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A light up music mask, a tabletop wrestling game, and a device to let blind people see through sound. All that and more This Week in Kickstarter!


Refuge

Two players, one survivor. Outlive. Outlast. Outrun.

Taking a unique angle on survival games, Refuge is a two player game of hide and seek on a remote settlement, with the ultimate goal to eliminate the other player. Players can hunt their opponent down or try to outlast them. The two must survive aboard a strange set of buildings in the middle of the ocean simply called “The Ark.”

Players can explore this lost civilization while attempting to hide from the other in buildings and caves. Discover secrets that may aid in learning more about the Ark. The game features dynamic weather, temperature, and supplies. These will affect the player’s gameplay and their options. Exploring the Ark may yield gear that can help with avoiding or hunting your enemy.

Refuge is an interesting concept, but I’m going to need to see some gameplay before I can really tell how much I like it. The predators hunting each other idea can really make for tense moments if done well, and I like that the game gives you the pacifist route as an option. I wonder if there is some secret ending where if you work together you can actually both survive? Who knows, but there is a great idea here. I just need more than images to go on. I’m interested in knowing how long matches are intended to go? Is this a quick 5 minute game or something that is supposed to be slow and deliberate and lean more towards an hour?

Eyesynth

Allows the blind to identify shapes and spaces through an audiovisual system.

Giving the blind the ability to see basic shapes, the Eyesynth is an audiovisual device that records the environment in three dimensions. This data is then converted into audio that can be understood as shapes. The sound is abstract, and no words are used. Instead it is using a new, wordless language that is reportedly easy to learn and the brain can automate.

The sound won’t distract you from the day to day noise you need to look out for, as the sound is transmitted through the head bones, so your ears are still open. The glasses feature two modes: Tracking Mode only captures the central front view, similar to using a walking cane. Panoramic Mode captures the whole scene and creates a scene through stereo sound.

Seriously, what a time to be alive! Every once in a while a fantastic invention comes on this site that just blows me away, and this is one of them. The prospect of giving the blind a rudimentary way to detect objects in front of them is fascinating, and shows the progress technology has made. I was relieved to see they went with cochlear audio to free up hearing so people aren’t distracted trying to “hear” what’s in front of them. While the tech itself is very expensive, and I certainly can’t speak for the blind, I imagine many would be willing to pay for such an invention if it works as well as advertised.

RUMBLESLAM

A fast paced tabletop slam-athon

RUMBLESLAM is a tabletop game centered around two teams of wrestlers duking it out in the ring. During the game, players are always active, so no one is left waiting for their next turn. Teams can battle one-on-one or players can team up to fight two other players. The objective is to throw the other team’s wrestlers out of the ring, which

Every turn presents the player with various options to choose from: what moves to use, what order to use them, try appeasing the crowd or just running in, and more. If you favor more brash methods, you can just wing it and hope for some skilled dice rolling.

RUMBLESLAM is unknowling tackling one of the new great banes to tabletop gaming: the smartphone. Too many great campaigns can be under served because one or several members keep checking their phones and no one is being immersed. That’s not me blaming them, it’s practically a reflex at this point to check those. RUMBLESLAM manages to keep them at bay by involving all players at every point, both creating a fast pace and keeping players in the game. I think this game looks fun to play, with a charming aesthetic that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and multiple ways to play. I think this looks like a solid game.

Fleye

A safe, fun, and autonomous drone with an open API and SDK.

Going back to the drawing board, Fleye attempts to make up for the shortcomings of the standard drone design. The result, GoFleye says, is a drone that is safer, more robust, and easier to use. It features an on-board computer, swappable batteries that provide ten minutes of flight time, an HD camera, seven sensors, protective grids, similar proportions to a soccer ball, and can be controlled by a smartphone.

The spherical design shields the moving parts, making it safe to be held, touched, pushed, and more without risk of injury.  It can even be sent to “execute missions” autonomously, such as taking selfies or a panorama, hovering in place to hold a shot, or a manual. Fleye’s open platform nature allows for developers to add their own flair to the device.

While I think it might be a bit premature, I think eventually drones will become more accepted by society (especially once specific restrictions get made that let the general public feel more at ease about them), and when that happens I think a market for child-friendly drones might emerge. That market, I think, is where the Fleye could be best served. It’s safety features, ease of use, and toy-like design make it a perfect candidate to break into this potential new field.

Super Micro Heroes

Ten players compete to survive and get the maximum amount of coins at the end of the level.

A massive platform online game, Super Micro Heroes aims to take the classic old school platforming genre and add an online component where ten people can complete a level together. Traps and items can be found throughout the level, and players can use these to try to make the others lose.

The whole game is structured as a race, with each player being ranked at the end based on what goals and coins they achieved. The best of four races wins. The game is made to be fun, crazy, and unpredictable. Inverted gravity, turbo cannons, moving platforms, and more sprawl the level as everyone races to be the first to win.

I like the charm of Super Micro Heroes. I think the people making this, at least aesthetically speaking, really seem to be inspired by the 8/16 bit classics and want to emulate that while adding their own online component to the mix. Good level design is something that speaks for itself, and the only real way to know the quality of the game is to play it. The game smartly lets two players occupy the same space, as ten people all at once would be the “un-fun” kind of insanity. All-in-all, I don’t know if I’d ever actually play this game, but what they seem to be trying to achieve is coming through, and I think will be a great source of entertainment.

The Sound Reactive Mask

An electro-luminescent mask that gives an outline to the music.

Made for parties, concerts, and festivals, the Sound Reactive Mask illuminates to the beat, and reacts to the rhythm of any music. The mask is shaped like a Jaguar, a nocturnal animal to represent the idea of the mask.

The mask weights 89g, and has a soft black foam to keep from being irritating. The mask can be turned on with the flip of a switch, and a wheel on the side adjusts the mask’s sensitivity to music. It’s adjustable elastic allows it to fit most faces, and the mask requires two AAA batteries.

If the Sound Reactive Mask works as well as the demo video shows, then there is frankly no reason not to buy this if you’re interested. It reacts splendidly to music and really brings a visual flair to the electronic tunes the wearer would likely be engulfed in when using. It creates a tech noir club vibe that immediately draws the eye. I’d like to know how long those AAA batteries last, because if it isn’t long that could lower sales. but overall this looks like a well made product and the makers seem to know their market.

 

Disclaimer: The author (Bryan Heraghty) does not back any Kickstarter projects he writes about, nor are any of these inclusions sponsoring TechRaptor. These projects are included solely because the author thinks they are interesting.

What are your thoughts on some of the Kickstarters we saw this week? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! If you have a game or technology Kickstarter you think deserves attention, you can either comment below, email TechRaptor, or tweet @techraptr or @greyhoodedbryan your suggestion!


Bryan Heraghty

Staff Writer

Avid shooter and platformer fan. Coffee is the only power up I need. In the spare time I have I will listen to more podcasts than has scientifically been deemed healthy. Hit me up on Twitter if you ever want to chat with me about games, tech, or whatever.