This is a guest post by David Jones from the Stiqblox Kickstarter Store, an online resource for all successfully Kickstarter funded geek products.
Geekdom had an extremely good year in 2013, with mainstream media fully embracing comics and video games for inspiration. Board games have also seen a significant upsurge in popularity, with many gamers shifting from their desktops to their tabletops. This explosive growth in geek culture has found its way into indie comics, games, and gadgets, with many of the most awesome products planting their origins in crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.
Here are five of the very best geeky products launched on Kickstarter, made available to the public in 2013:
One of the most successful projects in Kickstarter history certainly delivered in 2013. Despite a few setbacks in the timing of its launch, the Pebble SmartWatch is a concrete testament to the viability of wearable technology in tomorrow’s world. The Bluetooth-enabled watch functions exactly as promised, interfacing with your mobile device seamlessly.
From email notifications to measuring travel speeds, the Pebble brings an incredible level of convenience to its owner. If this is the next stage in mobile computing, the future looks very bright indeed.
Hex: The Lost Tribe
Created by artist Keu Cha (The Darkness, Witchblade), Hex: The Lost Tribe is a Kickstarted graphic novel that tells the story of Lana, the last princess of a kingdom ravaged by legions of the undead. Facing the utter annihilation of her people, she sets out on a quest to find a missing tribe of warriors who may have the strength needed to vanquish the overwhelming menace. At the same time, she must deal with Ruyn, a demon that pursues her in the dream world.
Cha’s work is clearly influenced by Frank Frazetta, both in theme and artistic detail, which makes Hex a must-read for fans of the master. The pacing of the book is top-notch, and there’s enough mystery and action to keep readers hooked from the first issue.
The recently launched Republique is one mobile gaming title that poses a serious challenge to console games in terms of quality. The stealth action game offers stunning graphics, innovative controls and mechanics, and a compelling story at a fraction of the cost of Triple-A franchises.
Released in a series of episodes, Republique tells the story of Hope, a woman who finds herself trapped under the all-seeing eye of a totalitarian state. The player assumes the role of a hacker who attempts to get her out of the country undetected, but the path is riddled with danger and deception. The game was created by Ryan Payton, director for Halo 4 and producer for Metal Gear Solid 4, and features voice work by Rena Strober and David Hayter.
Hot off the heels of the Ouya and other Android gaming platforms, the GameStick brings a whole new level of portability to the market. The console itself is the size of a small USB stick drive, and can be slotted into its own controller when travelling.
Another reason the GameStick stands out from the others is its closed-system approach to games – rather than having the entirety of the Play Store available, the GameStick allows its users to pick from a select list of titles. This allows the console to screen games for quality, ensuring that junkware hardly ever makes it onto the machine. It also picks games for their compatibility with the console’s hardware, so games run perfectly as opposed to other Android drives.
City of Iron
City of Iron gives players the chance to build a nation to conquer all others, set in a steampunk-inspired world with magical elements. At its core, it’s a deck-building game like Dominion and Ascension, but an action point allowance mechanic and the presence of four different factions puts a nice twist on the genre.
As the game proceeds, players will find themselves having to make certain sacrifices for the sake of progress. It’s this exact sense of tension that makes the game such great fun to play, and terribly deep to master when faced with three opponents.
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