PAX West 2017: Kentucky Route Zero is Great on Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic indie machine and this statement was made even more prevalent at PAX West this year as the majority of indie games at the show had that little “coming to Switch” logo at the bottom of their poster. Included on that list is Anapurna Interactive’s mystery adventure game Kentucky Route Zero and it’s going to make for a great addition to the Switch’s lineup.

For those who don’t know, Kentucky Route Zero is a conversation-driven point-and-click adventure game where our protagonist, known only as Conway, is a truck driver on a cross country trip to make a delivery for an antique shop. He travels along the fictional Kentucky Route Zero to get there and meets a creepy cast of characters along the way. The game was originally split up into five acts which were released over the course of three years. The Switch version, called the TV Edition, will contain all five acts.

This was my first time getting hands on with Kentucky Route Zero and my initial takeaways come from the art style, story and overall vibe.

The demo opened with Conway at his truck, talking to his poor old dog about what he was going to do and where he was going to try to go. You end up asking the owner of a nearby house to help you, and she gives you a disconcerting answer and asks for your help. You can decide whether or not you want to help the woman, and you move on, trying either to help this woman’s sister and find out more information from her, or traveling on along Route Zero. The art is simple, dark, and low-poly, and I think really fits the tone that they were going for.

The story is also simple. A man needs to get this package across the country, and gets wrapped up in some weird and maybe unexplainable situations. It feels a lot like a Twilight Zone Episode, and I really dug it.

Gameplay-wise, it is obviously meant to be a point and click situation where a conversation button pops up above a character’s head that you can talk to, but on the Switch you move from one to the next depending on who you want to talk to. This is an advantage that the PC version has, but they’ve dealt with the problem in a simple way that works out.

Kentucky Route Zero is one of the many smaller titles making their way to the Nintendo Switch in the coming months, and I’m excited to be able to play through the whole thing, whether it’s on the go or on the big screen. Cardboard Computer have done a great job of adapting the controls, and with the huge player base that the Switch already has that will only grow this holiday season, Kentucky Route Zero will gain traction and get in the hands of more players. Check out our review of Kentucky Route Zero on PC for more.