You open your internet browser hastily, almost knocking your tea over with the mouse. Before your homepage even loads, you begin typing: g-a-m… within minutes, you’re there: Where is it, where is it?” you wonder, scrolling quickly down the page; ah, there! This week’s Kickstarter Picks: Underground Kingdom. Immediately, you click through to the funding page. 36 hours to go!? Suddenly, the inevitable question arises: are you going to help this project become a reality, or not?

Oh, hi! Didn’t notice you there. I was wrapped up in the gripping tale of “Visual Baker and the Uncertain Dream of Success.” It’s a scary, exciting, potentially uplifting story made all the more relatable because…well…it’s true! The protagonists are the Chilean development quartet from Visual Baker, and their mission is to raise $12,000 to give a fresh digital coat of paint to some classic Choose Your Own Adventure stories – in particular, one of the first Choose Your Own Adventure stories ever, Underground Kingdom. The setting? This week’s Kickstarter Picks. 

As we mentioned in our preview for the title, Visual Baker has joined forces with Edward Packard, the creator of the concept for the genre, whose most notable works have been made available for use by the studio. By starting with Underground Kingdom, they hope to wow users with a harrowing tale of exploration, ancient legends, and – from the looks of it – warring animal tribes. From there, they plan on continuing with Packard stories like Hyperspace, Invaders from Within and Dinosaur Island – whose concepts I can only hope are self explanatory. 

In the mean time, it looks like they’re devising a smart engine through which they can digitize the experience – one which allows for interactive progress tracking, animated illustrations, crucial decision points, and the sharing of individual endings to social networks. All money collected – after backer rewards are generated – goes towards that effort, in addition to the fleshing out of Underground Kingdom with voice acting. 


Speaking of backer rewards, there’s a veritable Smörgåsbord of goodies up for grabs, including five dollar access to the game on iPad or iPhone; a $35 art pack containing the game, app credits, wallpaper, high-quality digital art, a PDF eBook, and stickers; a $140 bundle containing all of the above, a custom t-shirt, and a hand-drawn portrait of you… even an $800 buy-in that gives you the right to create a new ending for the project! As always, we advise you check out the Kickstarter page for full details, but at risk of being tried for puns against humanity, there’s certainly a lot of paths you can choose here!

With 36 hours to go as of this writing, Underground Kingdom is a project that fans nostalgic for the experience of Choose Your Own Adventure novels, and those who’ve grown addicted to digital Gamebooks will surely love. No matter what pledge you choose, pushing this thing through can only mean a happy ending. 

Project Name: Underground Kingdom

Platforms:  iPhone, iPad, eBook (.pdf)

Funds Needed: $12,000 

Funding Acquired (as of this writing): $8,466

Days Left: 36 hours

Kickstarter Picks is a series of features on Gamezebo that will profile Kickstarter projects in the world of video games. We’re doing this in the hopes of calling attention to interesting projects in need of funding, so please, if a game looks like something you’d want to play, don’t hesitate to lend it your support!