Welcome back to This Week in Kickstarter where we take a look at some of the best Kickstarter projects out there. Games and Technology are always a mix, and this week we bring some retro style games to go along with some comfort of living technologies!
Thimbleweed Park kicks off the first of two retro style games and it revels in that fact. An old school, point and click adventure, its graphics are intentionally pixalted and look like they came from 20 or more years ago.
Thimbleweed Park is being created by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the creators of the first graphical adventure game Maniac Mansion. Ron and Gary would go on to work on numerous adventure games, some of them together, such as The Secret of Monkey Island. They plan to bring the experience of difficult puzzles, entertaining writing, and story to Thimbleweed Park.
The story is about two washed up detectives who find themselves responsible for investigating a dead body found in a river outside town. With 5 playable characters to switch between, you explore the bizarre, satirical world of Thimbleweed Park. Other characters include those such as Delores, who is at a family estate reading her dead uncles will as her siblings aim to backstab each other, Ransome the Clown who is cursed to never be able to remove his makeup, and Franklin who is on the 13th floor of a hotel… and dead.
Thimbleweed Park is definitely aiming to channel nostalgia and a love for classic adventures into its heart and work, but seems to be doing so in the right way. Rather than just riffing and not getting what made those games great, Thimbleweed looks to work with the ideas and formulas to make a great game that is similar to those.
Thimbleweed Park has already made its goal of $375 000 and is approaching its first stretch goal of German, Spanish, French and Italian translations at $425 000. With just under 20 days to go, there’s a decent chance it hits the current top stretch goal at $625 000 which will add full voice acting to the English version.
From classic adventure to classic JRPG, Americana Dawn is another look at a classic genre of games.
Americana Dawn has you take on the role of Foster, a water spirit, in colonial America. With Foster you’ll experience over 200 years of American history, journeying through things such as the French-Indian War, the American Revolution and more. Foster begins as a gentle and innocent being lost in the wilderness of Shenandoah Valley until he is found and recruited by the local militia. With three wars, numerous battles, friends who die from causes both natural and not, Foster is changed forever.
This is not a story about the person who shapes history. There are plenty of those around, but instead the story of someone who is changed by the world as they watch it change around them. Journey with Foster as he gains insights into both the beauty and horrors that life can bring about. See what leads friends to fight friends, loyal men to turn and rebel and the birth of a nation.
Americana Dawn has both micro and macro battles. The Micro battles are your typical JRPG type of fights – a small group (3 in this case) fighting against each other. It isn’t a turnbased one like some JRPG, instead using cooldowns and an interrupt system to help balance things out and keep things flowing. Unlike many JRPGS, Americana Dawn won’t have random encounters which will reduce the amount of time you spend in the fighting screen compared to many of its grindy cousins. Macro Battles are war fights, similar in idea to those that you see in the Suikoden series. These are based on historical battles, and historical characters, with different unit types battling it out across a field. The environment here is important to watch for things like artillery, and cover.
Americana Dawn has raised just over $13 000 of its $70 000 goal with 20 odd days to go. It’s pretty up in the air if the game can make it at this point and one potential issue is that an older version of the game was Kickstarted back in 2012. That Kickstarter was for a freeware game and asked for $2000 (for $4791) for an experimental game on a prebuilt engine and public assets. Americana Dawn has grown in scope since that time and it is possible project creep may be an issue again in the future.
Getting away from all the America chest beating (as a Canadian, I can only take so much!) we’ll go to a different sort of game. InnerSpace is a flying exploration game that draws inspiration from Shadow of the Colossus, Crimson Skies and Proteus.
InnerSpace is a game largely about exploration, where the story and world are intertwined as the story is about exploring and searching. Set on an inverted planet, you are a cartographer flying about and searching the area. Levels aren’t distinct areas, but instead just different parts of the world you find as you explore, and there are no gates set within it stopping you. Challenges may make you want to wait till later, or you may try until you figure out how to get past a certain bit. Relics and pieces of civilizations past sit around the world for you to find, and turn over to your Archaeologist companion.
The Archaeologist lets you upgrade your plane, get new tools and toys to play with to use while exploring. He wants to see all that is in this world and the tools he makes may be of most use to you when dealing with the demigods of the world. These are giant creatures of differing types that were once worshipped as Gods by the people who dwelt here and come in all types. You may fight them, ignore them or interact with them in different ways as you search.
InnerSpace has about a week left and has raised just over $16 000 of its $25 000 goal. If you are interested in a flying game that is centred around exploration in an odd world you should probably look at it very strongly as it promises a unique experience.
Hush is the world’s first smart earplug and promises a way to make the world so much quieter and more controlled for those people sensitive to sound (or in loud places).
Hush combines two forms of dealing with noise – the first is the physical earplug to help block sound and the second is that it serves as a sound machine playing soothing sounds such as rainfall, ocean waves, or thunderstorm for you. By combining these two, it is more able to block out sound then either can do as vibrations can cause sound to be perceived despite ear plugs and sound machines just can’t go loud enough to block out everything.
Hush works with a companion smartphone app for making choices and for alarms. No longer will you disturb everyone when your alarm goes off with Hush, instead if you have it in, it will quietly play in your ear and you’ll be woken up by it. And if it has somehow fallen out of your ear at night or while you were doing something? After 30 seconds the phone will play the normal alarm to get you moving!
Hush comes with its own case, which can charge the earplugs up to 10 times on a single battery charge. This complements the fact that it already has over 10 hours of battery life to keep going while you sleep or work. Additionally, it can charge from your phone or computer with a USB cable that is kept in your Hush case to recharge the battery case so power outlets are less of a fight.
Hush has already made over $240 000 of its original $100 000 goal and is working on its second stretch goal. If it hits $300 000 they’ll add room in there for a second memory foam compartment in the case. It has over 20 days to go, so who knows the limits on this one!
Playmute is another one to help your life out, as it allows you to skip the most annoying thing about TV – Commercials.
With a simple clap of your hands, a snap of the fingers, a little whistle or a simple smartphone shake, Playmute will stop the commercial on your TV and launch its special application. Playmute’s app uses android, and like the chromecast that gives it a wealth of apps and usability features for you to navigate through with your smart phone. Playmute is like what would happen if Chromecast had a bunch of features that suddenly made it innovative on the market.
When you switch to avoid ads they got in a small Pip screen off to the side, so that you can see when your program return and switch back with another quick motion or sound. When you do so, what you had up in your android will be completely paused and wait for you to resume at your leisure.
With DVR getting brought into legal issues to stop using integrated TV ad skipping programs, and minimizing the amount of time they can fast forward (30 seconds), something like Playmute is very possibly the future. It allows the person to skip ads without modifying them which is likely what caused the DVR programs legal issues.
Playmute has raised $7 880 of its $100 000 goal so far and has over 20 days to go. It’s early yet in its process but it is looking rough for it to make its relatively ambitious goal.
Thanks for joining us this week – check out below for whats come before and see whats gone on and what might have interested you!
Previously on Kickstarter
Momentum has just about $700 with 4 days left. Its, sadly lacking momentum to make it.
Catch Monsters is at 48% funded and a week to go. It has released a demo now as well.
Kelvin and the Infamous Machine has gotten over 50k of its 20k askings with just under 2 weeks to go – looking good.
Empyrion: Galactic Survival was cancelled due to not being close to its goal, but is still being worked on.
Epic Manager is funded and in its final few hours looking at its stretch goals.
Aerannis has reached its funding easily and is knocking down the stretch goals. It’s reaching towards its final day now and is looking for 13k for its next stretch goal for alternate character side stories.
Late to the Party is just over 25% funded with just under a week to go. It’s not looking good for it.
Everykey continues its evenkeel approach and is 98% funded with a day left more or less (as of writing it was 98%, day left on Friday. May be funded now)
Stove Lite 85% funded, and has 5days to pick up another 7250 and seems like a good bet to do so.
GameThing is more or less stalled, inching up to just under 50% completion with just over a week left making it look rough.
Mousr has over 92k of its 100k asking price and should make it
Point is almost 4times its goal with just under a week to go.
Genesis and SNES Component Cables heading into its final days and looking at its 37k stretch goal which its about 3k short of
Nimble VR has over 112k now and is aiming at its 120k stretchgoal which will be long range camera tracking mode.
FonePhrog appears sadly to be on its long way to croaking and leading me to making bad frog jokes for the next 30+days.