We have always loved playing twenty questions as a family. My Papa is famous for playing it with all of the kids when fighting begins in the car it often comes to mind for me. However there are moments when playing as a whole family is not an option and as the kids get older they are not always up for playing with us and in comes 20 Q. This toy has been around since 2004, won many toy awards. I discovered it in a toy store this year, and I have bought 20 of them for myself and as gifts. They are totally amazing!
The toy asks between 20 and 30 questions to figure out what you are thinking. The player needs to be able to read to play the game because the questions are answered by pressing four different buttons, yes, no, rarely and sometimes. There is volume control for beeping, yes a silent 20Q for those moments when parents want quiet. The AI, artificial intelligence of this toy is unbelievable. I often grab it from the kids to outwit it, which by the way is totally possible and still fun. It guesses what I am thinking about eighty percent of the time, with my kids a little less than that but that is often because they do not know the answer to the questions the toy asks. It is all part of the fun. For example when my seven year old was thinking of a Lychee nut he was asked if it had seeds, he answered yes. Luckily the device was still able to figure it out but I assume wrong answers make it harder!
I especially love how the game forces children to think about how well they know an object and all of it’s properties while making it fun. The toy has tons of personality built into it’s AI. Sometimes when it is wrong the toy will reply I knew it I was kidding you. After answering a question it will say that is what I would have predicted or when it cannot figure it out, do you want to begin again? The toy now has an app for both handheld and tablet devices but I still prefer the small toy for travel. The app is a bit more of a smart aleck and seems to be making the game competitive when it could not guess Dalmation, the response was “the object you were thinking is too embarrassing for me to reveal. I will admit that you won.”
Travelling we are eating out more than often and after rounds of UNO and card games, this toy is perfect for overcoming restaurant boredom. Sometimes we play as a family and other times, each of my kids play on their own. At about $18 US dollars I am not nearly as concerned about leaving it behind as I would be with an iPad. The toy is available worldwide in techie and toy stores. Let’s see whether you can outsmart 20Q’s Artificial Intelligence.