Monday, 14 August 2017

Super Smarts for Super Fun

Poki Super Smarts for Super Fun

Are you smarter than a computer? 

We humans can perform certain tasks better than machines. In other cases, the robots win. This review is about a game that has been around for a decade. Over the past 10 years, it has improved and stayed completely relevant. The game is called Akinator: The Web Genie, and it knows what you’re thinking.

Akinator is essentially Twenty Questions. Instead of playing with a friend, you play with a virtual genie. The cartoon character looks like an Arabian legend. But, it has the brains of a modern supercomputer. Akinator is a true AI being—it can think and learn without manual intervention. If that sounds spooky, don’t worry; Akinator is harmless and fun!

The game is limited to guessing what it calls “characters.” That’s a broad group of potential answers, as it includes characters from cartoons, books, and movies. Plus, Akinator can guess non-fiction characters (i.e. real people). It knows everyone from the biggest movie stars and international politicians to less popular stand-up comedians and radio hosts. If you think the genie doesn’t know about today’s YouTube celebrities, think again; they might be in one of the first questions he asks!
The Akinator game is a truly ageless game. It was fun (and wildly successful) 10 years ago, and it will be equally fun 10 years from now. That’s because Akinator’s knowledge is partially crowdsourced. On the very rare occasion that he doesn’t guess your character, you can add that character to the database. Then, Akinator will learn about him/her/it, and others will have a harder time stumping the genie.

Poki Super Smarts for Super Fun

There are a couple of key differences between Twenty Questions and Akinator. In traditional Twenty Questions rules, only “Yes” and “No” answers are allowed. When playing with Akinator, you can also answer “Don’t know,” “Probably,” and “Probably not.” This is because you might not know the answer to all of Akinator’s questions. For example, inquiries such as “Do others think your character is cool?” and “Does your character make you happy?” are subjective. If you don’t have a sure “Yes” or “No” answer, you can choose one of the other options.

Another difference is that Akinator can ask up to 25 questions to win. The extra five rounds might be the difference between winning and losing. More often than not, the genie doesn’t need that many questions. If you’re thinking of a really popular character, or one with many unique traits, Akinator might draw a correct conclusion within 15 questions. It seems that certain celebrities are easy to distinguish, while others are too similar. Nonetheless, Akinator almost always wins.

Poki Super Smarts for Super Fun

Akinator is a uniquely satisfying game. It doesn’t have slick graphics or cutting-edge animations. In fact, its visuals have hardly changed since 2008. The core gameplay has remained the same, because it has worked so well. Trying to perplex an AI genie is always fun, no matter what kind of games you normally play. If you’re up for the challenge, Akinator is, too.

Run 3 Review

Run 3 Review

Playing with aliens in outer space sounds like a lot of fun. In Run 3, that’s exactly what gamers get to do. This 3D single-player game isn’t the newest on the market, but it’s one of the best. It has everything that I like to see in a game for kids: it’s free of violence, easy to learn, and doesn’t cost anything to play. In fact, I’ve enjoyed playing Run 3 on Poki, too!

Admiring the Galaxy

This game sends adventurous players on a journey among the stars. The main character is a brave, friendly alien who can run and hop across wondrous tunnels. Her mission is to travel back home, wherever that may be. We’re not sure how far away her native planet is, but we’re ready to go there.

As we travel farther with the alien (also known as “Runner”), we learn more about her universe. The Galaxy Map is an expansive chart. It branches off into several sections, each of which has completely different tunnels. The Galaxy Map lets us keep track of progress and revisit levels at any time. Certain drawings on the interstellar parchment unlock mini-movies to enjoy. It’s just another one of many aspects that makes Run 3 so fun!

Run 3 Review

Characters and Costumes

Runner is the first playable character, and she can help us unlock more. Skater is the next friendly alien. He moves faster than Runner, but he’s a bit harder to control. Other unlockable characters include the all-green Lizard, balloon-toting Child, and gravity-defying Student. Each creature has unique abilities. Certain skills are very helpful, while others are primarily entertaining.

Speaking of entertainment, there are a bunch of seasonal costumes and outfits for players. Halloween costumes can be purchased or unlocked by conquering the Low-Power area of the universe. Winter outfits become available after completing the Winter Games. These costumes don’t modify how our characters move, but they can certainly inspire us to keep playing!

Gliding Gameplay

When I first saw my youngest playing Run 3, I thought that the game looked a bit like Subway Surfers. After all, both games are 3D “endless runners.” But, Run 3 is a lot less hectic. It doesn’t distract with ultra-flashy graphics and speeding railcars. Run 3 is a challenging game, but it’s also relaxing. Players glide, bounce, and skate across colorful tunnels in outer space.

Gravity is one of the most interesting parts of the game. Instead of being stuck on the ground, players can run along walls and ceilings—we’re traveling in space, remember? Creative gamers will make use of 360-degree paths to victory. It’s not just a matter of running and jumping; younger and older players must explore to win.


Extra Stuff

Mentioning all of the extra goodies would be a daunting task. Plus, discovering them while playing is part of the fun! If your children want to befriend alien creatures, unlock intergalactic achievements, and venture into the stars, Run 3 is the game for them. You might as well play, too!