PAX East 2023: Road 96: Mile 0 Demo Brings Something Different to the Table

Road 96, an indie title by Digixart that was once announced an Indie World Direct, released on August 16, 2021. It contained an open premise where you play as a teen in the 90s, hitchhiking their way to freedom. No road trip is ever the same as you face several choices, meet a plethora of characters, and interact with different storylines.

A prequel to this story, Road 96: Mile 0, is set to release soon on April 4th, 2023. While it brings back the narrative and adventure aspect, it will also contain a musical component. You play as two Road 96 characters, Zoe and Kaito, teens who have different beliefs and backgrounds.

Image credit: Plaion

A demo of Road 96: Mile 0 was available at PAX East 2023, which I was pleased to try out. Once I put on the headset and pressed play, I’ll admit I was a little shocked. I played through Zoe’s level and wondered the whole time if I was recalling Road 96 correctly. Before I started Kaito’s level, I had to Google everything to make sure. Yes, I was still correct, but the two levels at PAX East were the music levels; therefore, it was starkly different than the gameplay in the original title.

Shock aside, it was a lot of fun. The controls were simple, and I felt like I was gliding seamlessly while catchy music played in the background. You move, duck, and jump over obstacles while collecting glowing “gems”. The focus of these sessions are clearly more on the rhythm and story it tells us indirectly. Kaito’s run was my favorite, and I’ve tried repeatedly to improve my score.

I’ve learned that Road 96: Mile 0 will still contain traditional story elements, but it will be punctured by these rhythm sections. Ultimately, the developers want to drive the message, “Challenge your beliefs”.

If you haven’t already, please check out the trailer. Keep an eye out for those musical segments!

Credit: Ravenscourt

Watch out for Road 96: Mile 0 this April 4th. It lands on just about everything: PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series X/S, PC, and the Nintendo Switch.

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