Cardboard Computer

Games by Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt. We're currently working on Kentucky Route Zero, a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it. Acts I-IV of Kentucky Route Zero are available now.

Notes on the TV Edition

September 7, 2017

Kentucky Route Zero TV Edition

Hi y’all!

We’ve been busy working on the last leg of Kentucky Route Zero. Something new is coming very soon; you might have a sense of what to expect if you’ve been watching the airwaves. If not: just keep your eyes open.

Meanwhile, as you may have heard elsewhere, we have started working together with Annapurna Interactive to produce a console port of the game, which we’re calling the “TV Edition.” It will be available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. We’ll release it at the same time as we update the PC version with Act 5, which we’re planning to do in the early part of 2018.

There are some nice enhancements to the game that are coming as part of this TV Edition, and all of these will be ported back to the PC version also — the two versions are basically identical other than the platforms they run on. Wanted to make sure we were clear with you all about that!

Nathan Gary from Annapurna was actually one of our earliest kickstarter backers, way back in 2011, which was roughly a hundred years ago. Now, they’re helping us by managing the process of submitting the game to consoles, and funding & organizing some other help for console-specific development & localization & misc. media work, so that the three of us can focus on finishing Act 5. It’s important to us to be clear with you all about that as well — we’re totally focused on finishing Act 5! Working with Annapurna on this allows us to finish the game while console work happens in parallel.

Annapurna is also helping us to localize the game in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Japanese, and Korean. We’ve gotten so many requests for localization over the years, and it’s always been something we’ve wanted to do, but never had the bandwidth to spend time on really getting it right. The group doing the localization for us has been great to work with — it seems to be going well. We want to write you more about this process; it’s been interesting. Look for that in a future newsletter.

Thanks again for your enthusiastic patience <3

More soon!


Act IV Available Now!

July 19, 2016


We’re happy (and more than a little relieved) to let you know that Act IV is done & ready to play. This has been a challenging process for us, but we’re excited about the work and eager to share it with you.

Here’s an observational trailer for Act IV.

If you purchased the game through Steam or GOG, your copy should be updated automatically.

If you purchased the game through our website or through the Humble Store, your copy of the game has been updated in your Humble Store account / download page. Can’t remember where that is? Try entering your email into this form to get a reminder. If that doesn’t help, please do feel free to email us at

Thanks for playing!


Act III Available Now!

May 6, 2014

Kentucky Route Zero


We’re excited to let you know that Act III of Kentucky Route Zero is available now! If you play the game through Steam, your copy should be updated automatically.

If you purchased the game through our website or through the Humble Store, your copy of the game has been updated in your Humble Store account / download page. Can’t remember where that is? Try entering your email into this form to get a reminder: . If that doesn’t help, please do feel free to email us at

A lot of love and attention went into Act III, and we sincerely hope you enjoy it. The game is on sale for 25% off via our website, Steam,, and the Humble Store, for the next week.

Thanks for your support! More soon!


PS – One last-minute release note for Mac users. CMD-tab to switch out of the game is currently not working while in full-screen mode. For now if you need to switch applications, you can quickly switch to windowed mode with CMD-F, and then use CMD-tab as normal.

Act III Progress Update.

February 10, 2014

Kentucky Route Zero, Act III

Hi y’all!

We get a fair number of emails asking about the status of Act III, which is totally understandable. We know it’s a bit unusual for a game company not to announce release dates in advance, or generally to keep such a low profile between releases, and of course since many of y’all have paid in advance for all five acts of the game it’s not surprising that you’d want more clarity from us or reassurance that the game is still under development. We have pretty clear reasons for working the way that we do, but it seems like a good time to start being a bit more publicly transparent.

So here’s an update about what’s going on with Kentucky Route Zero development right now:

We are asked sometimes if the project is abandoned. No! Acts III, IV and V are still coming out. We’ve never stopped working on Kentucky Route Zero, and there’s no risk of us abandoning it. Making this game is what we do.

We publicly announced release dates for Act I and II, and in both cases those dates slipped, which is not at all unusual in videogames or other creative projects. But, all the same, it was pretty demoralizing to miss deadlines, and the barrage of negative attention that followed made it only more difficult to focus on work. More importantly, we’ve learned that our process is quite exploratory, experimental, and unpredictable anyway.

It’s crucial for our work that we reserve the right to throw things away, rework things as necessary, and allow the project to grow organically. Regularly, scenes that we imagined would be very simple and small-scale bloom into something much more complex as we work on them. In short, it’s difficult (or impossible) to really know what you’re working on until you’re really working on it, and it’s important to us that we err on the side of respecting the game rather than the timeline.

One piece that grew larger in scale than we expected it to is the interlude between acts II and III, “The Entertainment.” But even though it demanded a lot more of our time and attention that we anticipated, we’re very happy with how it came out. “The Entertainment” is at least as important a component of the Kentucky Route Zero project as any other, which should become more clear when Act III comes out …

Without getting into any spoilery detail, Act III is *significantly* more involved than the first two acts. We knew this coming into it, based on our narrative outline of the game. There are also components of it that grew in scale beyond our expectation, but we feel they’re worth the time and effort.

It may be unusual, but this is how we work; this is how a game like Kentucky Route Zero gets made. We’re proud of the game and excited to share the rest of it with you, and we hope it’s worthy of your patience and support.

That’s where we’re at! Always happy to hear from you, at

More soon,

Kentucky Route Zero, Act I available now

January 7, 2013

The first installment of Kentucky Route Zero is now available now!

Get it at:

‘Kentucky Route Zero’ new trailer

October 17, 2012

Here’s a new trailer for Kentucky Route Zero. The game will be released episodically in five acts, over the course of the next year, with the first act coming in December 2012

If you’d like to keep tabs on the game as we approach release, please sign up for our mailing list at

Ruins Special Edition available only this week

October 11, 2011

I’ve been really surprised (and thrilled) by the response to Ruins since I released it about 3 weeks ago. It was written about by Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Popmatters, Boing-Boing, PCGamer, IndieGamesChannel, and Nightmare Mode, as well as some really nice posts by game developers I greatly respect: Robert Yang and Bredon Clay. I wasn’t expecting this response, but I’d like to take the current when it serves and submit this game to the Independent Games Festival for 2012, the deadline for which is October 17th.

I can’t currently afford the $95 entry fee to the IGF, so in an attempt to raise that amount (Update: Thanks for your support! I have enough for the entry fee now!) I’m offering a “special edition” of Ruins. The special edition includes audio commentary, a folder of flowcharts & text files that comprise the full text of the game, and a few pieces of music I wrote for the game but didn’t end up including in the release, all packaged on a USB thumb drive. For a bit extra, I’ll also include a small, handmade painting based on the imagery in the game.

The special edition will only be available through the end of the week: Friday, October 14th. All done — thanks for your support!


September 15, 2011


Ruins is a game about a dog chasing rabbits through a shadowy, dreamlike landscape.

Download for Mac
Download for Windows


  • This is a very short game (and some pathways are shorter than others), but it’s also not possible to see all the content in a single play-through.
  • I’m not sure what the minimum system requirements are for this game, but it’s a bit more graphically intensive than the other’s I’ve done. Apologies if it doesn’t run smoothly on your computer! It runs very smoothly on my Macbook which is about a year old, if that’s any help.

Balloon Diaspora

February 15, 2011

Balloon Diaspora is a 3D point-and-click adventure game with music by Oliver Blank. Explore a foreign culture, make new friends and ride through the clouds in a hot air balloon.

Read more & download now.

‘Kentucky Route Zero’ trailer

January 7, 2011

I’m excited to announce Kentucky Route Zero, a magic realist adventure game about a secret highway in Kentucky and the mysterious folks who travel it. This game is currently in development and will be released around the Fall of 2011 (on PC, Mac and possibly other platforms). I’m developing it in partnership with Tamas Kemenczy, a long-time friend & collaborator, who is providing art direction for the game.

We’re currently running a campaign on Kickstarter to fund the development of the game. Check out our pitch page on Kickstarter for more information about the game!

all posts

7Notes on the TV Edition

19Act IV Available Now!

6Act III Available Now!
10Act III Progress Update.

7Kentucky Route Zero, Act I available now

17‘Kentucky Route Zero’ new trailer

11Ruins Special Edition available only this week
15Balloon Diaspora
7‘Kentucky Route Zero’ trailer

20‘A House in California’ is a finalist for the IGF 2011 Nuovo Award!
31A House in California
15Pre-Order limited edition hard copies of ‘A House in California’
6Hummingbird Mind
9‘A House in California’ Gameplay Video
1Music from ‘A House in California’
21Pokemon Trainwrecks
19Hello! Cardboard Computer!
12Almost there!