Test Alexa’s animal knowledge by having her guess an animal of your choice. Alexa will ask you questions to figure out your chosen animal, so make sure you’re familiar with the basics! What color is it? Can it fly? Does it live in hot climates? Your answers to these questions will help Alexa narrow down the animal possibilities and make the best guess. Will you be able to stump Alexa, or will she be victorious in the end?
Alexa knows over three hundred animals and can also tell you some interesting facts about them. Did you know that rats laugh when they are tickled? And that no polar bear has ever met a penguin?
This app has guessed 9 out of 10 on the first guess. Once it was wrong but asked two more questions and guessed correctly. You have to actually know things about the animals so if you are not too swift or ignorant about animals, it can't guess your animal. For example, if your animal is a polar bear and it asks you if your animal can swim, if you say 'no,' it can't guess correctly--but that would be your fault not the app since polar bears can indeed swim. Similarly, if your animal is a hyena, and you say yes to 'is it a predator?' That is also going to mess it up since hyenas are scavengers. Like all software, garbage in garbage out. If you find the app isn't guessing your animals, it's probably you not the app. This app is killing it when you answer intelligently.
My 5 year old and I will pick a few animals and then queue up the game. My daughter will answer or if she doesn't know them, I'll whisper the answers to her so she can tell Alexa. So now my 5 year old knows what a mammal is. And an exoskeleton. Super cool. Sometimes we will stump her and she will ask for the name of the animal. She doesn't understand "rainbow trout". She doesn't understand "shoebill stork" and she doesn't understand "tarantula". Poor thing keeps saying, "please tell me the name of the animal" over and over. That's when you know you REALLY stumped her. Ha!
This is a great game. Both my 6 and 3 year old love to play. Sometimes Alexa throws in a fun fact at the end. (Did you know baby dolphins have spines on the sides of their tongues that zip together to form a straw so it can drink its mother's milk without getting salt water?)
Downside: Alexa asks if things are "large" or have a "short tail". Without a comparison, this is difficult to answer. An elephant is obviously large, and a spider is small...But is a pig large?
Ease of Use: 5 out of 5. The entire skill is implemented with only taking "yes" and "no" for an answer. A pretty good achievement. I also like that it occasionally interjects a non-gameplay comment like "Hmm. What could it be." It makes the interface more personable.
Usefulness: 3 out of 5. It's pretty simplistic. And some questions don't easily have a "yes" or "no" answer. I'm familiar with the general game as one of the first old text-based games to demonstrate machine learning. However, unlike those implementations, this doesn't actually have the capacity to learn new animals. Given Alexa's difficulty with accepting free form text, it's understandable.
Novelty: 4 out of 5. The game isn't new, but it is a very clever use of Alexa's strengths, but avoiding its weaknesses. It was written by an Amazonian, they may have been watching in frustration at the fairly simple skills being done and took matters into their own hands.
Overall: 4 out of 5. It's a good skill, and I'll probably keep it enabled for a while. It's a hit with my kids. I'm not sure how extensive the animal database is (it doesn't have 'capybara') but I'm sure it has all the classics.
My daughter (4) and I use this on almost a daily basis. It adds a lot of value to Alexa being in our home, so as far as I'm concerned it's successful. It actually has me beat if I try to guess what they are thinking based on other's answers. Not bad at all, entertaining and semi-educational, and fun for kids.