Kickstarter: Real Life Zelda in Your Local Park

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!

Source: Kickstarter

  • ancel22

    it hasnt been released yet, right?

  • TehLeetHaxor

    Only for iOS? Why must they exclude android users?

    • KidSpy

      Wat is iOS???

      • Tehlul

        The operating system for Apple Products

      • Linkfan99

        Apple Software.
        Macs, iPads, iTouches, iPhones.
        In this case, iPhones.

    • Linkfan99

      this is probably just the starting platform. If it reaches bigger size, it may just as well be for android. (I have an android phone, but my mom has an iphone, so i can use that.)

      • Jordan Bieber

        Correct. Expansion to Android will be based on demand.

  • KidSpy

    Crap I want an iPod Touch for Christmas

    • Linkfan99

      You can’t use it. By the looks of this, you need GPS, and iTouches don’t have phone service (GPS is included in that), they only receive Wi-Fi.

  • Holly

    it sucks cause i don’t have an iphone. i have an itouch.. but i would assume you need internet access for this?

    • zombie_eat_flesh

      You practically need Wi-Fi to do really ANYTHING that isn’t what is already on your iPod touch/iPhone.

    • Linkfan99

      Just get an aircard. It’s like a wifi center, but it’s a portable card a little smaller than a phone. You can bring it to the park.

  • Clemens909

    I feel bad for the guy because his name is bieber

    • Kyle Clark

      yea poor him

      • God

        I had to do a double take reading through this article.

  • RubyDragonCat

    Now I need an iphone!

    • DA LAWLZ >:3

      hahahaha ikr? im fine with the phone i have now but if this comes out then im defitneiy getting one! ive always wanted to do something like this! amazing

  • Alix Jenkins

    i just really get the feeling this would be a lot better if they did this with pokemon and it was created more professionally i would love to see the updates and where this goes.

    • Jordan Bieber

      I wanted to do this too but I had to pick one and I thought it was easier to capture the appeal of Zelda without the name “Zelda”. Pokemon without the Pokemon was less appealing to me.

  • zombie_eat_flesh

    That’s dangerously close to that one guy.

  • Darmani IV

    Not bad, not bad at all, but, a few tweaks could be made
    1. Canadian support
    2. Local multiplayer (that would be awesome)
    3. Better graphic or graphics options

    • Jordan Bieber

      1) Game supports Canada, Kickstarter doesn’t.
      2) wait…
      3) I wanted it to be high-res but not deviate from an sort of old school game look

  • Tidia

    AHAHAH I’m Italian

  • The Hylian Monolith

    Does U.S. count a AK? Many people say United States meaning the contiguous, and with only 16 parks, I doubt that Denali will be one of them. Sniff…nothing ever comes to Alaska.

    Ah, but who am I to speak before checking? On top of that, though, I’ve got an old Nexus 1, so i’m still ot in this. Sounds interesting, though.

    • Jordan Bieber

      Yes. Limitations of the Kickstarter are regulatory based, not functionally based. Alaska could be done as part of the campaign or afterwards.

  • David

    This game must catch on! I hope people help this guy out because this is like the best version of a LARP I can think of! It’ll help curb the American obesity epidemic too ;) lol. I’m sure if this makes it big it will be on other devices that can use GPS as well.

    • DA LAWLZ >:3

      hahahaha larp :D silly word

  • faror

    wow,wow,wow just take a step back,and wow.
    dude, bro,broski. that is… this is… awesome.

  • angrymasksalesman

    When does it come out

    • Jordan Bieber

      After the results of the Kickstarter and a few other ventures. In time for Spring.

  • Hylia

    It’s official.
    NOW I want an iPhone.

  • djfrijoles

    I wish this guy luck in his project. Cool idea

  • thesunalsorises

    When I first read the title, I got really excited because I though this was going to be a rulebook for a Zelda based LARP. Which would be awesome because it combines two things I love LARPing and Zelda. Imagine how fun it would be to run around the woods, hitting people and people dressed as monsters with a foam weapon, while pretending you’re in Hyrule? But an augmented reality game is cool too, though not as immersive as I would like.

  • Ninty

    Sounds cool, though you make it sound like donating to Kickstarters that fail means you lose the money you donate; not true. If it fails, you never get charged. They only take your money if the project gains the money they need.

  • Linkfan99


  • Linkfan99

    Hmm…. J. Bieber.
    Doesn’t sound familiar at all.

  • Zelda is the Bomb!!!

    BADASS!!! Now I need to get a phone that this will actually work with!!!

    • Linkfan99

      ……mean an iPhone?

  • Linkfan99

    This guy… is a mega-nerd. In a very good way.

  • Linkfan99

    please bring it somewhere near atlanta georgia…

    • Jordan Bieber

      Name a park and I’ll investigate.

      • Linkfan99

        Are you the real thing?

  • Amber Evans

    When I first glanced at this, I thought it was like a real life adventure that someone had made at a local park area. You know, like an amusement park attraction or something like that. Now THAT would be awesome.
    Dress up like Link, be equipped with various items and go find actual buried treasure!!

  • baileygirl99

    That sounds cool! But there probably won’t be very many parks around me in the game, though.

    • Jordan Bieber

      Name a park and I’ll investigate.

      • baileygirl99

        Actually, there aren’t any parks with trees in Bakersfield….but how about Riverwalk park, Bakersfield Califorinia

  • Seth Taylor Moore

    This is a great concept, but I have no money. :(

    • Jordan Bieber

      Game is coming and will be free regardless of the Kickstarter experiment.

  • Jordan Bieber

    I was thrilled when I read this article because 1) press has been hard to come by and 2) the author absolutely nails the concept of the experience I was trying to create with this game. Thanks everyone for the feedback! You can find more videos at, now let me answer some of these…

    • lyd bin

      I wish i had a phone to play this on… ;__;