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Gift Review - 20Q - Radica

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This hand-sized globe, reminiscent of a miniature Death Star is one of the best electronic toys for adults and children alike we've ever seen. Think of a subject - animal, vegetable or mineral - then set 20Q on the trail.

The screen across the middle will ask you a series of questions to home in on what you are thinking of It will have a try at guessing what's on your mind after 20 questions, and if it fails will ask a couple more in the hope of pinning it down.

But don't expect it to fail too often. 20Q is worryingly accurate and very often hits the target. Sometimes the questions can be a little difficult to be sure what the answer is - and it gives you the option to be vague - but it's still fiendishly clever.

The game works on you in three ways. There's the simple surprise when it gets it right, seeming to read your mind, the challenge of coming up with something sensible that will fool it, and trying to work out just how it manages to come up with those answers. Though it's not exactly sophisticated AI, it's still a brilliant piece of entertainment technology that easily fits in a handbag or briefcase.

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Gift category - bargain

Reviewed by Brian Clegg






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Last update 05 June 2007