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Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarter! Today we are bringing you a great mix of new tech projects and awesome games, from covert language learning spies, to intrusion alert cameras to detect those spies. Grab your hats ladies and gents, because we’re going for a ride!

Let’s Talk Games

Alien Abduction Game – Capture Inhabitants and Unlock the Mysteries of the Universe

Alien Abduction Game is an old-school online browser game, in which you explore multitudes of planets in the universe, capturing inhabitants of different planets, and unlocking the mysteries of the vastness of space. Explore the universe alone, or with friends, compete in tournaments, upgrade your spaceship, and compete to become the best collector in the verse.

Create a free online account, login via social media, or even play directly through Facebook. There are many ways that the creator, Luke Thompson, wants you to be able to go out into the Universe and explore.  The aliens that you abduct are unique. Each one is completely different from another, so no replication occurs. You can catch over 100 different creatures, and each one has its own identity and its own part to play in the game. Although the aliens appear to be random, don’t be fooled, there are reasons for the differences and connections between the species become apparent as you proceed through the vastness of space.

While this game doesn’t have the potential to become a hit, I think it is a nice, refreshing project, as it diverts from the usual projects that we see on Kickstarter. An homage to the olden days, when all kids did was play games on Addicting Games, eBaum’s World, and Miniclip games. Alien Abduction aims only to deliver a fun to play game, that offers a way to explore a crafted universe, while still allowing you to have a sense of accomplishment and competition.

When writing this article, Alien Abduction had £411 of its £1,500 goal, but with a solid 13 days left, I think that this game has the potential to be successfully funded. If you think that this game deserves to succeed, get out there and pledge some money!

 

 

 

Cops & Thugs…At Night! – Use Logic and Memory to Solve Each Puzzle

Cops & Thugs At Night! is a unique puzzle game where the player guides the thief through increasingly more secure areas. What separates this from other similar games is that the thief chooses to come at night, when all the lights are out.

Using memory and logic, the player must guide the thief through a pitch black facility, avoiding guards, dogs, walls, and obstacles. After you take some time to learn the layout of the map, you’ll venture into 100 levels of darkness for the prize.

I’m always on the lookout for original and interesting mobile games, and Cops & Thugs certainly fits the bill for both original and interesting. These days most mobile games are focused squarely on microtransactions or endless running. Quick minute to minute gameplay is becoming a feature almost every game requires. Cops & Thugs’s refreshing focus on memorization and logic puzzles sets it apart from the dime-a-dozen games you see on the Play Store and App Store.

At the time of writing, Cops & Thugs sits at roughly a third of its intended goal. The Kickstarter ends January 26th, 2015. The project could still potentially be funded if word of mouth can help the idea take off.

 

 

 

 

Subverses Covert – A 2D Spy Game to Help You Learn a Language

Subverses is game in which you assume the role of a spy, which offers users the unique opportunity to become immersed in a language of their choosing through a captivating story line. The game allows users to naturally acquire new vocabulary and phrases as they attempt to infiltrate Omnisource, an evil corporation, and take it down from the inside.

Created by a team of gamers frustrated with the lack of language learning software options available to consumers, subVerses sought to change that with Subverses Covert. Being developed for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, it will available to all, allowing everyone interested in learning German, Spanish, French or English, to do so. What makes Subverses Covert so effective is that it is built as a game primarily, with a certified language curriculum seamlessly built in.

If successfully funded, users will be able to try the first three levels of the game, for any language, free of charge. Upon completion of those levels, if the user enjoyed it, they will then be able to subscribe to gain access to all available languages and their levels.

I wanted to cover this game, because personally, it is difficult for me to pick up a language by just sitting in a classroom and then learning more by doing assigned homework. I think that this game would provide me with an environment in which I could truly learn a desired language, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Making learning a language fun, on top of being effective, is a noble goal, and I was excited to see that someone was taking this upon themselves.

The project still has 22 days to go, and it is already at $8,500 of its $20,000 goal. What subVerses needs your help with is funding for its overall development. This $20,000 would go to 5 months of continued development. They estimate $3,250 per month for Language Acquisition Consultants and $625 per month for general administrative fees. You can see the specific breakdown of their funding on their project, and see their set stretch goals for if they exceed $20,000.

 

 

Let’s Talk Tech

Spin Remote – The Simplest, Most Stylish Remote Ever

The spin remote is a strange looking, thimble shaped device that acts  as a universal remote for seemingly anything that has levels that can be raised or lowered.

The stylish and minimal design make the remote easy on the eyes, less of an eyesore than your traditional universal remote with its fields of buttons destined to confuse grandmothers across the world.

The SPIN also supports macro inputs, allowing users to control multiple devices at once. Spin puts out infrared signals in all directions, so you don’t need to point it directly at the device to make it work.

The SPIN seems like a fantastic idea. Simplifying the ever growing “remote basket” many people have in their homes is practically a must these days. Two things concern me for this device. Firstly, the device putting out infared in all 360 degrees sounds like it could cause problems if my lamp and TV are on somewhat equal height. Trying to turn up the lights could cause the action movie on my TV to blast at 100 volume.

Second, how well does the device work in separate lighting conditions. We are shown a demonstration of the device in a controlled, nicely lit room with little interference. Does it work well in daylight? In nearly complete darkness when I’m watching a horror movie? In flashing light if the movie on the TV starts showing a laser battle or a rave scene?Outside of those potential worries, the device looks very practical and removes the cluttered remote space in your living room.

With over half the funding complete at the time of writing, full funding could come down to the last minute for this unique idea.  The project will finish funding January 13th, 2015.

WorldPenScan X – The World’s First Pen Scanner for iOS/Android

A pen scanner developed to work with iOS and Android. The WorldPenScan X (WPSX) can highlight words in paper books and translate them to other languages.

The WPSX scans paper books and translates the words into separate languages. This is a no doubt handy tool for foreign exchange students trying to make heads and tales of their university books. If you’re one to dare the international restaurant scene, but not quite brave enough to point at the words on the menu and pray  you get brought back something edible, WPSX can scan the menu and translate it into your native tongue.

Like it or not, the world’s cultures are merging together faster than the rate most people can learn a new language. In the American South West, Spanish is becoming more and more popular as a second language and having a translating pen could be beneficial. Traveling abroad could help with reading train/plane tickets, restaurant menus, receipts, etc. WPSX could potentially be a very useful tool for someone dealing with unfamiliar cultures.

At the time of writing, the project is nearly halfway funded to its $30,000 goal. The project’s funding ends January 28th, 2015.

 

 

 

 

iCamPRO FHD – Intelligent Security Robot

Unlike most home security systems, iCamPRO is the first that is capable of actually seeing, hearing, sensing, and tracking moving objects, all while communicating with you about what is happening.

Small enough to be relatively inconspicuous, the iCamPRO comes in at just over 3 inches tall. Its sleek design isn’t the only nice piece of this camera however; the iCamPRO comes packed with a high speed processor and a patent-pending multi-sensor network. While being effective in the day time, the camera is also highly effective in the dark, capable of tracking and sensing threats in low light environments.

This camera has everything that you would ever need in a security system, all built into its small form factor body. Equipped with hidden Infrared LEDs, a light sensor, day/night filters, a motion sensor, full HD camera, and more, the iCamPRO is 100% capable of being your last buy for a home security system. It also comes equipped with 360 degree rotation capabilities, meaning that the camera won’t lose a detected threat, no matter where they go.

It would have been nice to have this camera on the townhome that I live in just a few weeks ago, as my roommates car was broken into and robbed, and had we been aware of it when it was happening, we could have easily stepped outside and confronted the culprit. I think that the iCamPRO is a great inovation in a market where you generally need to buy multiple cameras to have full coverage of your house or business. With the iCamPRO, you may only need a few because of the full 360 degree rotation, and you will also be notified in real time if the system detects a threat, which normal security cameras are simply incapable of doing.

This project definitely won’t need your help in being successfully funded, but if you’d like to receive the product before it hits the market, at below retail value, then you’ll want to back this project. With most of its campaign left to go, 26 days, the camera is already at a whopping $61,000 of its measly $1,000 goal, this project may move into one of the most successfully funded projects on Kickstarter.


Previously on This Week in Kickstarter

Glorious Leader! – With 14 days left to go, this project is at $17,000 of its $55,000 goal. At less than half its funding, and over half way through its campaign, its not looking too good for Glorious Leader!
Quantified Gaming – The Naos QG mouse is at $68,000 of its $100,000 goal. The project still has 11 days to go, so it could be successfully funded with a last minute push of pledges.
Synonymy Int’l – Sadly, it looks like this project will go mostly un-noticed. It has only 4 backers, for a total of $25 of its $900 goal. It still has 37 days to go however, so who knows?
Next Keyboard – Already successfully funded when we covered it last week, it has gained only more backers, now at almost $45,000, well over its initial $10,000 goal.
Smart Unit – At a little less than half of the way through its campaign, Smart Unit has $29,000 pledged, towards its $50,000 goal.
TreadGaming – Picking up a Staff Pick from the team over at Kickstarter, TreadGaming is now at kr14,779 of its kr22,500 goal. With 24 days to go, this project should be successfully funded.


Matthew Blatnick

Android evangelist, computer nerd, gamer, and lover of all things geeky. The only real thing you need to know about me, is that Civilization V is my drug.