Kickstart This! Z’Isle

There are so many ambitious games on Kickstarter right now, and I seem to have missed them all while being snowed under with non-gaming related work (and because I have literally just finished Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, my September obsession). But fear not, dear readers, for I shall be covering them all in the very near future!

There are five projects live at the moment that I absolutely adore for very different reasons. Ultra Captain is a fun-filled space ship manager. Magicland is hopping onto the AR wagon with a game that blends Pokemon Go and Spore. ARC Continuum is a third-person sci-fi shooter set in an epic, rich new world where you have the power to manipulate time. There is also Sulphur Nimbus, an acid-induced flying game featuring a multi-coloured hippogriff, which is possibly a first for any game.

Right now, though, it’s time to enter the zombie-infested world of Z’Isle, a tactical turn-based cyclepunk rpg. Yes, you read that right, cyclepunk!

Bike weapons at the ready!

Project: Z’Isle
Developer: Miscellaneum Studios
Genre: Tactical Cyclepunk RPG
Platforms: PC (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Funding Target: $50,000 CAD

What Is It?
First you have to ask, what is a cyclepunk game? In Z’isle, humanity has run out of bullets, but rather than give in to the flesh-eating zombies, we decided to break down the world’s bicycles to create new types of weapons. Sharp gears and cut-throat wheels are your ammunition as you build up your urban rooftop base while fending off the undead hoards below. Z’Isle takes place seven years after the zombie outbreak destroyed the world, and you must manage your team to help defend one of the last remaining colonies of uninfected. Defeat the zombies, build your base, and make sure your team is a well-oiled machine.

Why Fund It?
If you are Canadian, and tired of games taking place in cities that are not Canadian, then here’s your chance, because Z’Isle is set in an apocalyptic version of Montreal, where, coincidentally, Miscellaneum Studios is based. The individuals that make up the studio have backed quite a few Kickstarter campaigns themselves, and they have had a lot of fun making the game, which translates well in the Kickstarter video pitch. The studio also has a brilliant goal, which is create entertainment – films, comics, and games – that feature more women, people of colour, and those from the LGBTQ community, in non-stereotyped roles.

Also, zombies. Zombies have been done to death (pardon the pun), but the tactical nature of the game is a refreshing change from the many first- or third-person shooters. There is also the RPG nature of the game, and how the chemistry between your characters affects how they fight alongside one another.

Best Rewards?

  • Digital copy of the game, plus digital copies of issue one and two of the Z’Isle comic, and your name in the credits – $20 CAD ($15 CAD early bird limited to 250)
  • Previous rewards, plus digital art book, and invitation to alpha test – $25 CAD
  • Previous rewards, plus the first volume of tie-in comics (issues 1-9), and digital soundtrack – $50 CAD
  • Previous rewards, plus physical copies of comics, buttons, stickers, postcard, cup, fridge magnet, and exclusive t-shirt – $100 CAD
  • Previous rewards, plus 2 gear cassette candleholders – $150 CAD
  • Previous rewards, plus a limited edition silkscreen print – $250 CAD

Until Next Time…
Z’Isle is a terrific example of a game where the studio brought fresh ideas to a stale genre and ran, or in this case, cycled with it. Even the soundtrack is being created from instruments and sounds made of bike parts. Now that is commitment.

Next time, we’ll have the delightful Ultra Captain!

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In addition to being Warp Zoned’s UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you’re inclined, visit his personal website.

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