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Welcome back to another exciting installment of This Week in Kickstarter, where we sift through the site to bring you the cool, and maybe the not so cool, and give you our take.

Circuit Breakers

A co-op arcade style shooter in which you destroy robots and also friendships.

Circuit Breakers is a top down action shooter aiming for massive gunfire battles with interesting weapons. You and three friends take on a horde of killer robots, battling for control of a manufacturing plant. Rack up combos and upgrades while defending yourself against the ruthless crowds of murderous machines. Players take the role as one of four characters, each with their own skill set. One is all about shotguns, while another uses explosives.

The core of the game involves collecting energy crystals you pick up off dead robots that power your weapons. Circuit Breaker has three main goals for players:

1. A couch co-op shooter that’s easy to pick up and play with friends.

2. A highly re-playable game made possible by procedural generation and interesting game modes.

3. A game that’s fun from the moment you pick it up, till the moment you break your friend’s arms after he steals all your crystals.

Circuit Breakers looks fun, but not quite there yet. The gunfire sounds like someone unwrapping a candy bar up to a microphone, rather than the high intensity BANG BANG we should get in a game like this. The different characters all look like they play mostly the same, and their roles in the team basically boil down to soft differences in rate of fire and power. It doesn’t look like choosing one character of the other gives you a particular benefit or weakness, and I wish each character had more of a “job” they have to do. Still, the game has an undeniable charm and leveling waves of baddies is a proven satisfying formula. After a bit more polish I’d love to see the quality of game this studio could put out.

Solar Paper: The World’s Thinnest and Lightest Solar Charger

A paper thin and ultra light weight solar charger

Solar Paper is the world’s thinnest solar charging panel. At just .15-inches thin and weighing a mere 4 oz, Solar Paper is probably also the more portable solar charger as well. Thinness alone won’t make something sell—unless it’s made by Apple—and this product comes with a number of features to consider.

Solar Paper can reliably charge your smartphone in about 2.5 hours on a sunny day, which as the Kickstarter page points out, is about the same rate as a wall charger. It’s also light enough to be clipped to a backpack and charge while hiking. It can even be stored between the pages of a book. Also, many solar chargers shut down and must be manually reset after a cloud passes overhead and the voltage drops, but Solar Paper automatically resets to keep charging. Finally, if you need more wattage, you can easily add more panels with the magnetic strips binding the panels together.

Solar Panel is a fantastic innovation on the solar charging product space. Automatically restarting if a cloud passes and being able to bind several panels to charge a larger device is great. It makes solar charging as a daily method for energy actually viable for some of my devices. I would love to see more people embrace solar charging, and making it convenient and feasible on a daily basis is the start of that.

Nova Blitz TCG – Real Time Digital Trading Card Game

A real-time play TCG with combat that rewards intelligence and bluffing.

In Nova Blitz, you summon units, play powers, and duel in real time. Players don’t take turns, but play simultaneous. With no waiting, games can really fly and end in less than five minutes. In combat, the hidden attack and block orders let you bluff and counter-bluff your opponent.

The Nova Blitz team has a number of features planned for the game, these include:

  • No-Screw Shuffler: You won’t get mana screwed
  • Smart Packs: Your packs always contain the set you want
  • On-Demand Drafts: Draft real packs, keep the cards you draft, and never wait for other players
  • Community: You can design cards for the game
  • Trading: A full economy – buy, sell, and trade cards
  • Rankings: Climb the leaderboard each month in search of the top prizes
  • Cross-Platform Play: One account across Mac, PC, iPad, & Android

From the first moments, this game’s trailer had me locked in, with supportive quotes from both Richard Garfield and Zac Phoenix really grabbing me. As soon as they said “game’s can take less then five minutes” I knew I was in for something new. The set up for various aspects of energy, each with its own philosophies, strengths, and weaknesses is interesting, and I’d like to see more of how it’s executed, hopefully in ways that aren’t overly similar to Magic or Pokemon. And being able to chose how you proceed, either by playing fast to apply pressure or playing slow and precise to react to your opponent, could make for some really interesting matches. I’m less interested in seeing a match played at lightning speed than I am at seeing one player take the fast, pressuring route while the other takes the polar opposite.

Gauss – Redefining Eye Protection for the Digital Age

Glasses that protect your eyes in front of screens and outside with self-tinting lenses.

Gauss Glasses are made to be your go to glasses, inside and outside the house. Sunglasses are used to block harmful UV/A and UV/B rays, but computer and television screens have other harmful effects, like damaging your retina or reducing the amount of melatonin production, hurting your sleep. Gauss Glasses hope to help in both these areas.

Gauss Glasses Blueguard coating reduces eye strain and protects your eyes from device screen light. In addition, the glasses can change tint in 60 seconds to adjust for sunlight.

Gauss Glasses

Gauss Glasses are also some of the lightest ever made, with frames created from ultra-lightweight titanium. They come in 6 designs and four colors: black, silver, brown, and gun (no seriously, just gun). Superhydrophobic coating, anti-static lenses, e.m.i. coating, and high index lenses make these glasses certifiably high quality.

These are some damn sexy sunglasses. Not just in design, but in the various features they pack. Super durable, with less dust or particles sticking, easy to clean, blocks electro magnetic interferences, and blocks both natural and artificial harmful light. I’ve never been so impressed by glasses before, not even the Google Glasses got me this pumped. Gauss have a real game changer here, and as our future of screens grows, these types of glasses will only become more important.

The 13th Doll – A Fan Game of The 7th Guest

A mesmerizing game of haunted places, creepy encounters, and mind-bending puzzles to challenge the player as a compelling story unfolds.

The 13th Doll is a fan made game based on The 7th Guest, a CD-ROM game released in 1992 featuring full motion video, puzzles, and a 1930’s horror atmosphere. Now The 13th Guest aims to bring that style back and better than ever. The game takes place years after The 7th Guest, with the young man from the first game haunted by the past, and living in a mental institution. Now he must escape the padded walls of his asylum cell, return to the mansion, and rescue those left behind.

The game features three large, fully navigable environments, each holding numerous rooms, hallways and smaller locations. The Asylum, WonderWorld, and the Mansion will all be playable in the game. Players can choose how they move through the story, using two playable characters, and playing in any given order. Players will need to use their wits to solve puzzles and will interact with real actors and props filmed in HD, composited into 3D modeled backgrounds.

So I’ll admit, ugly as they are, there’s a quaint nostalgic charm to the full motion video games of the old days. The team seems wholly genuine in bringing this style of game into the modern era with HD film and even trying to bring back the original actor who played Henry Stauf, which would be a great touch. This Kickstarter actually got me interested in The 7th Guest, mostly based on the reverence the speaker has for the game, so kudos to him. However, this game seems to be one of the early adopters of the “make them pay so we know they’ll pay” method companies have been using so they don’t have to risk money on Kickstarter, similar to Shenmue 3. I still don’t know how I feel about this but I can say I’m not 100% on board. The game itself looks genuine and fascinating, but the way it’s getting funded, I’m less excited about. At least they’re being open about it, that I can respect.

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.