Israeli developer tries a game about love and peace during an armed conflict

Above: Bolt Riley

Image Credit: Adventure Mob

Israeli game developer Adventure Mob has been inspired by the fighting in Gaza to pitch a game about love and peace. The company is relaunching a bid to raise money for Bolt Riley: A Reggae Adventure Game on Kickstarter today.

Oded Sharon runs the Tel Aviv-based Adventure Mob, who tried once before to raise money for the game about a young man growing up in a poor area of Kingston, Jamaica. This game’s main character loves music and wants to become a Reggae singer. The player tries to help him discover his inspiration, write great songs, and put together a band of musicians. It is set in 1970s Jamaica. Bolt finds himself beset by gang members who want him to be a criminal, but he chooses a path of peace.

“In this harsh time of war in Israel, I decided to focus on creating a positive game experience and bring joy to our audience.” said Sharon, Adventure Mob’s CEO. “And Bolt Riley does that with a story of peace, love, and of friendship.”

The two-dimensional point-and-click adventure game has a short seven-day Kickstarter campaign. It’s a collaboration between Lori and Corey Cole, the creators of the Quest for Glory series, and Adventure Mob.

“We’ve decided to experiment with crowdfunding with this short campaign,” Sharon said. “Most of the funds in a Kickstarter campaign comes from the first three days and last 48 hours of the campaign, while in the middle there are a bunch of very slow days that are really stressful for the campaign owner, so I decided – why not just take these out and focus on the start and end of the campaign? So far it seems like it’s working. We’re already at an amazing 30 percent of the funding goal, and that’s only after one day.”

Adventure Mob’s diverse team includes people from all sexes, races, nationalities, and religions working together on. It includes a woman programmer from Singapore, who was working at the office in Tel-Aviv, and a Muslim programmer from Nazareth.

“When considering people for work, we always think it’s important to focus on talent and capabilities rather than anything irrelevant to game development,” said Sharon.

Sharon founded Adventure Mob in June 2011. Its previous games include Zbang, Pizza Morgana, and Star Shipping. The company has raised $9,380 from 413 backers in a campaign that is seeking $31,668.

Sharon said the company has already put more than $300,000 into the game. Last year, it tried to raise $120,000 on Kickstarter, but it only raised $51,000. This time, the company is focused on the first chapter of the game, with about three to four hours of gameplay.

“Bolt Riley’s theme, for me, seems very right considering the situation in Israel,” Sharon said. “While there was always tension, there wasn’t a war like this. with sirens and events being cancelled. A game that is promoting peace and love, in my opinion is very important right now. some my colleagues in Israel are making games about this war, but I think a peaceful approach is the way to go.”


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Some facts: The company "Adventure Mob" was created specifically for this project and has never designed or produced a single product in its virtual existence. It exists only on paper and the only "full time" employee  is the person behind this campaign. A previous project named "Pizza Morgana" was produced under a different brand name - "Corbomite Games" which was closed because that game was so horrifically bad. Lori and Corey Cole have stated explicitly that they are not related  in any way with the production of the this project and that their name is there just for show. Saying that "there wasn’t a war like this" in Israel is laughably ignorant. 

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