App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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It's official: Reigns-likes are a thing now. Artificial Superintelligence puts you in the role of a tech developer in charge of creating a super smart AI that can solve all of the world's problems. Using Tinder-style, swipe-based mechanics to decide your path forward, Artificial Superintelligence doesn't reinvent the Reigns formula so much as it does cleverly iterate on it.
The entirety of Artificial Superintelligence is played from a behind-the-back view of your character, who is the head of a tech startup. Your startup's mission is to create CARROT, an AI that can satisfy the needs of your employees, funders, the government, and the public at large.
As you play the game, your character is presented with choices constantly, which you can decide on by swiping left or right to choose an answer. These answers almost always have an effect on one of your constituents, and it's up to you to try and balance their satisfaction so that they aren't too pleased or displeased with your actions. Doing so could result in a premature game over.
Take it from the top
If you've played Reigns before, all of Artificial Superintelligence should sound pretty familiar up to this point. Both games let players swipe to make decisions until they reach some sort of ending. Once a game ends though, Artificial Superintelligence diverges slightly from the Reigns formula.
Whenever you start a new game of Artificial Superintelligence, you are actually loading a new dimension of reality in which your objective is the same as it was originally. I imagine this was contrived to make restarting the game feel somewhat progressive instead of regressive. In Reigns, this was accomplished by establishing a lineage of rulers, but since this wouldn't make sense for a tech company, this weird, multi-dimensional mechanic is a suitable substitute, particularly considering that the game writes in some pretty funny alternate dimensions that you can load into.
While your overall goal in Artificial Superintelligence is to make CARROT the most advanced AI there is, that's not the only thing you can do in the game. At the start of every dimension, players are given three sub-tasks they can try to complete, most of which have nothing to do with your goals in the main game. As an added bonus, these goals are written in a vague enough way that they can sometimes be accomplished in surprising and unpredictable ways.
This unpredictability can be a double-edged sword though. While it can provide some fun surprises, it can also lead to unexpectedly bad outcomes too. Artificial Superintelligence tries to give you a good idea of where your swipes can take you before you commit to either one of them, but the information they give you to try and predict these outcomes is so limited that it's not particularly useful.
The bottom line
Artificial Superintelligence is a fine spin on Reigns. It takes a few storytelling and conceptual risks, but that's about it. If you loved Reigns and are looking for a fun take on its formula, this game could very much be for you. You shouldn't come to this game looking for much else though.