This Week in Kickstarter we have a self-sustained home ecosystem, a twist on survival games, and a customizable phone case with a swappable back.
An ingeniously designed low maintenance display of nature.
The EcoQube C filters your aquarium with a plant that gets light from an electric powered lamp. Its a simple and elegant way to keep your aquarium clean, with the added benefit of never having to change filters. Not to mention, it looks cool in your living room.
The cube works anywhere you happen to have an outlet to power the lamp, as all it needs is a simple two-prong outlet. The sleek and small design of the glass box should fit in well with any space and style.
You can count on the first project you see in these articles to be the ones I liked the most. I actually struggled with writing more than a couple sentences for this Kickstarter, not because it's bad, but because its such a ingeniously simple little thing there really is little else to say about it. I think this type of project is a perfect example of the kinds of gems you can find on Kickstarter: simple tweaks to established ideas that in retrospect seem almost stupidly obvious.
At the time of writing, the EcoQube C has practically obliterated its intended $15,000 goal, raising a staggering $183,792! (That's 1,223%!) The project remains open until May 29, 2015.
A zombie themed action/adventure with a survival twist.
Described as "Zelda meets Don't Starve", Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse blends adventuring and survival. When the sun is up, you explore the world while trying to solve the mystery of the "Forgotten Curse." When the moon rises, you must bunker down and take on the hoard of undead wood people, all while defending your stone golem who falls asleep during this time. As you scavenge for resources you can build and customize your weapons and defenses. Side quests are made to drive players to make assumptions and think outside the box.
The team behind the game has quite the resumé, working on hit films like The Hobbit, Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon 2, as well as Bioshock. As of now, the game is being developed for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with PS4 and Xbox One support coming if funds raise high enough. An "Endless Mode" where you battle against an unending horde of the undead has also been added. There is also a playable demo for those wishing to check it out.
On paper, Deadwood sounds unoriginal. Zombies have been (pardon the pun) done to death. Survival and crafting are in practically every game these days since Minecraft proved it basically prints you money if you put it in the game. However, calling the inclusion of the golem a twist is justified. Rarely do these games expect you to take care of someone while defending yourself. The art style also is refreshing from the endless poorly lit corridors and down town Detroit lookalikes that so many zombie games use. The whimsical vibe alone makes me like it a whole lot more. Also, adding a story certainly helps me care about wanting to defend the golem and can hopefully elevate it from unfair comparisons to Don't Starve, Minecraft, Dying Light, etc.
At the time of writing, Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse has raised $74,715 of its $65,000 goal. The game has until May 14, 2015.
An ultra-portable, tangle-free design.
SBWLY (pronounced spooly) offers a practical solution to an age old problem - that being how do I keep my cables from getting tangled? Unless you want to harmfully tie them up, or bring some ties with you, there isn't a super quick way to keep your charging cable orderly and in place. SBWLY is designed to be wound up and stay that way using interconnecting fasteners to keep the cables in check.
The connector doubles as a cable spool, and has a length of about 2 and a half feet. Wound up, it's no bigger than a credit card. The charger is built to last with enhanced longevity, and even comes with a carrying case. It comes in both iPhone Lightning and Micro USB connector for Android.
The SBWLY is certainly an interesting take on that aforementioned age old problem, and I like how easily portable it is. I wish the power connector ended in prongs instead of having me need to remember to bring along the USB power adapter as well, but there are plenty of devices wherever I'm going that can potentially charge my phone through a USB. Personally I couldn't use this product as I have a Samsung phone, and Samsung is the England to Android's Europe by deciding it likes to be different and have a proprietary charging outlet. If you have an Android phone designed by a sensible company though, this product could be right up your ally.
At the time of writing the SBWLY has raised £5,549 of its £30,000 goal. The project has until May 23, 2015.
A modern take on the Tarot card.BRuT brings a clean, modern design element to the Tarot cards and playing cards you know and love. The cards are hand drawn and look beautiful. The designs speak for themselves so rather than chew your ear off (or I guess your eyes since your reading this?) I'll let the pictures do the talking.
There really isn't much to say about BRuT other than they're really cool looking cards, and everyone deserves a cool set of cards right? This might be there first project I've ever recommended primarily as a gift, but they seem like a perfect gift for your friend who's into that sort of thing.
At the time of writing, BRuT has raised $49,886 of its $30,000 goal. The project has until May 16, 2015.
A customizable smartphone case via the interchangeable backplates.Moscase allows you to customize your iPhone 6 and 6+ by having a changeable back cover. Users can keep track of their health via the heart rate monitor or even measure your body temperature via the heat sensor. Users can also measure their stress levels and body fat percentage via a "teeny-tiny electromagnetic current through your body."
Additional backplates can be applied for various functions. From a plain back cover, to an extra battery, to an...extra screen? Even big speakers, solar cells, or a breathalyzer!
Moscase is just nuts, end of story. This is one of the crazier things I've seen on Kickstarter, but man does it have some cool things behind it. Still crazy, but cool too. Having a breathalyzer on my phone could actually be a really cool option to have if I'm going to the bar and don't want to take any chances letting my friends drive home. Being able to customize my back cover could really be enticing for things like charging with solar cells, or having awesome speakers or... seriously what the hell is that extra screen for?! Is it for taking selfies with your better camera?!
The Moscase has currently raised $24,398 of its $150,000 goal. The project ends May 11, 2015.
A card game and RPG in one.Apocrypha is a tabletop card game that can be run as a fully cooperative adventure game solo or with others, or with a gamemaster taking over and expanding into a complete roleplaying game. The game is set on the brink of a modern day apocalypse. The game is an hour long and can be played by 1-6 players fighting the most dangerous entities in the universe. Players, or "saints", are characters that can see monsters. The characters grow over multiple sessions of gameplay, unlocking repressed memories to expand powers and abilities.
The game will be expanded (aka lengthened after meeting stretch goals) via "chapters" of new cards. Each card reveals new types of threat and introducing new mechanics. If all chapters of the game are unlocked, there will be over a thousand cards in the game.
Apocrypha looks like a really cool way to play the way you want. What I like most is how there are so many different ways to play. So if you're feeling like busting out a quick quest, or have a few friends over, or the whole gang, you'll always have a way to play, so you never have to put the game away (much to your roommate's/wive's/girlfriend's annoyance.) The system of unlocking memories sounds like something that could keep me coming back for a very long time.
At the time of writing, Apocrypha has raised an impressive $152,422 of its $66,666 goal. The project has until May 13, 2015.
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!