Tired of the same old settings in your RPGs?  It’s either a medieval themed fantasy realm filled with monsters, or a post apocalyptic hellscape filled with monsters.  Well, a new campaign from a group of industry vets is looking to change things up with their new game, UmdlaloUmdlalo, which is the Zulu word for ‘Game’ is open-world’ish RPG that takes place in prehistoric Africa.  Players, along with their animal sidekick, are tasked with saving mankind from a very angry Mother Nature.  The developers at Something Wicked go out of their way on the Umdlalo Kickstarter page to emphasize the games’ unique environment, the importance of choice, as well as the level of control players have over their in-game destiny.

Umdlalo sounds great in concept; a unique setting, an experienced group of developers, and some great initial artwork.  However, there are some potential issues with the games campaign already.

  • umdlalo2The Something Wicked website triggered security warnings on my computer, telling me the website was “Suspicious.”  Something I rarely see.
  • The Kickstarter video, as well as the promo video on the Something Wicked website, are nothing more than text.
  • As of this writing, all of the video links in the Kickstarter campaign lead to 404 error pages.
  • The only game ‘screenshot’ is a somewhat poorly staged mockup.
  • The official Umdlalo Twitter account sports 24,635 followers as of this writing.  According to TwitterAudit 24,586 of those are fake accounts, with the remaining 49 being real.
  • According to Something Wicked CEO Todd Colletti’s LinkedIn account, development of Umdlalo has been underway since October 2013.  For a game that’s been in development for almost a year there’s little to show.

None of this is to say that Umdlalo isn’t a real game, or that Something Wicked is looking to scam anyone.  Twitter followers are purchased by overzealous social media personnel all the time, websites have troubles, maybe the past year has been spent entirely on design.  However, this isn’t 2012 anymore, and if you’re turning to Kickstarter to ask people to give you $575,000 in the span of 30 days there needs to be no question that everything is on the up and up.

It should be interesting to see how the Umdlalo campaign develops.  With any luck we’ll see some information, and content, filled updates very soon.


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About the Author

Greg Micek

Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.

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