thread screen

BitMonster’s first game, Lili, a sweet story-based indie adventure, was quite a departure from the developers’ previous work, since the dev team are Epic Games alums, with credits on the AAA Gears of War franchise. And now BitMonster’s second title, THRED, is a departure again. After an all-indie project with Lili, THRED is a collaboration with Coke and (RED), a complete reversal from an independent game.

Bitmonster’s new game, THRED, is a fundraising and awareness game. The game is tied to The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, although the gameplay is not tied to health or disease. Instead, THRED is an abstract and artistic game, creatively inspired by games like Rez, Osmos, and Flow. The game is free to download and play, with optional in-app purchases. Any money players spend in this game is donated to charity, providing essential anti-viral medications for HIV patients, and continuing The Global Fund’s goal of fighting infectious diseases. Each in-app purchase can also be shared on the social networks Twitter and Facebook, to spread awareness of the issue and the game.

Lee Perry, president of BitMonsters, also says:

We also know there are people out there that spend big money on in-app purchases.  Our top tier in-app purchase is $209.99.  Why that number?  That’s pretty excessive, right?  As it turns out, about $205 is what it takes to provide an HIV+ expectant mother with retro-antivirals through her entire pregnancy and breastfeeding term.  $209.99 is literally an in-app purchase that means a child is likely to live without HIV because of that purchase.  We think that’s amazingly powerful.

You can view the gameplay in this trailer:

I’ve written before about the power of social games to spread awareness of an issue or topic (or, let’s be honest, a meme). Games like RocketOwl’s eco-themed GreenSpace attempt to use that to spread a message, and I hope THRED will be about to do the same thing successfully.

BitMonster and Coke’s THRED is available as a free download from the app store.