(also magical realism)
A literary or artistic genre in which realistic narrative and naturalistic technique are combined with surreal elements of dream or fantasy.
- Oxford English Dictionary
The project uses an art style similar to those used in the classic games Karateka, Prince of Persia and Another World. Colours are layered to create a vibrant painterly image and the illusion of three dimensions. It’s highly doubtful that they rotoscoped the actors like the previously mentioned titles but with the level of detail, and the fluidity and elegance of motion I would not be surprised.
Joseph tells you that he can help you get where you need to go but you’ll have to get the power back on first. Venturing in to his basement you stumble upon a group gathered around a table playing some type of board game. You need to get past them to get the power back on and using a simple click driven user interface you are able to get what you need and get back out on the road. Kentucky Route Zero shows you don’t need a complex dialogue tree, fancy graphics, or an intricate interface layer to create wonder. You travel around the countryside using a simple spider like map, clicking where you want to go. Highlights will pop up as you near them often giving way to passages of text flavouring your travels. The design choices show that a strong story, beautiful art, and haunting ambient sound will do the job for you.
This is a work in progress available on Steam or through the Humble Bundle, if you purchase from either you will get the sound track all five Acts and the interlude “The Entertainment” set between Acts III and IV as they are completed (Acts I through III currently available). The game itself runs short, Acts vary in length with the first act clocking in at around an hour. Some may find the $24.99 price tag a bit expensive for a game like this and the title has gone on sale multiple times since its launch but given its indie origins and artistic vision support it at full price if you can. You may have to wait a while to get all the chapters but it’s more than worth it.
- Stunning art
- Beautiful sound and music design
- Intricate and enthralling story
- Slow arrival of new Acts
* rating subject to change upon completion of Acts