Kentucky Route Zero was one of the first best surprises of 2011 (as well as one of the first Kickstarter projects I had zero hesitation in donating to), a “magical realist” bluegrass adventure game pitched by Chicago-based indie Cardboard Computer that was as gloriously close to approaching the work of the Coen Brothers and Jeunet & Caro as games can probably come (see its initial trailer below and the references should become a bit more clear).
Still deep in development over the past two years, the game’s raised its head just above the surface only a rare handful of times, while Cardboard Computer head Jake Elliott let loose a small flurry of similarly abstract & haunting micro-adventure games like Balloon Diaspora, Ruins and M83-collaboration We Were You.
Cut to today, when Elliott has finally officially revealed the latest look at the game (at top), with a new and frankly completely jaw-dropping aesthetic overhaul by new collaborator Tamas Kemenczy, that should perfectly illustrate why this re-instantly became one of my most anticipated games.
Elliott says the new plan is to break up the game into five more-manageable acts to be released throughout 2013 after an initial drop in December. While you wait, do as I do on those cold & solitary half-drunken nights, and loop the soundtrack clip above ad infinitum, a washed-out version of bluegrass standard What Would You Give (In Exchange for Your Soul) by in-game band, The Bedquilt Ramblers, who elsewhere in the game’s score go even more amazingly ambient — and every bit as infinitely repeatable — thanks to remix work by the Ramblers’ Ben Babbitt. Keep an eye on the game’s official website for more upcoming information.