I Know What You’re Thinking! (Outwitting Artificial Intelligence with 20 Questions)

May 4, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:easy to use, fun sounds, quick playing games, automatic shutoff, batteries last a long time

Cons:hmmmm ... is the computer a cheater?

The Bottom Line: This 20 Questions game is fast, fun entertainment for children and adults.


I received the Radica 20 Questions Electronic Game as a gift last year.  And I've been playing it ever since!


Description

This is a small, round hand-held electronic game.  It fits in the palm of the hand and only uses two AAA batteries.  A rectangular LCD screen fits horizontally across the circle, and beneath it are four buttons to operate the game.

Basically, this is a 20-questions game.  The user thinks of an object, and the electronic game has the mission of determining through a series of questions what the user is thinking.

The game is available in three colors: red, blue, or purple.  (I own the purple color and like it.)  This game is for ages 8 and up.


My Experiences

I have to admit that when I first saw this game I thought it the silliest thing I had seen.  Who would want to hold this little game and answer either "yes," "no," "unknown," or "sometimes" to a string of questions?  My thought was that it would be repetitive and boring.  Well guess who likes to play this silly thing!

The game is very easy to play.  It is just like the traditional game of 20 Questions.  Think of an object (vegetable, animal, mineral, or "other" item).  Across the LCD screen will flow a series of questions that allows the computer's artificial intelligence to make an educated guess as to what you are thinking.  Answer the questions by pushing one of the four buttons below the LCD display.

During game play, the device makes a variety of fun computer beeping and musical noises.  And occasionally the computer will scroll a sassy message across the LCD display such as "I can't believe you are thinking of that!" or "I can read you like a book!" or "You're a Smart One!" or "I'm going to win this game!".  In case you are wondering, the LCD display is easiest to read during daylight or with good lamplight.  I can read it in dim light, but it will strain the eyes even though the lettering is a good size.

With over six months of matching wits with this machine, I can say that it is entertaining.  It also does a good guessing job, though I have won my share of games.  Sometimes the machine comes very close, and I can see where my answers to the questions could pertain to its guess as well as what I was thinking.  What is a bit frustrating is that we'll reach the end of our 20 questions, and the computer incorrectly guesses what I am thinking ... then comes up with an additional five questions.  After the extra five questions, it often makes a correct guess and proclaims itself the winner.  The name of the game is 20 Questions, not 25 Questions.

There are times when (in my opinion), the game asks ridiculous questions.  I'm still not sure if it is because the computer has already guessed what I'm thinking and is just using up questions, or if the computer is a bit ditzy.  For example, the computer might have asked me if what I'm thinking can fit in an envelope (I answer "yes"), and later it will ask if the object is larger than a microwave ("no", remember computer that it fits in an envelope).

Still, this is an entertaining game that does not take long to play.  Either one person can play against the computer, or the game can be shared among several people who take turns answering the questions.  It's also great for taking on trips since it is portable.  Just make sure to remove the batteries if the game might be "joggled" since bumping the game the right way can cause it to play a few musical notes ... just like a pet begging for attention.

When you are finished playing, the game will ask if you want to play again.  Click the "no" button, and the game turns itself off.  It will also turn itself off within a few minutes if it is not played.  I also like that I have not had to change the batteries since owning it (about six months).


Purchasing

This game sells for about $9.99.


Summary

I enjoy word games and games that challenge my mind, so I should not be surprised that I like this Radica 20 Questions Electronic Game.  It was an excellent gift, and I would consider buying this as a gift for someone who enjoys challenging their brain power.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy the day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com


Please read my other reviews:

L-C-R Dice Game

Puzzle Master Deluxe Suite (jigsaw puzzle software)

Mahjongg Master Deluxe Suite (software)

Dell Sudoku and More! (magazine)

Dell Pocket Crossword Puzzles (magazine)

PennyPress Family Variety Puzzles and Games (magazine)

Pogo.com (online games)

Copyright 2009 Dawn L. Stewart


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