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This Week in Kickstarter we’ve got a Hitler in disguise, an RPG for one dollar, a new way to play guitar, and more!


Secret Hitler

A social deduction game for 5-10 players about finding and stopping the Secret Hitler.

Looking for a night of cards, cooperation, and trying to elect one of the most infamous dictators of all time? If so, Secret Hitler, a card game where one player is secretly the mini-mustache man himself, might be for you. The game is set in 1930s pre-war Germany where 5-10 players are secretly divided into two teams: liberals and fascists. The liberals (who will always have a slight majority) will seek to find and stop Secret Hitler, while the fascists attempt to elect him chancellor.

During the game, players elect a President and a Chancellor who work together to enact a law from the random deck. If the government passes a fascist law (and there are reasons even the liberals might want to do that) players will have to figure out why it was passed. Too many fascist laws and the fascists win. But if Hitler is killed, or five liberal policies enacted, the liberals win.

I love this game’s idea; it’s Mafia but with a unique twist to the core game mechanics. In particular, creating reasons for the liberals to want to make fascist policies is brilliant and adds some depth to the game. Not only does it introduce a risk reward system by powering them up but also putting them closer to defeat, but it can create genuine drama as people struggle to understand if this policy was really needed, or was this a ploy by the fascists. The simple set up and easy to understand rules make this a great choice for a game night with some friends and some beers.

Kurv Guitar

A digital guitar that allows anyone to learn and play songs using touch, motion, and gestures.

Put those years of hypothetical air guitar practice to good use with the Kurv Guitar, a motion and touch based device designed to teach you guitar, and let you play anywhere. With Kurv, you won’t need to worry about the uncomfortable feeling of endless strumming that can take a toll on your fingers. Simply strum up and down as you would a real guitar, the device recognizes when you strum up or down, and plays louder the harder you strum. The touch pad for fingering notes is pressure sensitive, so you can articulate as well.

And remember how I said you can play this anywhere? Bring the device with you on the bus, plug in your headphones (please) and you can practice on the way. The Kurv connects though Bluetooth, so you can connect headphones or speakers through the audio jack. The Kurv can be an electric, acoustic, or even a bass guitar.

I was wowed by the Kurv Guitar as soon as I saw it played. There’s a lot of music instruments like this on Kickstarter, but what really sold me was the visual of a guy playing it on the bus. Sure you can play the electric Bluetooth piano-tromboner on the bus too, but what sells this thing is how natural the image of air guitaring is. Sure, people might glance at you then too, but not nearly as much as the more flashy, attention grabbing instruments we’ve seen on here before, or ones that try to do too many things at once. Air guitaring is just such a natural thing to do to music that even a shut-in like myself wouldn’t have a problem doing it in public, which really sells the utility of this thing. Combine that with the enjoyable novelty of a working air guitar and you’ve got a smart, modern product.

The $1 Play What You Want Mystery Campaign RPG Project

A promise to make a game based off the highest voted title by any donator.

Want to contribute to a game, but don’t know how to write or design? No worries, this project practically builds backwards. Instead of pitching you a game, you’ll pitch them one, in the form of a single title you can submit when you donate one dollar. You will also vote on one game title. In the end, the winning game will be created, and given out to everyone, for the price of entry.

For those worried this project is too silly to come to fruition, the writer proudly states they recently finished an 88-page rolepaying game in two weeks. The book will be at least 50 pages and will cost more than a dollar after the project is over. Voting will happen after the Kickstarter ends.

I find this to be a really interesting Kickstarter. It’s a really simple and fun way to get involved on the ground floor of an RPG. What’s more, any time I start thinking “but how will we know of the quality?” I’m reminded it’s only a dollar. Even if it was a complete bomb, being involved in a game making process is worth a dollar to me.

 

Mstick

A multi-functional smart LED stick light operated with modular app.

Mstick is a programmable LED light stick. Controlled through the app, users enable Mstick for a multitude of purposes. Using the various colored lights, users can customize these LEDs to light depending on specific situations. From fitness and biking, to camping and weather, the Mstick can be used almost anywhere.

Write a message and you can make it appear in air by waving the stick back and forth. Set up specific lights for weather forecasts in the morning. Set an alarm, add some color to your selfie, and more. The G-sensor in the stick means attaching it as a bike rear light, it will change color and animation depending on your movement (light turns red when stopped, white when riding.)

So here’s what I see when I look at the Mstick, and I’m just going to be brutally honest here. I see a pretty decent device nobody really needs or wants. Half of these functions are already built into the device I’m using to program this thing. Weather updates, alarms, timers, stop watch—these are all things that I have sitting in my pocket, and that I’ve never felt needed a glorified $80 strobe light. Did I not mention that? This is $80 dollars. I’m not saying it’s a dumb idea, but I really can’t think of anyone who owns a cell phone who I could show this to and they’d be willing to spend $80. The only two functions I thought were its strengths were the text-waving function, and a bike/hip rear light. I can find both these things much, much cheaper. Even with the added novelty of dynamic lights, I just don’t see this product being worth much. But more to the point, when looking for these things, I’m looking for that one item, not a multi tool of various functions. I’m imagining a person going online for a $15 item, seeing the price tag, and thinking they need to narrow their search results.

Douglas Circumstance – Monster Extermination Company

Rescue sunny Monster City in an 8-bit inspired platform shooter full of gross, ridiculous monsters.

For a more retro gaming experience, Douglas Circumstance – Monster Extermination Company might be up your alley. With 8 bit inspired graphics and pallets, along with a more “NES difficulty,” this game hopes to be make you forget it didn’t come out in the the late 80’s.

Douglas Circumstance uses a combination of pixel-perfect platforming, twitch shooting, and secrets in the same vein as Duck Tales and Mega Man. Players help Douglas exterminate monsters and explore challenging, non-linear levels. Players are rewarded for exploring every nook and cranny with secret areas and items. To increase the difficulty, Douglas can only take one hit before he’s out, so you’ll need to rely on skill and memory to make it through.

I’ve never been a fan of the mentality that just because a “true” 8-bit game needs to be difficult for the sake of difficulty. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good challenge, but difficulty should serve a larger purpose than to emulate 8-bit games. That being said, this game has a great aesthetic and a wonderful sense of nostalgia infused atmosphere. I hope they take a cue from Shovel Knight by using this aesthetic as a jumping point, and throwing in some modern improvements.

HeLi-on – The World’s Most Compact Solar Charger

A charger that allows you to carry a solar panel and battery in your pocket.

We’ve all been stuck with a dwindling battery and no way to charge. This device allows you to carry a compact solar panel right in your pocket. Not only can it charge your phone, but it can store power in a bank for use at night when the sun is down.

The device will charge your smartphone in 2-3 hours. The internal power bank can also be charged overnight through a usb port, so you can always know you’ll have power. The HeLi-on is compatible with any device that can charge through a USB port, including phones, game consoles, flashlights, cameras, and more.

While in the coming winter months, I won’t be seeing as much sunlight, those in warmer climates could gain some real utility from this. The issue I see with this is the 2-3 hours. Reasonable for sure considering this is solar power, but the solar charging really only comes into play if you have a decent amount of time to just sit in one location. Of course, as the Kickstarter mentioned, this is supplemented by the internal power bank, which can just as easily hold you over. For those going camping or traveling, this wouldn’t be a bad tool to have.

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.