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John Hansen. In the 20Q Game, the handheld wizard asks and you answer: yes, no, sometimes or unknown. Everyone will be waiting impatiently for their turn to stump the wizard in this 20Q game! Ages 7 and up.

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      29.11.2011 23:42
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      Good concept but doesnt really work as a product

      A few years ago these were all the rage and I remember that so many people used to have them, it was dead exciting to go up to someone and get their 20Q to guess what you were thinking, indeed for it to read your mind! However these seem to have gone into decline now, but I got one as a Christmas present a few years ago. Rather than being a board game, this shows the technological advancement and the changing nature of presents and games now this is an electronic machine. It is a small device that can be easily held in the palm of your hand, but unfortunately the size means that it could also be easily lost! The concept of it is that you pick an object and then think about it in your head for a while. You then start a new game with 20Q where the automated computer inside it will ask you 20 questions in order to try and guess what you are thinking of. If the computer does not get your answer within 20 questions then you have won and beaten 20Q! However this doesn't really happen at all often. It is a nice concept but for me it doesn't really work. Currently on amazon it is costing £5.50 for the normal version, or around £10 for an updated version. This isn't too bad, but I just don't feel that the product has enough longevity to buy it, there is probably something else a lot better you could buy. This is because once you have gotten over the initial novelty of it reading your mind, you won't really be wanting to constantly use it - I know I certainly didn't! However it is good in a way for only children to have a game they can play alone!

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        29.06.2010 14:22
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        Can read your mind (most of the time)

        20Q is a device which asks you 20 simple questions such as "Is it larger than a loaf of bread" as it trys to guess what item or animal you are thinking of. Priced around £10, this game is a fun little thing to show off, or to keep children occupied for half an hour or so. The device has quite a nice form factor, with buttons to press for the answer you want to give that aren't just yes or no, buttons on the side to increase the speed of the text on the LED screen, and a nice elliptical shape that is comfortable to hold. However, the LED screen is very uncomfortable to read, especially when set to the higher speeds if you want a quick game. The red writing is not complimented by the orange shell surrounding my own personal device. Sun glare is also an issue, and it makes the screen impossible to read. The game itself often does actually work, around 8 out of 10 times. Sometimes it is quite impressive, but other times it just isn't, and it seems to be pot luck, however, chances are high it'll get what you're looking for. If it doesn't it has another 5 questions (so 25Q) and if it doesn't get it in those, you win! It must be said, you are likely to get bored of it quite quickly, once the novelty of it knowing you were thinking of a whale or something wears off Overall, fun for a short while, but essentially just a dust gatherer in the long run.

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        04.05.2010 10:47
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        Okay if you can find it at a discounted price.

        My kids have recently received these as presents, they weren't the kind of thing I would have thought of buying. I have a bit of a problem with being sold games that we played for free as kids (ditto hangman). But I have been pleasantly surprised. It is essentially the old word game of 20 questions, where one player thinks of a thing either animal, vegetable or mineral and the other players have to guess what it is. The 20Q is remarkably good at guessing your answer, no matter how leftfield it may be. It doesn't get it every time, but most times, it even guessed the emotion anger yesterday, which I thought was rather impressive. They really are suitable for children as soon as they can read independently. There's a 'don't know' and a 'sometimes' button as well as 'yes' and 'no' buttons, so if your younger children are not sure of an answer, it won't ruin the game. My children don't play with them that often, but it is a good thing to whip out of your bag on long journeys or at times you need them to stay quiet. I'm not sure if it's worth the full price, but if you keep your eyes peeled, you should be able to pick one up at the £6-7 mark. I often see them at that price at TK Maxx. In that case, quite a good present, when your child's been invited to a party. They are rather compulsive, so I foresee you will be wrestling them off your children to have a go yourself.

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        31.12.2009 15:07
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        can it read your mind by asking 20 questions, can you think of an obscure item to beat it

        I bought this a couple of years ago for my eldest son and I must say I was absolutely amazed. No matter how much you tried to trick it, it seemed to get what you were thinking of. (of course not every time but 9 time out of 10) It is a very clever piece of technology. I then saw it on offer at amazon for £4.99 so decided to buy my sisters boyfriend, nephew and one for my boss! As you can see from this list, it is a toy for all ages. How does it work Well you think of anything at all as long as its an object and then it will ask you a certain amount of questions so that it can try and guess what you are thinking. It normally asks first 'Is it an animal, mineral, vegetable etc. Then with each question it asks you have to answer yes, no, sometimes or unknown. Sometimes it asks silly questions like 'Is it heavier than a duck?' which you have to then guess it is or not. After the 20 questions it gives you the answer it thinks you are thinking of. It guessed some bizzarre things I was thinking of - Dust, bath, etc but it can be beat. Although if you answer sometimes or unknown a few times its not really giving it enough information. The size of the toy fits in the palm of your hand and comes in a range of colours. It has the word screen accross the middle which has the question running accross it (making it difficult to read sometimes). It has the four buttons at the bottom for you to answer. When it is in the pack it can still be played so if you are unsure about it dont take it out and then you can sell it on unopened if you wish. As it is small it is easy to take with you if you are travelling or to keep in your bag when you get bored. I would say though that maybe after a while it does lose its appeal. So can you beat the machine? If you are going to buy it I suggest you wait until it is back on offer as I dont think it is worth more than £5

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          17.07.2009 11:58
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          Try to borrow rather than buy

          We used to own this game and the way the packaging was designed meant it was possible to use the game without cutting it out of its packaging, as the buttons were not encased in the plastic. We anticpated that it would be fun to play with for a while but that it would quickly outlive its interest factor, so kept it in its packaging. This proved to be the case and when we got bored with it we gave it to a charity shop. The idea is that you think of an object and then answer twenty questions that scroll across the screen by pressing buttons labelled Yes, No or Sometimes. The game then guessed a couple of times before it gives up. It is impressive how it manages to guess diverse objects and I could appreciate how clever the algorithms used must be to generally arrive at the correct answer. However it wouldn't work if you were too specific. For example, it could easily guess 'book' but when you tried 'Pride and Pejudice' that steched it a bit far! It was good for when friends visited; we could give it to them to have a couple of goes on and they were impressed with how clever it was. However it becomes boring fairly quickly when you play it repeatedly as it keeps asking the same questions, and you get the hang of what it will guess and what it won't.

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          18.05.2009 18:18
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          An interesting game that is worth taking a look at

          The 20Q is an interesting digital game, which attempts to guess an item of your choice by answering the twenty questions of the name. The 20Q game is built into a interesting sphere-oval shaped plastic casing, which is transparent enough to show the internal circuitry. The buttons are solidly built and the toy has a nice feel to it. A small LCD screen provides the question and the occasional taunt. It's small size means that the questions have to scroll, which can be annoying if you glance away and miss the first part of the question. Unfortunately my example has already started to exhibit a few dead pixels, despite only suffering from light use. As for the game itself, the concept is interesting, but soon becomes repetitive. The game does have a large selection of objects to guess from, but the same set of questions is used throughout, even when they are entirely inappropriate. The game is a good way of spending a few minutes, but repeat value is low.

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            01.12.2008 11:32
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            play online instead

            20Q is taking the world by storm. The small handheld game around the size of a tennis ball which claims to be able to read your mind is flying off the sheves, it is currently Amazons number 3 seller in toys and games where it is selling for £7.87. The premise of 20Q is simple, you think of an object and it asks you 20 yes/no questions and then amazes you with its brilliance as it guesses what you have been thinking. It works using a model of artificial intelligence based on the human brain known as a neural network. The handheld version contains 250 000 of these connections which tells it what to guess and what questions to ask. The first question it always asks is "animal, vegetable or mineral, " which if I was splitting hairs would point out was three questions and then depending on your answer asks more questions before guessing the answer. As well as answering yes or no, you have the option of using the "sometimes" or "unknown" buttons. The questions scroll along the small LCD screen in the middle of the unit and you can control the speed at which the text moves. You have the option of turning a backlight on or adding sound. The sound itself is really irritating, a number of beeps which will get on your nerves really quickly. It's not fancy and I'm afraid the plain screen and text are not very appealing. The questions themselves can get a bit bizarre "is it heavier than a duck?" is one; how heavy is the average duck? The ones I see in the supermarket are generally about 4 pounds but if you add some feathers and a head then I'm sure it is heavier. It asks questions about how it is used, is it used in the garden for example and for an animal it just asked if it could be eaten in a restaraunt. It gets simple objects correct a lot of the time but is easy to stump with tougher or abstract objects. In my testing it correctly identified a cat, a spade and a remote control; failed to guess moisturiser and dentures and guessed carrot instead of a parsnip. If it does not guess the correct answer after 20Q- which is actually 22 questions when you take the "animal, vegetable or mineral?" into account- then it asks five more before guessing again. It attempts to make some jokes along the way, accusing you of cheating or pretending you have got it stumped but for me these jokes just slowed the game down and got on my nerves. The game is fun the first time you play it but quickly becomes boring. My daughter got 20Q for her birthday in October and it was soon put to the back of the cupboard and forgotten about. When I took it out to review my nephew had a play and he got bored of it after one set of question. Us adults had about 10 minutes fun thinking of naughty objects and sniggering as it asked "is it Big?" and other double entendres. Yes, you will think it is clever when it guesses your object and it is fun to beat it but it lacks enough replay value to make it good value for money. You can play 20Q for free at www.20q.net. The online version is a lot more fun than the handheld device, it has different versions like UK people (which I stumped the first time I played) or Coronation Street. Playing on the big screen is much better than watching the screen scroll, it has a bigger brain controlling it and best of all is free.

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              19.11.2008 13:53
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              See if you can think of something to beat it! There should be a prize!

              It truly is a genius! I bought 20 Q for my newphews last Christmas and have more recently bought it for a friend as well as I thought it was excellent and completely captivating. 20 Q is a small sphere shaped plastic 'computer.' The idea behind this game is that you think of an object, yes, absolutely anything and '20 Q' will ask you twenty questions to which you answer yes, no, unknown or sometimes. After asking 20 questions it will suggest what the answer is, i.e. what you are thinking of. It is correct the majority of the time! To turn it on you have to press and hold the Yes/New button. The computer asks if you are ready and you have to press yes to begin. The questions scroll along the screen. During the asking of the questions the computer will have things scroll across the screen like...'that eliminates a lot of possibilities,' I bet you think that will throw me off track' and 'some things are trickier than they first seem' or 'I know what you are thinking' When it has asked the 20 questions it will scroll a message saying 'I'm thinking.... is it a...' and the suggest your answer. You need to answer yes or no. If you answer no it will ask a further 5 questions and then make another guess. If it is correct it wins and tells you 'I win! Who's next?' It is suggested that this game is for ages 8 and up. THis is about right for the minimum age and I would say adults of all ages would enjoy using this game. It really is quite clever! There are beeping sounds that the computer makes when you press a button. You can turn this on and off using the sound button located underneath the main game playing buttons. There is also an undo option to undo the last answer you gave if you have changed your mind or pressed the wrong button. 20Q will also turn itself off after a few minutes. This game requires 2 x AAA batteries. These are provided when you buy the product. 20Q retails at aboyt £9.99. I managed to get my latest one for £4.99 in the Sainsbury's half price toy sale - what a bargain that was! I do think it is well worth the usual £9.99 as this little ball of platic is very deceiving and is truly a genius at work planning to take over the world!

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              10.11.2008 22:33
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              well worth the money

              when my son asked for this ball for xmas last year i was a bit sceptical about it to say the least........it can guess what you are thinking by asking 20 questions? i will easily beat that i thought so i got it. he was over the moon when he opened it at christmas, and all the family were keen to have a go and prove it wrong. as the name suggests, the blue transparent hard plastic ball asks 20 questions and claims to be able to tell what you are thinking. the questions scroll across the message board and you then select yes / no / unknown /sometimes to answer the question before it moves on to the next. if it guesses wrong it goes on to ask another 5 questions and 90% of the time is right the very first thing i thought of was broomstick, it couldnt guess that surely??? after the first few questions i was confident that i had beaten the ball...... i was wrong :( how on earth had it guessed that?? of course it isnt right every time or what would be th epoint in playing against it lol it was sooo addictive, soon we were all fighting over it. and my mum even asked for one for her birthday too lol it really did prove to be worth its money, and the kids take it with us whenever we go out in the car, and even play it together !!!!!! the 20q costs in the region of a tenner, which for a tennis ball sized piece of hard plastic with buttons on may seem a little steep, but it is so so clever. it requires 2 aaa batteries which are included when you buy it and luckily the batteries seem to last forever it is available almost everywhere now, i have seen it in tescos, woolworths, argos and most toy shops. there are several different versions on th emarket now including a junior one , a desk top one and even a simpsons one go on, buy one and see if you can out-wit the 20q

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              30.10.2008 20:17
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              Fab little toy that all the family will enjoy

              When I received this I was pleasantly surprised at how cute looking it is - it fits in the palm of your hand and is made from hardwearing, translucent plastic. It comes in red, blue or purple, though if you are ordering it online like I did, you are unlikely to be able to choose the colour (I ended up with purple, which I was pleased about!) It's very easy to use (it comes with an instruction booklet, even though it's pretty self-explanatory). It follows the same format as real life 20qs - you think of an item, tell the game whether it is animal, vegetable or mineral, and then the game asks you questions. You reply to the questions by pressing 'Yes', 'No', 'Unknown' or 'Sometimes'. There's also an undo button in case you enter the wrong one. The aim is for you to come up with an item so obscure or clever that the game will not be able to guess it - then you win! It's pretty clever, though not flawless, but then if it was right every single time there'd be no point trying to defeat it! It correctly guessed 'guinea pig' on my first game, then guessed 'personal computer' when I was thinking of laptop, and 'christmas ornament' when I was thinking of a bauble, so it's generally correct or very nearly correct. However, when I thought of an electric fire, it guessed 'bathtub' then 'ironing board' and then gave up! So it is possible to win. I'd say this is a great toy and a bargain. It'll entertain any ages, but is recommended for ages 8 and up, so if you have very young kids I'd recommend the junior version. It's great fun for car journeys and also good if you want to play a game with your kids but don't have time for a fully fledged board game, or if you're bored and don't have anyone else around to play games with. You can play it alone with the machine, or you can play it with one or more other people - we have found the best way to do this is for the person who thought up the item to answer all the questions out loud and see if any of the other players can guess correctly before the machine does. Is it educational? Well, it makes kids think about the material properties of the things they encounter in the world around them, although it probably doesn't teach them much, but at least it's stimulating. The only flaw is that the game's 'amusing' phrases such as 'I can't make it look too easy' and 'Oh, I see you've picked an easy one' which scroll across the screen in between questions can get annoying after a while and delay the continuation of the game! 20 Q Version 2 (the version I have) is currently available on amazon.co.uk for £7.99, which is a very reasonable price and makes it a nice present or stocking filler for your kids this Christmas. It requires 2x AAA batteries which are included (so you can start playing straight away on Christmas day without spending ages scrabbling around for batteries!) (updated from my review on amazon.co.uk)

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                04.08.2008 21:15
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                Fun for all ages

                I bought this game not long ago from a John Lewis store near me after it freaked me out in the shop when I was testing it. It seemed so accurate it was strange. For those who dont know what it is, 20 questions (20Q) Is a game for ages 7 and up. Its electronic and asks that you think of any item you wish and will ask you yes/no questions about it. After the 20 questions are up, it will take a guess and is usually correct or very close. If it doesnt get it in the 20 questions it will have another 5 to guess agian and if it fails again, you, the player have won! Its quite fun but does get a little boring. Buttons on the side help the text to move faster or slower depending on your reading speed and ability. 'unknown' and 'sometimes' buttons are also provided if you are not sure on the answer to a question. This game is quite appealing and comes in an array of colours, mine was red. It also has a backlight option if you cant see the text or wish to play it in the dark. Sound can also be muted! This game retails at about £10 in most stores and different types and sizes are available.

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                04.03.2008 04:17

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                Spends hours trying to outsmart your ball!

                Now this is a fantastic little toy that you can pick up for a couple of quid. It will fascinate you, it will overwhelm you with it's knowledge, it will frustrate, it will outsmart you, out-think you and drive you crazy making you try to think of something that it won't know! That's right! Think of any object, then answer the magic balls questions with yes, no or sometimes and it will always guess the correct answer! Almost always anyway, as I have found out that the toy can sometimes be outsmarted. This is such a simple concept, such a simple idea yet works so effectively, though it is beyond me how they managed to program it with so many different answers. The majority of the time this little plastic ball will guess the right answer, though with some imaginitive ideas it is possible to win sometimes. This thing is definitely worth the price and will keep you entertained for at least a couple of hours. Kids also love it!

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                01.01.2008 23:06
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                A great buy, a good little thing to have around when you're bored.

                I was so impressed when I came across 20Q. As it was cheap.. £2.30, I think.. I didn't expect it to be any good at guessing a word. Before I bought it, I tested it. I thought of a word, an easy word, at first, to test see how clever it was. So, it asked me 20 questions about the word I was thinking. To each you can answer "yes", "no", "sometimes" and "unknown". So, I did this, and in the end it was right. I was quite surprised. So I tried again. Again, it was right. This little round, purple (well, mine's purple) device is smarter than it looks! It can guess really intricate things e.g. Black labrador (!) or something really random. It can even guess non-material things, which was what really shocked me, like, e.g. love or happiness (not sure if it guessed those exact words, but stuff like that) or unexpected things. Basically, 20Q is very intelligent! It is quite amusing, and I can play on it for quite a while before I get bored. I have won occasionally. If you want a tip for winning, just baffle it by thinking of a type of fruit e.g. an orange. For some reason it guesses strawberry, but not orange! Stuff like that gets it confused but everything else it is great at. It is quite funny the way it "talks" to you by saying stuff like "you'll never beat me", "I'm smart" "I think I know what your word is" etc. If it doesn't guess your word in 20 questions it asks 5 more. I recommend this little device, especially because of its relatively low price.

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                  28.12.2007 18:39
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                  Fun game to keep you amused at times of boredom!

                  Wow - what a fantastic little game. I first came accross it when I was studying to become a teacher and the maths lecturer (who was obssessed with probability and guesses) brought one in. It's just like the game twenty questions that we have all played as children. Text scrolls across a small screen (which could be a tad bigger) and you press buttons yes/no snd sometimes to answer it's questions. Some of the questions do seem a bit strange at the time, and sometimes you cannot really pick an answer out of the limited choice you have. (A newer version has been brought out with extra answer options on though). After 20 questions the game guesses at the item you have thought of (usually correctly). If it does not guess right it will ask another few questions before guessing again. Everyone I have shown it to is quite amazed when this little thing can read their mind. It is also fun trying to think of obscure things to try and stump it (harder than you may think). Overall this is a great little gadget, however the screen could be bigger and easier to read, although I suppose this might not keep it pocket sized , and even more answer options could be given on newer versions. There is even a children's version out now, which is bigger and has cards with pictures on for them to choose something in the picture for the machine to guess at!

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                    27.12.2007 19:37
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                    A great little electrical device.

                    The blue oval shaped object with a bright red screen did not seem an opponent that I should have any reason to fear, I was human intelligent ( well sort of )self aware with the capacity to think and reason. I would surely triumph against such a puny and somewhat lacking adversary. The seven little buttons on it's smooth shiny surface were no match for such as I, I would undoubtedly be the victor after all he could not possibly know my thoughts, and a mere 20 questions were not going to let a plastic ball shape with some clever electronics get inside my head. I thought long and hard for an object or thing that would have the device puffing smoke from it's circuit board and blowing some small electrical component to the great circuit board in the sky. I tried what I considered to be easy one's for this game to guess and true to it's claims it guessed correctly every time, the objects were obviously too easy so I upped my game and tried to outwit the circuitry, to no avail it won again. Every time I seemed to up my challenge it responded with the same cunning questions and ingenuity as a cunning fox which had just had a cunning supper followed by some cunning tea. Just when I thought victory was in sight up[ would pop a question that showed he was on the right trail. This little device gives hours of pleasure to any who are prepared to sit and answer it's multitude of questions, well 20 actually. The object of the game for those unfamiliar is to choose an object or thing in your head and then answer the questions the device throws at you. The options for answering are on the four main buttons on the front of the unit. These are YES..... NO...... UNKNOWN.......and SOMETIMES. There is a tinier undo button under the four major buttons just in case you make a mistake. YOU MUST answer the questions truthfully or else you are cheating., how can it possibly guess the answer if you answer incorrectly. In playing you may at times think the questions a bit strange but as you get nearer to the end of the 20 questions you will be asked this will become apparent as you can clearly see the device is getting close, at this point there is a slight inclination towards cheating, but what would be the point. If after all the questions 20Q cannot guess the correct answer he will ask another 5 in the hope they will draw him to the correct conclusion. If he fails you win. This neat little game will set you back around a tenner, but it will keep you occupied for hours trying to beat it. It is beatable and it does not always get the exact answer, so there are times when you might have to concede that it is in fact in the general vicinity of the correct answer. The screen is quite small and there is the facility to turn off the backlight to the display, although it is better played with it on. The bright red screen means the small writing is clearly visible even if at times the questions do seem to rush past a bit quickly. All in all this is a very good little game which seems simple but does require a bit of thought if you intend to be victorious more than you are a failure. The only downside is thatafter a while it does have a tendancy to get a little tedious.

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                  • Product Details

                    John Hansen. In the 20Q Game, the handheld wizard asks and you answer: yes, no, sometimes or unknown. Everyone will be waiting impatiently for their turn to stump the wizard in this 20Q game! Ages 7 and up.