Atari founder's Alexa-powered board game is out now

'St. Noire' is a detective board game exclusively available on Amazon.

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Mariella Moon
July 18, 2019 9:46 AM
X2 Games/St. Noire
X2 Games/St. Noire

Alexa could add color and suspense to your murder mystery game nights if it's getting a bit stale lately. X2 Games, created by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell and Hollywood creative director Zai Ortiz, has released an Alexa-powered board game entitled St. Noire. And, yes, it's exclusively available through Amazon. To be clear, you won't be hearing Alexa's robotic voice when you play the game, so you don't have to worry about the assistant ruining your immersion. The technology simply powers the game's immersive background sounds and cinematic voice performances, which are made up of over 2,500 lines of dialogue performed by actors portraying 12 different characters.

The game randomizes the identity of the killer and the victim every playthrough to keep things fresh. As the hard-boiled detective solving the mystery, you'll have to visit various locations (including seedy bars, of course) in the game to talk to characters. Not everyone will be telling you the truth, obviously, so you'll have to find inconsistencies in their statement and piece clues together to find the culprit.

Ortiz said they were really excited with the prospect of "gamifying voice technology by fusing cinematic storytelling with board games." He added: "By incorporating voice-control mechanics into the traditional tabletop format, we are transforming the board game landscape, as well as pushing the boundaries of what Smart Speaker gaming means."

St. Noire is now available on Amazon for $40, but that doesn't include the Alexa device itself. We hope you got an Alexa device during Prime Day if you're a murder mystery fan looking to give this a try. In the coming days, the game will also debut at San Diego Comic Con, where Bushnell and Ortiz will be speaking about it and "gamification technology' as the future of gaming.

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