This Week in Kickstarter we've got zombies, cloud storage phones, and houses with questionable amounts of doors.
The only cloud-first smartphone. It gets smarter every day and makes running out of space history.
Robin is a smartphone with an integrated cloud OS. It uses Android OS, fine-tuned to take advantage of cloud storage. Robin seamlessly expands its storage online so you always have space for what you need. By tapping using the cloud, spec becomes almost irrelevant. Almost.
But even there Robin stands out. Boasting some pretty good specs for a phone that relies on cloud storage. It backs up your apps and photos whenever you’re connected to power and Wi-Fi. If you don't use something for a while, Robin removes it from the phone and stores it, and when you need it back, it restores the full version right away. Four tiny lights on the back let you know you're connected to the cloud and working. Another LED on the bottom tells you when you have notifications.
Robin is probably one of my top ten Kickstarters I've written about. Damn did they really sell me on this thing—the convenience, the expanding storage, the beautiful design. This isn't meant to be an alternative, it's meant to be a solution. Smartly putting my stuff in the cloud when I need it is a great idea, and being able to access it so quickly is great. Also, and probably my most beloved feature, it's bloatware free!
My one gripe (and I admit this is a big one) is that some apps I don't use often because there utility is infrequent, but still important (such as my banking app) will be stored away off the phone. If I'm out of range of WiFi, I'm going to have to re-download an app using cell data, even though I never removed it in the first place. If I could choose to never have an app removed from my phone, or decide how long the phone waits before the app is moved, I'd be golden. All in all, Robin is a kickass device and a fantastic innovation in the smart phone world.
A paper craft game-night-in-a-book that you cut apart as you play.
The Cloud Dungeon is a DIY adventure game with paper craft, coloring, co-op, and competitive mini games, as well as difficult and permanent decisions to be made. It can be played in 1 and 1/2 - 2 hours, or broken up into 30-45 minute sessions, as the book divides into three chapters.
The game uses an entirely new format: DIY Adventure. In this format, players will color, rip, scissor, tape, etc. as they play the game. As you progress through the game, you can create your own characters, color them, and customize them. A decision card tracks the choices you make as the story moves forward.
I find this idea fascinating! Clipping and taping as you progress through the story and literally building your character sounds like a fun way to spend a night. The mechanics match the lighthearted, fun adventure the game presents, and allowing room for consequential choice in the game could really bring a night of Cloud Dungeon to life. Having access to a file of the pages for reprinting is also a smart move, letting people play through the game again and again.
A smart biking system that lets you focus on what matters the most—the road.
The SmartHalo is a small device that shows you the quickest, safest routes to your destination. It also saves your biking metrics seamlessly with its automatic tracking. It illuminates the path ahead of you with a powerful front light and can keep your bike safe from thieves with an alarm.
Users can receive turn by turn navigation via their smartphone's GPS. Find your destination, put away your phone, and the lights on the SmartHalo will give you turn by turn directions. The night light will automatically turn on when the path ahead becomes dark and will also turn itself off when the ride is over. Cyclists will even receive call notifications and weather alerts right on their handle bars!
The SmartHalo seems like something every bike these days should have. Integrating so easily with my smartphone and giving me utility without having to take my phone out makes the SmartHalo not only genuinely useful, but dramatically safer. The automatic lighting and alarm are also welcome additions that I hope more bike devices in the future have.
A nonlinear exploration RPG packed with story and lore.
The main objective in In A House of Many Doors is to answer one of three questions: "What is the House's purpose? Who built it? And how can they escape?" In this 2D exploration RPG, players will explore a game with narrative depth, compelling characters, and branching, nonlinear storylines. Players explore the House in a clanking train with mechanical legs, discovering bizarre civilizations. They'll cling to sanity as they assemble a dysfunctional crew and level up their poetry.
In the game, players are both journalists and poets, each career coming with its own challenges. Poems are procedurally generated, and over time players build a full canon of titles. These poems are your route to fame and fortune. As they explore the House, they'll explore procedurally generated architecture with narrative driven interactive areas.
A House of Many Doors is an intriguing looking little game. My initial impressions were pretty underwhelming, as the moment to moment gameplay looked identical despite swapping exotic locations, and I still feel that to some degree. But the focus on lore and storytelling, however, seems to be where this game's main focus is, and that's where my interest is too. I want to know more about this house and what's going on, and I think if the game can perform a satisfying job investing me in the lore of this house, this game could have real potential.
A ring-sized wellness computer that helps you sleep and perform better.
The ŌURA is a wellness themed ring with its own app, made to help the wearer get more restful sleep, thus performing better when they're out of bed. It learns your lifestyle choices and how they affect your sleep. It all tracks the quality of sleep and your ability to perform.
The ring automatically tells when you're sleeping. When you sleep, the ring analyzes the quality of your rest by measuring your heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, and movement.When you're awake, it'll monitor the duration and intensity of your activities, and the time you spend sitting. The app gives you a convenient visualization of this data to help identify patterns between sleep quality and daily activities.
In retrospect this seemed almost inevitable. Fitness and wellness bands have really taken off in the last couple of years. Rings and bracelets fit within the same accessory family, so naturally someone would make a ring variant on the exercise bracelet. However, I'm skeptical as to the accuracy of the ring, especially compared to a bracelet. There's a reason doctors check your pulse on your wrist, and it's the same reason people typically feel colder on their hands and toes compared to the rest of their body. You just don't get that much blood moving through those areas. Hell a fitness necklace would actually be a really useful device because of the artery sending blood from your heart to your head. At least the ring is low profile; I wouldn't feel weird wearing it. Bracelets you can get away with more eye catching designs, but a weird ring can really stick out on your fingers.
Earth's last 52 survivors try to escape a dying planet and the 6 Billion zombies out to stop them.
The Last 52 Meeples on Earth is a cooperative zombie board game for 1-4 players. Players must take the roles of survivors that have unique skills and must complete tasks for escape to be possible. In this game no one group can be successful without aid from the others. The game can be played in about an hour and is appropriate for ages 8+.
In The Last 52 Meeples on Earth, you'll play as the only 52 surviving meeples on Earth, trying to escape the zombie horde coming for them. To accomplish this, you'll need to work together to escape in a rocket and create a new world. But in order to take off, you must fend off the horde as the National Orbiter Autopilots complete the programming to fly the rocket away.
What I like about this game is the different skill sets and advantages the different teams have and how not all players can survive. Very much like in classic zombie movies, if someone is slowing you down, you gotta cut them loose or you'll only fall behind too. Making meeples a literal part of the universe presents a unique aesthetic to the game and helps make it more appropriate for younger audiences in case some parents might want to play it with their kids. I'd really like to try this with my younger cousins who definitely have the imagination for board games, but some of the bigger stuff might be a little too much for them.
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!