- A magical realist adventure game about a secret highway that runs through the caves beneath Kentucky.
- Prepare for the release of Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition with our Rambler’s Guide below.
- Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition comes to Xbox One January 28.
Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway that runs through the caves beneath Kentucky. The three of us at Cardboard Computer have been working on this game for almost 10 years, publishing episodes, free ‘interlude’ games, and other odd objects (a play, a T.V. station, a hotline for secret tourism) as we go. Now, we’re happy to say that the story is complete, and you can play the whole thing from start to finish in Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition on Xbox One, on January 28.
Whether this is your first trip on Route Zero or your last, it’s only a few weeks away. So, we’ll help you prepare with our Rambler’s Guide to Route Zero:
We recommend you fill your tank somewhere on the surface before heading underground. There are gas stations down there, too, but they seem to move around from night to night. Equus Oils, right off Interstate 65, is a good place to start your trip. While you’re there, be sure to say “hello” to Joseph, who works the night shift; he’ll be able to get you pointed in the right direction, more or less.
Caves and Rivers
The mysterious Route Zero runs through a twisty maze of caves and rivers beneath Kentucky, the famous Mammoth Cave System. Dedicated video game historians may note that Mammoth Cave is also the site of seminal 1976 text adventure game, Colossal Cave Adventure — though we have to say the caves you’ll pass through on the Zero are a bit friendlier and more densely populated than in that earlier game.
Those who live and work along the Zero follow familiar patterns. They go to work, maybe bottling whiskey at the Hard Times Distillery or administering memory experiments at the Radvansky Center. After work you’ll find many of them at The Rum Colony, a lakeside bar famous for exotic drinks. Some go to church, perhaps at Saint Thomas, in whatever building it’s found a home these days.
Art & Music
It’s said that the distinguished installation artist Lula Chamberlain has made her home somewhere along the Zero. In fact, you can see a rare retrospective of her work on display now, so we hope you’ll make time for a visit! If you or your travel companions are art lovers, stop by any one of the galleries or museums that dot the region. I’ve heard there’s an interesting photo exhibit on the river. And of course there’s the colossal Museum of Dwellings. I don’t think it’s quite ready for visitors yet, but it wouldn’t hurt to stop by and peek in the windows, even at night.
There’s always music in the air, so keep your radio in good working order. And don’t be shy with the dial — you’ll find some stations require a little elbow grease to tune into. If your radio is broken, or you simply prefer the intimacy of a live concert, you’re sure to stumble across a late night show in some obscure tavern. It’s easier to find if you’re not looking for it.
Of course, we hope your trip isn’t clouded by ugly weather, but you’d better prepare for rain — both above and below ground. Some of these caves are quite large, and waterways such as the Echo River and Lake Lethe help to create subterranean microclimates. We recommend carrying an umbrella and an extra layer of clothing, even in summer. The cave air is much cooler than the surface; it’s a nice place to escape the heat, so long as you don’t get lost. Or, if you want to get lost, that’s OK too.
See, a little preparation goes a long way. Have a good trip, and we’ll see you in a few weeks on January 28 when Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition is released for Xbox One.