Games Sports Toys

On Wheelz fuses shoes and skates, makes crowded streets a roller derby

Remember those Fisher Price skates everyone had as a kid? They transformed sneakers into skates, and for most kids, they were the coolest thing ever.

On Wheelz has taken that simple idea one step further. They’ve upgraded this common kids’ toy into a grown-up mode of transportation. Wear stylish sneakers or dress shoes that snap on to the skate “chassis”, and get rolling! The On Wheelz concept is elegant and simple. In the factory, the name-brand sneakers and dress shoes are fitted with a snapping port in the sole. The port slides into the four-wheel chassis, and all bets are off. The creators are hoping to reach a goal of $32,851 by June 30th, 2015 and deliver in Oct 2015. Backers can pay $356 for a pair of the skates (stylish shoes included!)

Personal transportation doesn’t come much more discreet than this adult version of Heelys, but it’s certainly more apt for recreation than the daily commute. The company also offer a service where a backer can send in their shoes and have them retrofitted with the port, making this product unique and customizable.

Games Maker/Development

Hackaball ball will get your kids off the couch and outside

Time and time again, traditional video games have gotten a bad rap as enablers of a sedentary lifestyle. These days, with both console and mobile games increasing in popularity, many kids are spending much less time outdoors, their eyes instead glued to a screen.

Hackaball wants to lend a helping hand in getting them moving again. At its core, Hackaball is a computer kids can throw around. Inside the product’s tough, transparent case sits a plethora of motion sensors, 9 LEDs, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope, all of which can be programmed by using the companion iPad app to create games. With it, kids are limited only by their imagination as they can think up of many new ways to play with Hackaball. Additionally, the product comes with unlockable features that become available the more it’s used.

All of this fun is ultimately educational, with the companion app serving as a light introduction to programming — which makes sense given that there’s mention of future Arduino support for Hackaball. Hackaball’s ultimate enemy just happens to be the demographic they’re targeting: children’s attention spans. The $69 product is estimated to be delivered in December 2015, provided a successfully funded $100,000 campaign goal by April 3.

Connected Objects Games

Juggglow adds glowing balls to the mix, makes juggling easy for beginners

Juggling is a time-honored art; a feat of balance and grace featured at many circuses. Clowns do it while teetering atop a unicycle or walking a tightrope. Even as a simple talent, juggling always manages to dazzle.

Juggglow brings juggling into the 21st century with LEDs and Bluetooth, which allows one to control the balls from the accompanying smartphone app. They can easily choose not only the color of the balls, but also the effects that they display, such as a rainbow spectacle for up to seven balls.

In addition to aesthetics, the app lets users track their juggling accomplishments. They can watch their progress over time, and engage in different challenges that the app offers. It also lets them compare their accomplishments to other Juggglow users. With tips and games, it makes juggling not only attainable, but fun.

As a luxury item, Juggglow brings all of the different dimensions of juggling to the masses. Its tutorials, challenges, and effects make it a great toy for beginners and experienced jugglers alike. Those wanting to dazzle their friends or an audience should look into purchasing their own. A donation of €89 (~$101) is rewarded with a Juggglow, which is estimated to be delivered in July of this  year. Juggglow is looking to raise €10,000 (~$11,300) in funding with the help of Indiegogo.

Cell Phone Accessories Games offers Nintendo-like controls and battery pack in one

Gaming and smartphones go together like peanut butter and jelly, or whatever other cliché phrase is most appropriate. It makes sense, too because the kind of power a smartphone has absolutely dwarfs full consoles from the ’90s and even early 2000’s, allowing classics from the Grand Theft Auto series to be emulated pretty much without a hitch. The biggest drawback, however, is a lack of physical gamepad, a problem that relegates most smart devices as gaming novelties rather than the big draws they should be.

The unfortunately-named is a combination Bluetooth gaming pad and 2500mAh battery pack all-in-one for iPhones and iPads. While the 2500mAh battery is impressively sized, what’s more impressive is the fantastic construction of the gamepad. It offers a directional pad, two analog sticks and a complete set of shoulder buttons, allowing any gaming experience to be comfortable and enjoyable.

As portable as it may be, however, a Bluetooth gaming pad like the Game Cover seems like it would be more comfortable to tote around. In any case, the is just $59, and is expected to be shipped in April of 2015 with a successful campaign of $40,000 on Indiegogo.

Games Health and Wellness

FitBricks is the Jenga game that gets you moving

For those who don’t like to exercise but like the results that come with working out, here is a product that may make working out a little easier to tolerate. FitBricks was invented by a puzzle enthusiast and who probably likes to think. It offers the user the opportunity to exercise in between considering what their next move will be so that the blocks don’t all come tumbling down – which could still provide some opportunity for a workout because then they all have to be picked up and restacked. The user just wouldn’t get to choose which exercise they will be doing if that happens. If an exercise buddy can be persuaded to get a set of FitBricks, the fun will be doubled without having to workout alone. Just make sure those water breaks don’t go on for too long and prevent the workout from taking place at all. This campaign seeks to raise $19,000 CAD (~$16,700 USD). For $34 CAD (~$30 USD), early bird backers get one set of FitBricks with an expected delivery of February 2015.


Tactics foosball table offers light-up ball, specialized players

Foosball is one of those classic bar activities that has made tiny soccer thrilling for many. The Tactics  offers some new characters, angles, and LED lights to breathe new life into what was a fading favorite. The new characters are designed with strategists in mind, complete with an angled foot for right and left shots, as well as lob shots. Characters can also be moved around to create formations such as 4-3-3 and 2-6-2. A new corner system prevents the ball from getting stuck in the corner, sending it back to center. Perhaps the aspect that is the most fun in this redesign is the fact that the ball lights up via LED lights, and when a goal is scored, the goal lights up too. A couple of other games that backers might like to check out that get kids (and adults) away from constant gadget screen play are Mutation and Osmo. This campaign seeks to raise $50,000 by November 30, 2014. For $229, early bird backers get the entire game kit with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Medieval Siege Attack game invites ye to attack yon castle

The best games are the ones that involve strategy and not just luck of the draw. In recent years, Settlers of Catan has become popular, allowing players to build up villages by trading commodities such as ore and wood. Medieval Siege Attack from the UK is a similar game that brings you back, all the way to Medieval times. Little men cut out of wood guard your castle and attack the castle of your opponent using small catapults. The game requires a good strategy, so it’s not just about destroying the enemy. This game also comes with a number of paints, allowing you to “dress” your men and design your castles as you choose. For a set of two, backers must donate £60 (~$96) which includes 24 warriors and four siege engines. Estimated delivery is currently set at April 2015. Medieval Siege Attack is hoping to raise £15,000 (~$24,000).

While Medieval Siege Attack is a little on the pricey side, it still has a lot working for it. People love destroying things, first of all, and love customizing their gaming experience. The wooden materials and paint make Medieval Siege Attack more than just any other board game.


Mutation spherical board game invites you to have a ball

The Premise. The classic board games we’ve all been playing for years can make us feel, well, bored. With little interaction, complicated rules and limited possibilities, popular board games sometimes leave us wanting more.

The Product. Mutation is a 3-D spherical game that can be played with two, three, or four players. It’s multi-colored and has round pegs that can be moved around on it. Mutation comes with several variations on how it can be played with possibilities for more games born from the players’ imaginations. Most games focus on the goal of getting the pegs arranged in certain shapes or patterns. Mutation is plastic and the pegs come in two colors, black and white to differentiate the teams.

The Pitch. Mutation’s funny campaign video shows two drones playing Checkers and a third Mutation advocate saying, “King me? Really?” It goes with the typical trope of the two boring guys coming alive as soon as they’re handed Mutation. The rest of the campaign discusses how the actual product will be a more updated version of the one seen in the video. It also goes into detail about how Mutation is actually quite difficult to manufacture. This interactive game hopes to raise $5,000 with the help of Kickstarter.

The Perks. For $20, early birds will receive Mutation from the second production batch. At a regular price, the second production batch Mutation goes for $25. Reward tiers climb up to $10,000 with estimated delivery set for January 2015.

The Potential. The idea of a 3-D multi-player game isn’t anything new. Mutation’s claim to fame is that, along with the various games it already provides, you can make up your own games using this product. The campaign is unclear how this is possible and, really, any game comes with this possibility. Since each set game the product provides centers just on shapes, it’s difficult to think that Mutation will really be a heap of fun. It’s hard to predict without actually playing it, but one seeking fun might instead opt for a Bop It. If marketed to a younger crowd, however, Mutation may have success if sold as a shape-learning tool for small children.


Divorce! card game brings out your inner selfish ex

The Premise. Large gaming companies can make a game out of anything. Whether it’s becoming a princess, going to war or even living life, gaming companies love to make light of anything mundane or even depressing.

The Product. Divorce! The Game is a card came based on, you guessed it, divorce. With two players, this game takes only about 20-40 minutes. Divorce! centers around the splitting of assets, custody battles and lawyer involvement that most divorces entail. To play, one player draws two cards, one which they keep and another that they must give to their opponent, soon-to-be-ex. The cards either gain the player money or loses them money. The goal of Divorce! is to finish the game with the most stuff. Cards include winning custody of a child, worth $80,000, winning the house, or getting the boat. Other cards include lawyer involvement which allows the player to move assets off-shore, burn down the house just won by an opponent or even steal stuff back.

The Pitch. The campaign video shows couples playing Divorce! while swearing and yelling at one another in a strangely gleeful way. It really makes the game look like good, dark fun. The creators then explain the game, different cards included and call divorce “America’s pastime”. The rest of the campaign shows examples of cards in the game. Divorce! The Game hopes to raise $5,000 on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For only $20, you can get a Divorce!, quite the bargain. Higher tiers offer couple sets and the highest at $10,000 will get the backer a trip to NYC and a chance to repossess one item from the creator’s house. Totally weird, but in good keeping with the theme of the game. Estimated delivery for Divorce! is set for January 2015.

The Potential. We all know the old favorites like the game of Life and Monopoly that deal with the mundanities of everyday life and make them fun. It’s much more thrilling to lose money in the game world than it is in real life. Divorce! is a fabulous addition to this tradition. The campaign video alone will make you want to own this game. It’s too bad that only two players can enjoy this at once, however, the rules are nice and simple unlike other popular games. The game makes light of a typically serious issue and its cheeky, over-the-top scenarios are guaranteed to make you laugh.

Games Sports

Oche Pong elevates a beer pong setup to the classiness of a dartboard

28cbd33d4ea10eae4df00764eaab3e8f_largeBeer pong isn’t just a frat bro’s claim to fame anymore. Phinneas Innovations LLC wants to get the storied game out from college campuses and into the livers of those everywhere with their Oche Pong, a modified version that tilts the cups at a 45° angle, hangs them on the nearest wall, and transforms the game. It also has feet for those places without walls, like the beach, or tailgating parties. $35 is the asking price for the novelty, while the company is looking for $34,000 to it into homes by February 2015 the latest.