A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Turing Test is a downloadable first-person puzzle-adventure game where brains are more called for than brawn. Although screenshots show a gun in the lower-right corner, it's used only to absorb and shoot orbs of light to navigate and solve a series of increasingly challenging puzzles. There are no enemies to fight, and the story progresses through dialogue that plays out between each puzzle.
What's it about?
In THE TURING TEST, you play as Ava Turing, an engineer for the International Space Agency. Awoken from a cryogenic slumber, you are sent to discover the cause behind the disappearance of the ground crew stationed on Jupiter's moon Europa. Instead of exploring the vast expanse of space, you plumb the depths of a facility built and maintained by a series of AI. The AI, apparently, got bored with no one around inside the facility and proceeded to create a series of logic and logistical puzzles for visitors to traverse. Ava's last name, and the puzzles themselves, are both obvious nods to English scientist Alan Turing's test to consider the question of whether machines can think.
Is it any good?
The fact that this extraterrestrial space puzzler is so familiar out of the gate is both good and bad. Yes, this is another game where you play as yet another space explorer toting a gun. But instead of shooting enemies, you spend most of your time tinkering to find the proper sequence switches that should be thrown in and where boxes you lug around belong. There's no way to jazz this up, but that's fine because this is intended to be a cerebral game that inspires you to reflect and react. Unfortunately, the setup and overall generic nature of the game muddy its philosophical waters. Younger players are likely to be more stimulated and curious about the questions raised in the game, but older players are likely to scoff and see where things are going from the beginning.
But predictability is different from whether playing the game is entertaining, which it is. The game's puzzles are enough of a welcome change of pace to merit a look, even if you can complete the game in a weekend if you're dedicated enough. They never become flat-out frustrating and aggravating, as with enough determination, the puzzles will reveal their answers to you when you realize what you haven't tried through the process of elimination. If you're itching for something that's just a little tiny bit different and is completely nonviolent, The Turing Test is worth a look -- with your expectations properly aligned.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the nature of intelligence. Are humans the only creatures that can fairly be described as being smart? If animals and machines also are smart, how do their types of intelligence vary or differ? How are they similar?
Where do you think humans came from originally? Can you back that up with evidence? Why does the origin of humankind still seem to be debated?
How can you be sure you are not a robot? Do you think a robot would be able to tell if they were human or not?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: August 30, 2016
- Genre: Puzzle
- Topics: Adventures, Great Girl Role Models, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Language, Mild Violence
- Last updated: March 08, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.