Limits and Demonstrations is both a free tech test and a brief trip through the strange, magical world of Kentucky Route Zero.
I loved the first episode of Kentucky Route Zero, but it’s obviously not for everyone and the absence of a demo makes it a tricky proposition for gamers on the fence. Limits and Demonstrations doesn’t actually address that problem directly, but it does offer a taste of what the game is like by taking players on a tour through a very strange art gallery.
Limits and Demonstrations began life as test software for graphics cards but “grew and mutated into more of a companion piece to the main story,” developer Cardboard Computer explained in its most recent super-secret newsletter. “We hit on the idea of presenting various graphics card features that the game requires as a virtual art gallery. From there we started working out ways to fit it into the narrative and mythos of the game. We thought it could be a group exhibition of a few characters from the game, or maybe more of a natural history collection of found objects from along the Zero.”
The final result is an exhibition of art by Lula Chamberlain, who hasn’t yet been officially introduced, as viewed by three other characters from the game. Some of the work in the gallery is inspired by real-life material, while at least one piece is based on content that was ultimately cut from the game. There’s no direct narrative connection between Limits and Demonstrations and Kentucky Route Zero (at least as far as I can tell) but it provides a useful look at the game’s visual style, conversation system and, for lack of a better term, its overall “vibe.”
Limits and Demonstrations is free and will eat up about ten minutes of your life, so there’s really no reason not to take the tour. Pick it up at kentuckyroutezero.com.