TR Member Perks!

Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarter, where we cut through the various projects to show you some of the best, and maybe even some of the worst, Kickstarter has to offer. This week, we’ve got 2 phones in 1, a board game set in an insane asylum, and a bracelet that helps you start fires!

Lobotomy Board Game

Escape the mental asylum

 Lobotomy is a tabletop game where players are tasked with escaping a psychiatric hospital. Players will have to fight monsters that come straight out of classic horror movies (or maybe they’re just the hospital staff?), as well as collect items (which could just be trash) and restore bits of their memory that unlock new skills and powers (but really are just becoming more and more mad). Eventually players will come to the final battle against the Chief Hospital Administrator, who possesses the keys to the asylum and your freedom.

Lobotomy is a cooperative horror adventure for 1-5 players (meaning solo play is possible). The game features unique dungeon crawling, rogue-like mechanics, a modular board that allows replayability, random scenarios, and different narratives every play through. The game comes with 40 highly detailed miniatures and monsters.

Lobotomy seems like crazy fun (pun intended). Players’ choices will lead to a personalized final battle, so each decision has weight and consequences, assuming these decisions change the outcome of the ending. I like choosing the context for why monsters are attacking being as beautifully simple as “you’re insane, so anything that doesn’t make sense if because you’re bonkers.” The “highly detailed” miniatures certainly look well-crafted, but their single tone color schemes are a little disappointing. Being able to solo the game is always appreciated, and adds variability and replayability to the game since I don’t need to friends to play it (brushes aside a single tear).

HypnoLights, Full Color Animated String Lights!

Never repeating artistically animated lights

 The HypnoLight is a 12 foot strand of 50 LED lights.  Just plug it in and it plays artistic lighting sequences automatically. The HypnoLight has 30+lighting sequences, and randomizes so it never repeats the same sequence. They even have multiple transitions for between sequences. The HypnoLight team claims if you leave one on forever, it will not repeat during the lifetime of the universe.

In addition, there are 9 user-selectable themes. These themes include:

–Default: all colors, pleasant timing

–Seven holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, July 4th, Easter, St. Patricks, and Valentine’s Day

–Eight color themes: Red, Magenta, Blue, Cyan, Green, Yellow, Purple, Orange

As well as three “special” themes being:

–Slow (same as default, just slower),

–Nightlight (dim, slow),

–Hue Cycle (single hue, slowly changing, for environment lighting)

Every HypnoLight comes with a 100-240v power supply, as well as an  image generation/clicker module.

The name HypnoLight is certainly adequate, as the various patterns and light sequences are hypnotizing and down right mesmerizing. The visual flair could certainly be put to good use for various holidays, but the first thought that came to my head would be hanging them in my college apartment for some cool mood lighting. I’ll be honest, promising these 50 LEDs will never repeat the same sequence to the end of the universe seems a tad unrealistic, but until we invent immortality I’ll probably die before this thing runs out of sequences, which is as far as it matters to me.

eSports Manager: MOBA

You control your own MOBA team


eSports Manager: MOBA is a PC game where you control your own MOBA team. Choose who to hire, how they train, and watch them compete in matches. Players will need to manage and lead their team to be the best in the world by mastering the two main components of the game: the house and in-match.

In the house, you’ll improve the players’ skills by having them play in matches and by training. But you’ll have to consider how training affects your players, and the various types of skills they’ll need to acquire. You’ll also need to learn how to make money, manager your team’s fame and reputation, and stay on top of the schedule. In-match, you’ll need to think about pre-match, during-match, and post-match strategies. These include choosing draft strategies, evaluating the effectiveness of your team, and substituting players because of injury, play style, or performance.

This Kickstarter has a strange dichotomy to me. If you go to their page, you’ll see they describe practically every aspect of the game and go into great detail how each part of the game is played. However, their trailer barely shows you anything, and without that I’m lost as to how well these translate into gameplay, and does it seem engaging. The idea is fascinating, and almost meta in a way. The makers clearly have a passion for eSports and that shows in the numerous options and terminology used in this Kickstarter, and I believe if you are passionate about eSports (and manager games) this could be a game for you to check out.

Firestarter Survival Bracelet / Carabiner Paracord Keychain

Firestarter Paracord Bracelet, Paracord Keychain, Duffle Bag Survival Gear

After creating the most successful bag Kickstarter, Bomber & Company are back with the Firestarter bracelet and keychain. These were created to be timeless pieces you can bring with you to the city, on hikes, and on all of your adventures. With flint/steel, and emergency paracord, and military grade clips on the keychain, these products are certainly up to the survival task you set out for.

The keychain/bracelet are designed for minimalism and effective functionality. They come with carefully crafted and tied premium quality 550 paracord and can be used for a variety of emergency situations.

I’d probably never really need these products, but the point of these is to have them when you least expect to need them isn’t it? And I’d rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them. Besides, they certainly have a rugged fashion aesthetic that complements the outdoorsy look buyers of these products might be going for.

 

The Contender: The Game of Political Debate

A social card game straight from the eagle’s beak of American democracy.

 The Contender is a social card game inspired by the vim and vigor of a real presidential debate. In order to win, players must use facts, attacks, and distracts to convince the Moderator that they are fit to lead the land of the free. The Contender is made from the same vein as Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples. The deck contains hundreds of one-liners based on real presidential quotes, and players will need to combine them to win the debate.

Players won’t need any political knowledge or improv skills. Instead, they’ll take turns debating an issue drawn from the Topic deck and combine phrases on the Argument cards to create convincing or entertaining arguments.

I love this idea. Cards Against Humanity/Apples to Apples are unpredictable fun, and I’ve never met someone who doesn’t enjoy them. Whether my 9 year old cousin or my 66 year old Grandmother, everyone has a good time. Applying this to the haymaker insults and baseless attacks you’ll find in the U.S. politics seems like a no-brainer in retrospect, and I’d love to give this game a try.

PIECE – Change The Way You Use Smart Phones

2 Active Numbers in 1

PIECE is a tiny companion device that holds any GSM, EGSM, DCS, or PCS card; it allows you to add an extra number to your current smart phone via Bluetooth. PIECE is designed to fit in your wallet, front pocket, or behind your phone easily. In fact, it is only the size of a credit card. The long lasting battery provides up to 150 hours stand by time, so you won’t need to charge as much.

PIECE holds your extra SIM card and connects to your phone, essentially turning your one phone into two. It is compatible with all iOS devices. PIECE comes in both black and white to match your phone. PIECE also comes with an alarm that beeps if your phone is farther than 10 meters from it, so you won’t lose it. Keep it in your wallet and you’ll never lose your wallet either. And if you have it, but not your phone, you can press the function key on the edge of PIECE to make your phone ring.

So I’ve never had the need for two sim cards, however I asked two people who do use multiple phones what they thought about this product, with very different responses.

 

“Yeah that could be useful. I wouldn’t have to bring this [pulls out one of his phones] around with me everywhere. I’ve got enough problems trying to work one of these, so getting rid of the other would be nice.” 
– George Lemmon, 52

“Oh god no, the reason I have two separate phones is so I can keep my work life and personal life separate. I don’t want to text my girlfriend and accidentally send it to my boss. Having all that stuff on my one phone sounds like hell.”

– Deante Simmons, 29

Simmons response makes a good point, if you have two phones to keep things separate, this device’s main feature is pointless. However if you only want one phone, this product offers that with some useful functionality as well. I’d hate to have one more thing I need to charge, but 150 hour stand by is reassuring that each charge will last.

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.