Junebug
Feature

Kentucky Route Zero’s android musicians are releasing a whole album

To read more from Kentucky Route Zero’s Cardboard Computer, be sure to pick a copy of Kill Screen’s relaunched magazine, Issue 9. /// Junebug, of Kentucky Route Zero’s duo of robotic musicians, is releasing an album. Self-titled and comprised of 11 tracks, the release is an elaboration upon one of the game’s highlights: a late-night performance in a nearly-empty dive bar called the Lower Depths.   Ben Babbitt, one-third of developer Cardboard Computer and the musician responsible for Kentucky Route Zero’s soundtrack, also provides Junebug’s singing voice and instrumentals. After working to craft her sound for Act III’s Lower Depths performance, Babbitt,…

Kentucky Route Zero Act IV
Review

Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV is an elegy

Michael Snow’s 1967 experimental film Wavelength is a 45-minute long zoom on an empty room. Outside the walls, and the camera’s frame, the insignificant dramas of human life play out in sad, abortive spirals. Men move furniture into the room; two friends drink and listen to the Beatles; in the end, a man dies on the floor and a woman calmly informs the cops of his corpse. Snow is monomaniacally committed to his premise: Wavelength is a canonical example of experimental film precisely because of its push-pull between dry, structural formalism and gut-level intrigue. In a way it’s a murder…

Kentucky Route Zero
News

Stop everything! Kentucky Route Zero Act IV is out right now

Just like last time, Kentucky Route Zero‘s next act—that is, Act IV—has dropped with a soft thump into the world. If you already own it then this new act will be available to download in your Steam library right now. Did you hear it land? Nor did anyone else. Alongside this sudden arrival, Cardboard Computer posted an “Observational Trailer,” which is the most pleasant three minutes I’ve ever spent staring at a gas station lit like a biker bar. You can also spend the next three minutes doing that, perhaps sipping on something cold—yes, do that: So far, acts One…

Neighbor
News

You should play the new poetic game from the Kentucky Route Zero designers

Have you downloaded the iOS/Android Triennale Game Collection yet? We wrote about it a few weeks ago; the gist is that Milan’s La Triennale di Milano, an exhibition held by the Triennale Design Museum, is back after 20 years, and they seem to like videogames. Santa Ragione’s Pietro Righi Riva has commissioned new games from five designers, including Kentucky Route Zero designers and Kill Screen sweethearts Cardboard Computer. Their entry, Neighbor, is a meditative little vignette along the lines of Mountain (2014) or Animal Crossing. It’s done in Cardboard Computer’s house style: tasteful low-poly art, poetic, spare writing, and a synthesizer score that straddles melodic and ambient vibes. You…

collection2
News

Download a virtual art exhibit that features original games from around the world

La Triennale di Milano is an Italian modern art and design museum, focused on the relationship facilitated through art and industry. The La Triennial di Milano regularly displays exhibitions of design, architecture, art, fashion, film, and essentially anything contemporary. After a 20-year absence, the Triennale International Exhibition has made its triumphant return. With events and exhibits widespread across Milan, and now even an app-bound virtual exhibit by game designers from around the world, the Triennale International Exhibition has truly been ushered into the modern era. And after two decades away, that’s much to be revered. The chance to see art from the…

Kentucky Route Zero
News

Slow things down by listening to the new Kentucky Route Zero teaser

Cardboard Computer has released a new track from an upcoming installment of Kentucky Route Zero and maybe it contains important information about what is to come in the game. Maybe—OK, let’s be real—it probably doesn’t. But maybe it does, and that’s enough hope to keep the whole operation going. https://t.co/2SWOwOuGYp — cardboard computer (@cardboardcompy) June 8, 2016 “River” is, as you might expect, an atmospheric track, filled with billowing sounds and distant noodlings. It doesn’t wash over you; you sink into it. Of course, this isn’t exactly music for you to listen to—at least not in this context. How often…

KRZ teaser
News

Kentucky Route Zero Act IV gets a mysterious interactive teaser

Oh, it’s coming. Kentucky Route Zero Act IV currently sits out-of-sight—somewhere among the hot haze of a distant horizon—but, rest assured, it is heading this way. No, we don’t have a release date still, but there is yet another teaser to polish with your eyeballs. Last time, we had only an image. It was static, domestic, mundane. A person leaned on one of the many balconies of a high-rise populated by air-con units and washing that’s been hung out to dry. We don’t know the person in this image. We can only see that they hold a telephone to their ear.…

Kentucky Route Zero
News

Prepare for something new from Kentucky Route Zero soon

We really like Kentucky Route Zero. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s the Ideal Kill Screen Game: aesthetically surefooted, poetic, funny, surreal, and melancholy. (The other pole of this is, like, last year’s Bloodborne, or something.) So when designers Cardboard Computer tease more Kentucky Route Zero in their inimitable, coy way, we jump all over it: That image is all Cardboard Computer tweeted out. Since their customary pre-episode interlude has already been released (2014’s delightful Here and There Along the Echo) I can only assume this is from Act IV proper. I’m sure I’ll wake up in three weeks or so and a elderly,…

Kentucky Route Zero
Feature

Meditating on Kentucky Route Zero

The first moment that Kentucky Route Zero (2013) throws a surreal curveball at you feels like a wake-up call. A character you’ve just met has finished fixing a TV, which doesn’t focus the picture on the screen as you expect, but somehow switches the barn outside the nearby window for a cave entrance. The transition is hard to grasp—a sleight of hand trick that holds up under scrutiny. As the camera zooms in, the edges of the entrance smudge against the landscape, unconnected to anything, like a hole has been painted into the scenery. A truck pulls in front of…