Some things in our world seem to come and go like a dream. Many things in Kentucky Route Zero do this, including… the game itself. But over three and a half years later, Kentucky Route Zero, the famed indie game developed by Cardboard Computer, roared (or rung in, really) back to life today to announce its final act, and its console releases.
The final act and the console ports, dubbed the “TV Edition,” arrive on January 28th. Cardboard Computer already announced ports years back for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, the Switch port is news! Therefore, we now know Kentucky Route Zero can be played on all three major consoles, plus PC.
More importantly, on that same day, Act V will be available across all these platforms. If you’re playing on PC, you need a “season pass” to gain all five episodes. Console players will receive all five through the TV Edition.
Part of the allure of Kentucky Route Zero is its seemingly-endless production cycle. At some point late in the development, Cardboard Computer opened up a Patreon, claiming KRZ was “nearly done(!).” Their Patreon is full of exclusive development updates, as they work to “find a more open and community-engaged development process, while keeping the mysteries alive.”
The first part, originally schedule for release in late 2012, saw a January 2013 release. Part 2 was released May that year, followed by Act 3 a whole year later in May 2014. Part 4 took over two more years for its next release, with a July 2016 release. Despite the prior two-year hiatus, this is certainly the largest gap yet, with three and a half years between acts.
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Even in its incomplete form, Kentucky Route Zero’s reputation precedes itself. It’s hailed often as a whimsical adventure into the ways this world’s magic and quirks have woven themselves into a more mundane existence. Players barely know if people and places really exist, even as they materialize before one’s eyes. It’s a slow trip into the surreal.
The characters, world-building, and intensive but engaging writing also brought KRZ fame. The game is fully conveyed via text, with no voice acting. However, even the written experience has proven to be a selling point. Plus, critics praised the ambient audio-visual experience for strong atmosphere-building.
With this final announcement, dedicated fans and the industry as a whole is causing the grounds to rumble, as the hotly-anticipated game finally sees the light at the end of its tunnels.