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Episodic “magic realist adventure game” to appear on Kentucky Route Zero

Indie developers Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy of Cardboard Computer haven't been letting the bluegrass grow under their feet since successfully crowdfunding their five-part adventure series Kentucky Route Zero, as the first episode is set to launch this December.

Kentucky Route Zero is a "magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in Kentucky and the mysterious folks who travel it." The central protagonist is an antique furniture deliveryman named Conway as he "attempts to complete the final delivery for his financially troubled employer. Along the way he'll meet dozens of strange characters and make a few new friends to help him overcome the obstacles in his path."

Rather than an emphasis on puzzle-solving, Kentucky Route Zero is more of an exploratory, reflective experience that focuses on "storytelling, characterization and set-pieces". Such set-pieces includes one in which "Conway meets a robotic country singer named Junebug who is trapped in the abandoned restaurant that once employed her, and has to explore the cavernous depths below the restaurant in order to shut down a security system and free her. In another, Conway and his companions explore a Civil War era battleship that ran ashore in an underground river hundreds of years ago and is now populated entirely by cats."

Kentucky Route Zero is presented in 3D, though as the lastest trailer suggests, it's been stylized to play as a 2D point-and-click adventure. According to the developers, they have been "playing a lot with the metaphor of theatrical stage sets, albeit very complex ones. Different environments have different camera behavior."

The two-man team has been working hard on the game since its successful Kickstarter campaign back in January 2011, and that effort is about to pay off with the downloadable launch of the first episode in December at the official website. The remaining four episodes are due to release sometime during the course of the next year.

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