sometimes it’s nice to get a little bit lost.