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Kentucky Route Zero review: more of a graphic novel than a game

(XO/PS4/Sw/PC) ★★★★★ Age: 12+

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Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero

Arise: A Simple Story

Arise: A Simple Story

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Kentucky Route Zero

Sometimes it's not the destination, it's the journey. It's doubtful you'll be much wiser what happens in KRZ by the end than you were in the outset. But along the way in this slow-burn, episodic point'n'click mystery, you'll meet an intriguing cast of misfits, explore a bizarre slice of Americana and be constantly wrong-footed by its narrative diversions.

Dubbed a magic-realist adventure by its creators, KRZ's staccato development mirrors its meandering plot. The first episode was in 2012, while the dripfeed concluded with the fifth and final instalment only this month. In that time, several other titles such as Oxenfree and Where The Water Tastes Like Wine drew inspiration from KRZ's arty, dialogue-driven travelogue.

But KRZ remains the best example of this enigmatic stew, all underpinned by a sparse but haunting soundtrack and angular artwork. It incorporates weighty influences as diverse as John Steinbeck and David Lynch for the plot in which a weary delivery driver roams Kentucky's back roads searching for an elusive address that may not exist. The narrative allows you to make choices that shape the journey, if not the destination, much as a theatre director might interpret a playwright's text.