Zombie Playground

Like it or not, KickStarter is here to stay as a proven fundraising platform that more game developers are turning to for crowdsourced funding for their games. I myself have backed three games on KickStarter just within the past few months and if more awesome projects keep cropping up, I may quickly go broke.

Take Zombie Playground, for example. It’s an extremely cool-looking 3D action, online battle RPG (think a more lighthearted Left 4 Dead but with action-RPG elements) that drops kids into the middle of the zombie apocalypse.

On its KickStarter page, developer Massive Black describes the game like this:

In Zombie Playground you take on the role of a kid during a zombie apocalypse as seen through his or her imagination. Your school is overrun by the undead, and it’s up to you and your friends to do whatever it takes to survive!

Zombie Playground is an online, team based, action arena game with RPG elements. Gameplay will be deep, challenging, and rewarding. The game combines childhood nostalgia with horrific monsters, visceral combat, and a unique atmosphere straight out a child’s nightmares. We do want to make it very clear: this is not a game for kids!

Gameplay in Zombie Playground will be a hybrid of third person shooter and action RPG mechanics set in a cooperative zombie survival horror arena. This is not a mindless hack and slash! Players will have their teamwork abilities, battle tactics, and survival skills put to the test as they fight to survive against hordes of the undead. As players progress, their characters will level up, allowing players to unlock invaluable new abilities to help them take on increasingly dangerous challenges. Acquiring new weapons, items, and articles of clothing will allow players to further customize their characters for even more variety and tactical versatility or specialization.

The mood we want to capture Zombie Playground is the feeling that you had as a child when you were completely immersed in your imagination fighting monsters, shooting guns, and doing things that you thought were cool from your favorite movies, comics, and video games. For Zombie Playground, the setting is inspired from popular Zombie franchises and will take place in the local middle school. We aim to deliver all of the horror and tension associated with zombie titles, but spiced up with some good old childhood nostalgia. It can be easily explained in the following formula:

Goonies + Attack the Block + Walking Dead = Zombie Playground

Anything invoking the name Goonies, the Holy Grail of all kids’ movies, gets my instant stamp of approval. Plus Attack the Block? Now that sounds like one helluva good time.

Here’s a look at the rag tag group of middle schoolers you’ll control in Zombie Playground:

Zombie Playground Kids

My only complaint about this project might be the pledge tier rewards, which are basically structured to tempt you into spending more money if you want to play on easy-mode. For example, if you pledge $150 you’ll get glow-in-the-dark shoes, an in-game item that will give you a huge advantage over other players. Also, you might want to read the fine print carefully as the estimated delivery date is not until March 2013–almost two years away.

However, I think it’s safe to say I’ll soon be counting Zombie Playground among the growing list of KickStarter projects that are parting me from my money.

Update: Dammit KickStarter!

I Backed Zombie Playground on KickStarter!