I don’t know about you lot, but if there’s one thing that the my inner Zelda fan has always wanted to do, it’s to go on a real life adventure. Instead of taking a regular stroll through my local park, I want to cast spells, hunt dragons, and find buried treasure. Is that too much to ask? Not anymore!
Hit the jump to find out how you–yes, you–can experience your own, real life adventure, right at your local park.
Kickstarter can be an interesting place, full of all sorts of crazy ideas that will never make it to fruition. Hopefully, ParkQuest won’t be one of those failed ideas. Started by Minnesotan developer Jordan Bieber, ParkQuest is a free mobile game that uses your phone’s GPS signals to present an interactive, customised, real life adventure game based in an assortment of public parks across the United States.
As you walk around your park with ParkQuest running, your phone’s screen will show a map of the park overlaid with all sorts of goodies–not only are there monsters to be slain and daily buried treasure to be found, but there’s also a scavenger hunt for “geotokens”, which represent the five elements, as well as date-specific events. Each event in ParkQuest has a distinct real world location, so if you want to dig up some treasure, for example, you have to physically walk to the treasure’s location and use your phone as a shovel.
Each day, as you return to your local park, there’ll be new hidden items and treasures, but the main goal will remain the same. The more adventuring you do, the better items you’ll receive to help you take down the evil dragon and rescue the prince/princess. Not only that, there’s also an option to use ParkQuest as a zombie apocalypse simulation in order to test your undead survival skills. If you’re after some more information, watch the detailed video below.
At no point in the video on the Kickstarter page does Bieber explicitly mention the word “Zelda”, for obvious reasons–I’m not sure how well Nintendo would take to this idea. The logo, however, has a pretty distinct Zelda tinge to it, as do all the items you can turn your phone into, which include a bow and arrow, a boomerang, bombs, a shovel, and of course a sword and shield. Some of the sound effects in the video below even sound suspiciously similar to those in The Wind Waker, as if to emphasize just how much of an influence our favourite games were on ParkQuest.
Bieber is also sure to emphasize that ParkQuest is a free app for iOS (there’s no mention of any other device on the page) and is already 100% complete–unlike many Kickstarter campaigns, you’re not contributing money to a project that might take your money, yet never see fruition. There are 16 confirmed parks across the US that will feature on the game when it is released, and each Kickstarter backer will be asked their park of choice upon donation. With every $2000 raised, a park with the most votes will be added.
Unfortunately, the campaign is “only for parks in the United States”, but there is the potential for international expansion in the future. Its chances of successful funding are also looking very slim at the moment, as only 2.8% of its $10,000 goal has been funded via only seven backers, ten days after it was published.
Is ParkQuest something you might be interested in? Maybe not for yourself, but as a way of introducing a younger relative to the amazing world of Zelda? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to hop on to Kickstarter to show your support with your money!