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Welcome back to This Week In Kickstarter! The weekly article that sifts through tech and gaming Kickstarter projects and shows you the highlights!

Portalnauts – 16-Bit Action Platforming!

A 16-Bit action-platformer with multiple characters.

Portalnauts is a 2D platforming action game with multiple characters that each have their own unique abilities. Together they’ll fight off an evil invading force across the multiverse. Players throughout the game gather recruits and unlock new characters to help with the rising challenges and bosses.

Players can instantly switch between characters for different powers and abilities. A vast selection of levels and worlds, collectibles and upgrades system, and a retro inspired chiptune soundtrack are also in the game. Pledges can design monsters themselves to make it into the final game. Bosses are designed to make uses of all characters abilities. Portalnauts was inspired by 16-bit classics like Mega Man X, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, and more.

Portalnauts seems like a fun game, though not one I’m crazy about, yet. I’d like to see a little more before making a final opinion, as most of the “features” on the Kickstarter game are just things video games typically have: rising difficulty, bosses, upgrade systems,  levels and worlds.

Mellow – The Electric Drive that fits under every Skateboard

Turn any skateboard into an electric skateboard.

Mellow is the first mountable electric drive, turning your standard skateboard into a futuristic electric skateboard! To achieve this magical transformation, simply mount it onto any board as you would a normal set of wheels.

When I first read about this device which turns an inefficient mode of transportation associated with broken bones into a high speed electric powered vehicle with no form of protection or safety restraints, my first thought was sign me up! Rocketing down my university’s esplanade sounds down right awesome and not having to channel my inner Flintstone is a bonus. This will free up my concentration for more important tasks like texting or juggling. However, it’s price is absolutely nuts! And not in a the cool way. I understand this technology is not inexpensive, but ~$1,000 is a steep asking price.

This Boardgame is “4 the BIRDS!”

A simple party game where you try to besiege a tree.

4 the Birds is a bird themed board game that combines dice rolling and strategy in a simple but fun challenge to align your birds in a square or line. Players must flock together their own birds while attempting to “flock block” the opponent. 4 the Birds is fast and easy to play and learn, and is designed to mix luck and strategy. It’s also designed as a “gateway” game that’s great for children to learn spatial and numerical skills when trying to get the hang of board games.

With 4 the Birds comes:

  • (1) Quad-fold Game-board
  • (90) Custom punch-tokens
  • Tokens combine to make (36) Player Bird Pawns (6 each of Orioles, Cardinals, Budgies, Blue Jays, Finches and Martins)
  • Tokens combine to make (6) Crow Bird Pawns and (3) Hawk Pawns (Non-Player)
  • (36) Action Tiles (6 of each color)
  • (2) 8-sided Dice
  • (2) 10-sided Dice

4 the Birds looks like a great leisurely game for everyone. As far as I’m concerned, when I’m intoxicated I have about the intelligence of an 8 year old, so 4 the Birds sounds great for me! I’d really love to get my friends together and try this making inappropriate animal puns (which the Kickstarter page actually encourages). All kidding aside though, I think this could be a great buy for any parental readers out there looking to share some board game memories with their kids.

Nuimo: Seamless Smart Home Interface

An all-in-one way to control music, lights, locks, etc.

Nuimo aims to provide an intuitive and natural way to control the technology in your house. It works with any Bluetooth device and application. It’s an openly programmable controller and wireless as well. Nuimo can control devices through several different gestures.

The device’s open platform nature means developers can create new integrations for apps and smart devices. Its Bluetooth low energy connections can keep the charging cable at bay and the use of of its several gestures can create more natural ways to use your media.Nuimo

Ok, maybe I’m just reading too many Kickstarter projects, but can we please stop relying on open source code like that to expand your product in some way? Developers act like being open source means suddenly the possibilities are endless! No Nuimo, your options are not endless. If I buy your device, but not many other people do, the amount of open source modifications available to me will be severely limited. This is like a company selling me their video game, and one of the features is that people might mod it. Last I checked that game no one bought doesn’t have any mods for it.

Ok rant over. The natural gestures Nuimo brings seem cool, and maybe if I’m trying to listen to music while cooking sausage and my culturally diverse group of friends are trying to get through my Bluetooth enabled electronically locked door, I could have a tangible benefit from Nuimo. However, as I suspect was the case for many people watching this, the trailer is potentially misleading. I had to reread the page because I was looking for how they managed the holograms, but alas it’s essentially an iPod shuffle with bluetooth and nifty controls.

Tokyo Dark

A dark adventure game with an anime art style, branching story, and many endings.

Tokyo Dark is a 2D point and click adventure game. It’s story stars detective Ito in a search to find her missing partner. The story centers around an urban legend that deep below the sewers of Tokyo there is a door, and anyone who enters is is lost forever. Controlling Ito, your job will be to find her partner while exploring the seedy underground of modern day Tokyo.

As you play Tokyo Dark, you’ll explore, talk with characters, collect clues, solve puzzles and make decisions. These actions can lock and unlock future story elements and scenes, which ultimately decide the outcome. Your decisions also affect Ito and the people around her. Their sanity and social interactions will depend on what choices you make and how far you’re willing to go to solve the case.

Tokyo Dark looks like a compelling take on the 2D point & click genre. While watching the trailer, I got several vibes of Silent Hill, particularly that the game is about a a character losing grip with their sanity as they search for someone in a creepy city. Of course, a 2D Silent Hill on paper sounds awesome so sign me up. However, I’m not sure if that is exactly what the team is going for with this, but all the same, I’m  interested in seeing how this game turns out.

IKAWA | Home Coffee Roaster

Roasting coffee at the touch of a button.

IKAWA is the world’s first micro-roaster. Users can create coffee at the push of a button and have fresh brewed caffeine in minutes. Users can create their coffee however they like, whether its a light blonde roast or a darker espresso. IKAWA offers high quality green coffee beans, along with roast recipes to bring out the flavor in your drink.

IKAWA can make Pour-over, Espresso, Cafetière, Moka pot or filtered coffee if you’re a pleb. Just select the roast you want on your smartphone, drop the beans in the roaster, and wait 3-10 minutes depending on how you want it done. Users can also adjust recipes for their personal tastes. Things like duration, temperature and air flow are changeable.

I’ve never been a crazy enough coffee guy to need a high end roaster. My Keurig suits me fine enough in the morning when I need motivation to write articles. On the flip side, those hipsters in Ohio City probably have books shelves crammed with French presses and flat drips to make their coffee. So in between me and them stands the potential market here. Having access to ways to make interesting forms of coffee at home is nice, and being made simple by just putting the beans in and using the app is great. However, I think most people would rather just go to Starbucks or their local coffee shop (which will probably be bought by Starbucks soon) to get someone to make their once or twice a month Cafe Con Heilo than spend the money on a device like this. Neat idea, and if a wealthy relative gave it as a gift I wouldn’t mind! But all the same, I just don’t see many people actually using this.

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.