[Correction: It has been pointed out to us that Eco was actually funded on Kickstarter last year. This new Indiegogo campaign doesn’t seem to be official and is likely a scam. The links have been removed, but you can still keep up with the official project over at Strange Loop Games. Sorry for the confusion.]
Most survival games give players the simple goal of staying alive. Eco takes this concept one step further. Players are tasked with, not only their own lives, but the lives of everything around them. Needless to say, it’s kinda a big responsibility.
Freshly launched over on Indiegogo, Eco is seeking a flexible $100,000 funding goal. The gameplay combines the voxel-based landscapes of Minecraft with Sim City style world building. A “Global Survival Game,” Eco tasks players with developing and governing a functional civilization in a finite shared world.
Eco features a fully simulated ecosystem of plants and animals. Players must use resources from this world to grow their civilization without destroying the symbiotic relationships existing around them. Poorly planned resource gathering can leave the land deforested, polluted, and without necessary habitats.
Surviving Each Other
Players will be able to host their own servers, or play in single-player mode if desired. Ideally, the group will toward shared goals by voting on and passing laws. Players can choose different skills to specialize in and must collaborate across multiple specialties to accomplish high-level goals.
Skill specialization also drives a robust player created economy. Eco players can offer their services to one another through contracts. These player held contracts act as the game’s quest system. This allows players to utilize their special skills to benefit themselves and the community.
If this all sounds a little too Utopian for your tastes, then you have far more faith in your fellow players than I do. Players can absolutely doom all life in their fragile ecosystems through short-sighted choices and lack of required technology. Even if you somehow convince the lumberjacks to give up their livelihood and lay off the forests, Eco offers a host of other exciting calamities. Meteors can wipe out whole civilizations, droughts can destroy the food-chain, or global warming may turn the whole place into Water World.
While it initially may come across as a heavy-handed message game about our global footprint, Eco actually offers some intriguing gameplay options. It’s a survival game that isn’t just about managing to survive, but learning to do so while considering more than your own objectives. It’s the sort of game you’d want to tackle with a close-knit group of friends, for the optimal outcome. Likewise, finding new and exciting ways to bring about the end of the world with some internet randos has its charm as well.