Limits & Demonstrations: Kentucky Route Zero Devs Release Freeware “Exhibition”

Limits & Demonstrations

Already 2013 has seen some astonishing indie games released, and one of those is most certainly Cardboard Computer’s magical realism point-and-click adventure, Kentucky Route Zero Act 1, which Chloi took a liking to, as she wrote here. Needless to say, many of us are eagerly awaiting the next instalment after the first offered a finesse in its atmosphere and intrigue in to this off-kilter location with its odd cast of characters. Considering that the release is some time away yet, we’re lucky that Cardboard Computer are being generous in releasing a freeware piece of theirs today that further expands the mysterious world of Kentucky Route Zero.

Is it a teaser for Act 2 or is it a way for them to further flesh out the world they’ve created while adding more of an enigmatic presence to it? My suspicion is that Limits & Demonstrations is intended as a standalone release that is set in the same universe, but doesn’t have much relevance to the plot of Kentucky Route Zero. For those who have already played through Act 1 it remains as something to chew on further, and for players out there who haven’t gave the game a look yet, maybe this is a way for you to find out if the slow-paced adventure game is for you – a teaser or demo of what kind of thing to expect, perhaps?

Limits & DemonstrationsOddly enough, Limits & Demonstrations isn’t very revealing at all. What you read on the website where you’ll find the download is that it concerns a fictional installation artist called Lula Chamberlain. It’s supposed to act as a retrospective of her work during the first public showing in 20 years. Once you’re inside the game, you’ll be taking three unknown characters around a number of Lula’s artworks as they try to find meaning and purpose within them, as you are. Though you’ll most likely be trying to find threads that link this exhibition with the events of Act 1, or maybe hint towards those of Act 2.

Limits & Demonstrations is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and is a very small download. Looking around the exhibition will probably take you about 10 minutes, but you may want to go back through it afterwards to see what the other dialogue options lead to.

What’s The Connection?

Limits & Demonstrations

Limits & Demonstrations emits the same slow and mysterious tones of its commercial counterpart, and it is also based within the same engine. So expect the same visual style, amount of silence and interest in conversation and observation. As soon as you’re inside the exhibition, you’ll notice that you have three characters that weren’t seen in Act 1 at all. Will they appear in Act 2 or in any of the subsequent Acts of Kentucky Route Zero? For now, we simply just don’t know. You’ll be controlling the female of the group of three and will dictate by pointing and clicking, which installations you’ll take a look at and what the conversation will be about when gazing upon them.

Four of the five exhibitions are visual displays and impressive ones at that. Important to note if you’re an eager fan and looking to delve into the possible meanings of each, are the contents of each piece, how they’re positioned and moving, as well as the title. But the most revealing aspect of each is what the three characters talk about when analyzing what’s before them. They have insights, but don’t really share much with you; instead they prefer to pose more questions for you to ponder.

Then there’s one exhibition that stands out a little more because it’s audio and not visual. You play reams of tape back in an adventure game style. Recorded on these tapes are Lula herself and some others, and at the end of each strip of tape, you’re given options to choose which direction your curiosity takes you and what else of this offshoot story is revealed. Perhaps Lula, as well as her work that performs a “diagonal slice through time, place, and form,” has a greater significance to the Kentucky Route Zero story.

Limits & Demonstrations