RunZoo from Bandura Games has reached its funding goals on Indiegogo. RunZoo is a game developed by an Israeli, a Palestinian, and an American working together. The developers hope to promote peace by creating “fun games that allow our players to engage in co-operative and co-creative experiences with other players from around the world.”
RunZoo is a new twist on the popular endless-runner game genre. It requires co-op play—two people must play together in order to beat the levels.
“Games are so powerful in terms of their universal appeal, and ability to bring people together,” said Justin Hefter, CEO and co-founder of Bandura Games. “Studies have shown that cooperative play and working together creates strong bonds that can last a lifetime. Our team bonded over our love of games, and it occurred to us that with billions of players on smartphones and tablets, we could use broadly popular mobile game mechanics to bring people together who might not otherwise have an opportunity to interact.”
At first the group planned to create a game that related directly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but then they decided to make a nonviolent game involving cute animals that escape from a zoo and try to find a peaceful land where they can all live together. Besides requiring cooperative play, the game will match up players from different countries. “The relationship starts out anonymous. Over time, you find out where they are from, and you can add each other as friends.”
The Indigogo campaign lasted one month and raised $42,000, 115% of its goal, from 351 backers. The campaign ended October 29.
RunZoo is expected to be released for iOS and Android phones and tablets by next summer.