The 3% Challenge: use your voice as a controller

On 8th October, Doppio released The 3% Challenge, a prequel to the Netflix TV series, 3%. In this game, you control everything entirely through your voice. It’s currently only available on Amazon Alexa, but will come to Google Assistant later this week.

The game seems very Portal-esque

The 3% Challenge is set in a dystopian future. And at the age of 20, residents of the ‘Inland’ have to go into an experiment called: The Process. The best 3% of people on this test get to go to the ‘Offshore.’ Which is apparently a utopia. You’ll play as one of those people.

You’ll try and solve puzzles like these as you embark on ‘The Process.’

You’ll also control the game entirely using your voice, solving challenges and finding hidden storylines. There’s also a multiplayer element, as you can pit yourself against others every week.

Fans of the original Netflix show will be glad to hear that Bianca Comparato, the lead actress, is the voice you’ll be talking to. You’ll also be able to play in English or Portuguese.

You’ll find hidden stories as you play through the game.

If you play the game through the assistant on your phone or tablet, you’ll get a little interface, too. But it isn’t essential.

It’s worth noting, it won’t work on Apple phones.

Voice could create new genres

This isn’t the first time developers have tried to use voice in their games. The Xbox Kinect, for example, had a microphone as well as a camera. But sadly, most of the time it was used as a gimmick, like in Fifa 13, where the referee could hear the player swearing in real life. (And would give cards.)

And this isn’t the first game to be completely controlled by your voice. But most of the others are party games, like Akinator (20 questions) or various quiz games. Recently though, there have been some more interesting takes, like the story-driven Earplay or Yes, Sire.

Jeferson Valadares, Doppio Games’ CEO and co-founder, seems to think voice is the future, saying: ‘As users seek ways to get the most from their devices, voice control could evolve to outpace touch control, with The 3% Challenge leading the way.’

While it’s unlikely that we’ll see touch controls disappear completely, it makes sense that we’ll keep seeing voice games evolving, and pushing the industry to think more about how we can start using these new devices. And, hopefully, we’ll start to see it seep into other genres. Not as a gimmick, but as a real way to role-play as our characters.

To get the game to run, we’d recommend following the instructions on Doppio’s website. It’s a couple of commands, and you’re in.

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