‘Reigns,’ ‘Bound,’ & Even More ‘Kentucky Route Zero’

It’s special request hour at “Shall We Play a Game?”: We play “Reigns,” the mobile hit billed as “Tinder for monarchs,” and “Bound,” the PlayStation 4 dance platformer. Then we indulge our own desires with Act 3 of “Kentucky Route Zero.”


“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” and “Wheels of Aurelia.”


“Reigns” developer François Alliot’s essay in Polygon

Chris’s New York Times post on video games as ballet

Game Oven’s “Bounden,” with choreography from the Dutch National Ballet


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1 Comment

  1. Lemony
    September 22, 2016

    I think your analysis of Act III is pretty spot on. This act is definitely more referential than other acts. And it definitely sometimes only really works if you’re aware of the source material. The whole business with Donald is a reference to Project Xanadu. It is a critique of academia and the way graduate students are overworked and were overworked under the leadership of Ted Nelson. The whole business with the drag in the beginning is a kind of homage to Waiting for Godot. One of the scene’s setting is Shannon and Conway waiting at a tree for something to happen just like Didi and Gogo. The story of Conway and Lysette is a reference to The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost. The song Too Late to Love you is meant to be Lysette singing about her regret for marrying Ira when Conway disappeared. It was too late for Lysette to love Conway, she’d made her vow. In some ways these neato references don’t necessarily make KRZ a good game. But I do think they make KRZ an important game. It interacts with other media like literature and plays and is aware of where games came from in a way that most games never to try. KRZ is a game that is asking to be studied and poked and prodded to discover hidden imagery and new meaning. And I think that’s very exciting.


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