Generally when I’m browsing Kickstarter, it’s usually to see if there are any new iPhone or iPad accessory/case projects that have been launched. However, with an expected iPhone 2012 announcement right on the horizon, there isn’t much in this space that I’d consider backing at the moment.

An upcoming kids game called Cobypic that I have been beta testing with my 5 year-old daughter Emily, just launched a Kickstarter campaign to secure its final funding, and that got me curious to see what other interesting iOS gaming projects were also running Kickstarters. That’s when I discovered two additional titles, Underground Kingdom and The Hostage Trials which I think also deserve some attention.

I encourage you to check them out and if you think they are interesting projects that you’d like to see make it to market, then pledge. Remember, with Kickstarter, you are not charged any money unless the project meets or exceeds its funding goal.


Let’s start with Cobypic, since I have a good deal of hands-on time with it. Taking the traditional coloring book app in a new and interesting direction, this app will really get your child active and exploring. The name Cobypic is short for “color by picture” and instead of just using his or her finger to color in the pictures, your child uses the iDevice’s camera to capture the colors (and textures) from the everyday objects in the world around them.

My daughter has been having a blast with this game, using the iPhone to capture the pink of her favorite blankie for a ballerina;s skin or the red of her ladybug pillow pet to color in a lady bug. 🙂 The app is very simple for kids to operate.

The pledge prices are VERY reasonable, you are basically just pre-ordering the app for $1 (unless you want to give more) and for your donation, you get the app plus hints on how to find additional hidden cobypics to color within the app. This is the same price as the launch price, maybe even a few cents less if you pay sales tax on the iTunes store. Since my daughter has enjoyed the beta copy we have so much, I actually backed this campaign and pre-ordered a copy for her for $1.

This is a very short campaign, with the app expected to release next month. Currently it is only about 9% of the way to its $2000 goal, so check it out and pledge if you are interested.

Underground Kingdom

The second campaign I wanted to mention is for an app called Underground Kingdom. It is the first in what is to hopefully become a series of interactive Gamebooks for the iPhone and iPad based directly on the original Choose Your Own Adventure® book series. I don’t know about you, but I used to LOVE these books as a kid, so this campaign has me particularly excited.

The team at Visual Baker were fans of the series and they sought out Edward Packard, the author of the very first Choose Your Own Adventure® book as well as over fifty additional books in the series. They’ve obtained the rights to adapt a number of his books into digital choose your own aventure games, complete with interactive elements and some truly eye-popping illustrations and animations.

Pledges start at just $5, which gets you “the app for iPad or iPhone + Your name on our Web Site Thank you page.”

The iPad version is expected to release in November with the iPhone version following closely behind in December.

So far Visual Baker is a little over 1/3 of the way to their goal of $12,000 with 21 days left in the campaign.

The Hostage Trials

Finally, I wanted to highlight the Kickstarter campaign for The Hostage Trials from the development studio, Gnarly Tooth, because it is a really unique concept for an iPhone game. It is an interactive adventure game played in Real World Time, where you are the hero and your friend plays the hostage whom you are trying to rescue.

The Hostage Trials is a narrative game with a story. It’s also a social game that you play with a friend. It’s a game played in Real World Time that keeps you on your toes. It’s like an ARG (alternate reality game) but not quite. We’ve come up with our own term for it that just seems easier. It’s called an RTMA. A Real-Time Mobile Adventure.

The app is meant to resemble your smartphone’s screen, but with its own email, contacts, messaging and web icons that will present you with the clues and communications from the kidnapper as if they were coming directly to your actual phone. The game is divided into 4 difficulties consisting of 3-day, 7-day, 14-day and 30-day trials. “Each of the game’s ‘trials’ is a new part of the Hostage Trials story, and the story continues all the way until the very end of the 30 day trial. The only way to experience it all is to successfully save a hostage in each of the four difficulties.”

The game features a number of real actors including the voice work of David Hayter, who plays the evil hostage taker. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he is also the voice of Solid Snake from Konami’s Metal Gear game series.

The Hostage Trials looks like a unique, well-polished, immersive experience with high production values. A pledge of $5 pre-orders you a copy of the game for either iOS or Android and you get a desktop version as well.

Higher pledge amounts will earn you bonus content which bridges the gap between the various trials.

This campaign is currently at 22% of its $90,000 goal, so check out their campaign and pledge if you also think this sounds like a cool and interesting concept.