The objective of the Amsterdam-based startup's action game revolves around players taking out their opponents using a virtual laser beam, or "Zapper." Players build and conquer competing "UserBases" and have the ability to set AR (augmented reality) objects like "ZappBots" to thwart opponents along the way. As players level up, they gain access to better Zappers and defense capabilities. Other features include item collecting and achievement badges.
Because gameplay relies on using the smartphone as the central control hub, players can simply download the game and begin playing without having to purchase any additional hardware.
"Most mobile games today are played indoors, sitting down, and with little to no benefits to the player's physical well-being. We firmly believe that having fun and staying active doesn't have to be mutually exclusive," said ZappYou Co-Founder and CTO Robert Meijer. "Our goal was to first and foremost create a game that was really fun, but that was also predicated upon walking, running, and generally getting the body moving. The idea is to expand the microcosm of most gaming experiences beyond the limitations of the screen by incorporating real world engagement into gameplay."
ZappYou perfectly aligns with the recent red-hot trend of free-to-play, location-based augmented reality gaming set into motion by Pokémon GO this past July, becoming something of an overnight phenomenon worldwide.
While Pokémon GO unquestionably set the stage for the sudden spike in outdoor mobile gaming, the ZappYou team is quick to point out their game's key differentiators and advantages. "With games like Pokémon GO, aside from gym battles, the gameplay by and large is really an individual, solo effort," said Fer Palasthy, the company's Co-Founder and COO. "ZappYou involves much more action and cooperative team play."
Regarding the timeliness of their launch, the team cites an increasing societal push toward health and wellness where some municipalities are even redesigning public spaces to encourage a more active lifestyle and health organizations are supporting programs to reduce obesity. The startup is already entrenched in one such effort, running a pilot with both the City of Amsterdam and Dutch national health organization GGD.
ZappYou's beta will be delivered in December 2016 through the App Store and Google Play and the first release is set to launch during the second quarter of 2017.
The company's Indiegogo campaign went live as of Thursday, November 10 and runs through January 2. Backers can receive an unlimited license for the current ZappYou beta (available in December), for the alpha release, and free updates starting at just a $5 pledge level. Other merchandise rewards are expected to ship to backers worldwide starting December 2016.
The team is inviting those interested in joining the ZappYou community to visit the company's Indiegogo page here.
For more information about this story, contact:
Robert Meijer, Co-Founder & CTO
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