Via Kickstarter, we’ve learned that Richard Garfield, the creator of famed allowance-eater Magic: The Gathering is working on “a free-to-play location-based adventure game.” Entitled Map Monsters, the upcoming title attempts to use location gaming as a secondary mechanic, rather than a primary one: players will not be obligated to actually go anywhere to catch the many monsters out there roaming the map. You’ll simply do better at it if you’re willing to move, though.
- Location done right. Unlike other attempts at location-based games, our approach is to make location a secondary, not primary, mechanic. In Map Monsters, it’s not necessary to travel physically, although players that do will advance in the game more quickly.
- Earth as a game board. We take raw map data from the four corners of the globe and roll a fictional world that mirrors our own.
- Virtual travel. You’re not limited to what you can find in your physical location; walk your character through a virtual world teaming with new things to discover.
- Explore. You never know what you’ll find in the game by checking in to new physical locations, or walking your character throughout the world.
- Scarcity. You’ll find an abundance of some items in your area, but you’ll have to travel further afield or trade with others from far away places to succeed.
- Build. Like to build stuff? Build mileposts, roads, goldmines, farms and more.
- Social. Trade with your friends, use their roads, collaborate to fight monsters.
- Available platforms. Available on iPhone and iPad initially; we plan to work on porting the game to Android subsequently.
Mind you, other games have tried this sort of thing in various ways; Shadow Cities allows you to travel far afield inside the game by leaping through your faction’s portals, which is a nice bit of team-oriented meta-gaming. Still, we’re always curious to see new variations on the location mechanic. Here’s hoping Garfield and Friends can kick the rest of their starter!