Robot Interrogation – Critical Play 1 – Ji Hong Ni

The game I decided to play is Robot Interrogation (mobile version of Inhuman Conditions) which is accessible via a website. It was created by Tommy Maranges and Cory O’Brien for people who are adolescents or older. This is due to the game requiring a lot of thinking and understanding of the concept of a robot vs. a human and what might distinguish the two from each other. This could be fun for young adults on a nights in, especially if they like reasoning and strategy games to outwit the other player. 

The game needs at least two players, but if there happens to be more than two, the others become spectators who is this all knowing third party waiting to see who wins. The game is set up to have one player be the interrogator and other being the suspect. The role of the interrogator is trying to figure out whether or not the suspect is a robot or human by asking the suspect a series of questions. For the suspect, they get to answer the interrogator’s questions HOWEVER, given the constraints listed on their screen. These limitations give very strict boundaries for the suspect role. Since this game follows a very strict set of rules and the site tells you what to do, the way this game moves forward is by completing each stage. The game ends with a 5 minute questions period where the interrogator can make the ultimate decision whether the suspect is a robot. Similarly, the suspect can opt to kill the interrogator as well. 

This game is a two-person interrogation game, so similar to One Night Ultimate Werewolf, there are two groups of people against each other, both parties trying to outwit the other. Where the game differs is that there’s a narrator that moves the game along versus the interviewer in robot interrogation, no neutral party (only if you consider the spectators). In addition, the vote depends on everyone in werewolf, but only 1 person (interviewer) in robot interrogation. I would say for the simplicity, it’s not too bad, but also due to the simplicity, it lacks creativity and expansion into other possibilities. You can only play this out so many times before the other player catches your quirks and patterns (unless they’re just very good at lying). Overall, the game was fun since it’s based on deception but as stated before, only so many plays before you run out of steam. 

To make this game better, I would introduce better UI since the site is pretty lackluster and engaging. The presentation could increase the staleness the site has and maybe less likely to make the players fizzle out after the first two rounds. Since there is also two roles, it could get boring after playing both for a set amount of times. In addition, maybe doing something with the spectator role (similar to werewolf) so they can also participate in the game. The explanation of the game could also improve. There was this moment at the beginning where I was the suspect and I had no idea what was happening and found myself laughing a bunch of times asking “am I even playing this game right?” Conceptually, this game fits right into the social deception games I’ve played before which were all super fun. 

About the author

Junior studying CS with an Art Minor :)

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