I love a good ‘escape the room’ puzzle as much as the next person. However, I can’t say I’ve ever had to talk my way out of one. Imagine trying to negotiate with Siri, or GLaDOS, or C-3PO, just to get them to help you get out of a room. The results would skew anywhere from comical to outright disastrous, and you’d probably have the time of your life while doing it, at least until GLaDOS released that deadly neurotoxin.
In Turing Adventure, from Corta Studios, players have to do just that. As in old text adventure games (think Zork), the game requires text commentary to be issued to robots who are trapped in the same room. However, unlike the old text adventures, Turing Adventure doesn’t have set phrases to use – players won’t have to keep trying to rephrase their thoughts until they hit on the precise arrangement of words that will trigger the response they want. Instead, they can communicate in the verbage that feels most natural, and the robots will respond, allowing players to fine-tune the conversation as they go.
Turing Adventure is based on Corta’s Turing Planet, a two-player web text game which uses chatbot technology to allow gamers to figure out which of the robots in the room is their opponent. The dev has revamped the concept as their submission for the Adventure Jam, a two-week challenge to create “a game that embodies the spirit of adventure.”
The freedom, and the risk, of Turing Adventure is that players can literally speak to the robots about anything they want. The robots can be asked their opinions about current events, preached to about stranger danger, or offered a premium discount on life insurance. “This approach,” says Salvador Romero of Corta Studios, “forces the player to stop, analyze the situation and, for the first time in graphic adventures, really think: what would I do, and what would I say, if I were actually there?”
The only problem is that time is short. There is a gizmo above the door which looks suspiciously like a bomb, complete with a timer, and when that timer reaches zero… game over. The robots will even explain this if asked directly – the main character is going to die. The only hope is to successfully talk the robots into helping to engineer an escape.
Corta Studios hopes that Turing Adventure will perform successfully enough in the Adventure Jam that they can develop a full-length version for future release. Chatty gamers are encouraged to try the game here, and vote for it in the Jam if so inclined. Find out what Corta is planning next by checking out their Facebook, Twitter, and blog.