The Unchosen Choice: How CYOA affected my KRZ experience

Before reading the choose your own adventure novel, Mystery of the Maya, I had always been fond of video games because of the way your choices affect the character’s narrative. However, I found that after reading a novel that achieved the same thing I had a different experience choosing when I came back to video games. Instead of being the ultra decisive gamer I always was and never looking back after I made a choice for my character, I now found myself experiencing guilt for the choices I didn’t make. I started regretting missing out on alternate storylines. Unlike a CYOA novel, it wasn’t so easy to go back and see what would’ve happened if I changed my mind.

Although this was quite an annoying new characteristic of my gamer alter-ego, it surprisingly did benefit me in one very important way. Before I tell you what that benefit is, I must admit one truth. I didn’t expect much from a point and click game, and thus, for the first time since this course began, I treated the gaming assignment like the rest of my homework and added it to my mental list of things to procrastinate. Therefore, Kentucky Route Zero was left for today. Because I read online that the gameplay takes approximately 5 hours, I planned for four.

My pride in gaming has always been being just as good as everyone else in significantly less time. Although I knew KRZ was all about the story, I still began playing it with that mindset. However, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t rush through the gameplay. Not because I wasn’t quick enough to get some of the more puzzling aspects of it, but because I wanted to explore the storyline. I felt guilty for missing out on the details and skipping straight to the most direct dialogue.

I took my time and ended up playing through in about 6 hours (it would have been longer if not for the rushed beginning) and now that I’ve finished I’ll pose the question, how did you play through Kentucky Route Zero. Did you rush through it and pick the most direct path, or did you explore as many of the options as the game allowed in order to get the most storyline out of it? Do you have any other in between method to playing? If so, please inform me!

One thought on “The Unchosen Choice: How CYOA affected my KRZ experience

  1. Personally, I played it in a generally direct manner, though at times I wandered (partially due to forgetting directions to the next destination). That being said, it’s interesting to see the game’s attempts to convince you to linger. “Conway stays a little while.” “Conway isn’t ready to go yet.” This encouragement to play the game slowly is an intriguingly fresh concept. Though I must confess that I rarely chose such options in-game, more interested in seeing new content than exploring current setting further.

Leave a Reply