Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
There’s a fun little entertainment app making its way up the App Store rankings called Akinator the Genie. In the style of 20Q – the online and handheld electronic game that guesses what you are thinking by asking a series of weighted questions — Akinator the Genie achieves the same results by guessing a real or fictional character. While there’s no real magic behind the guessing genie, the concept translates well to an iPhone app and because this version focuses on characters or people from literary works, movies and even real life, it’s a little different and makes for a bit of fun at parties.
Akinator the Genie asks players to think of a real or fictional character or person for him to guess. Through a series of “yes,” “no” and "maybe" questions that players must answer, the genie will attempt to guess the character or person in question. In reality it is a simple process of elimination, but if you can pretend for just a minute that there’s a bit of clairvoyant magic happening, Akinator the Genie becomes moderately entertaining and plain simple-minded fun.
Akinator the Genie is built around a pretty hefty database of characters/people, which greatly improves the odds that the answer will be guessed. Most of the time, the genie’s keen powers of observation win out, but if players come up with an obscure enough character, he can be foiled. Users are then given the option of adding their character to the database for future "use." Akinator the Genie also provides a bit of interesting, if trivial, feedback including the last time the current character was played and guessed. A-list celebrities, trending people/characters and classic cartoon characters seem to be the most popular, while characters from literary works and has-beens appear to populate with less frequency.
One of the neat things about Akinator the Genie is the varied landscape of characters available for guessing and the surprising amount of correct guesses. From the indie music scene to the main characters of Gabaldon, King and Doyle novels to the more popular Harry Potter characters or even a favorite video game character, the genie can sometimes surprise. As the answer is narrowed down, it frequently becomes apparent which track it’s on by the questions themselves. For example, the genie does get a little specific from time to time, asking obvious questions along the lines of whether your character is a teenage boy wizard orphaned as a baby. OK, maybe the questions aren’t that obvious, but some are pretty close.
Regardless of the methods, Akinator the Genie is a fun app that can be played alone or in small groups and gets people thinking about characters they’ve loved from movies, books, games or TV, as well as real life people they’ve read about or even trying to outwit the genie by prompting him to guess their pet goldfish.
Available in the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Akinator the Genie is an entertaining way to kill some time and maybe even spark conversation while hanging out with friends or family. It might not be magic, but as a "just for fun" app, it delivers a good entertainment value. Try Akinator the Genie online too.