IT DOESN'T SUCK!!! Safari Mixer for Google Assistant

I have had the dubious 'pleasure' of encountering several of the 'games' released for Google's voice enabled personal assistant, humorlessly dubbed Google Assistant (Because giving an AI you're supposed to identify with a name like Alexa or Cortana to make a human connection is, obviously, beyond the capabilities of Google engineers).

My initial encounters with Assistant games were promising. Perhaps the first one I stumbled across was Google's own Riddle Rooms, an quirky, atmospheric, and psychedelic journey narrated by the default Assistant voice.  I also had some nostalgic fun playing Dungeon RPG, a voice controlled remake of the classic text adventure Zork. It is not the ideal way to play Zork, but it was fun to wander around Flood Control Dam #3 while cooking dinner.

Most of titles take the form of quizzes of varying quality. Diving deep into the library of shovelware in this voluminous category of software is not for the faint of heart. Outside of the most popular entries, you'll find scads of broken, incomplete, and just wrongly labeled trash. Modern History featuring questions on Waterloo and The Crusades; World History that focuses exclusively on modern politics in India; Quizes from popular TV shows featuring a whopping 3 questions in total. Naturally, spelling, grammar, and capitalization (if you are playing on a phone instead of a smart speaker) and all implemented to varying degrees at random. There's even a "Fun Quiz" that is nothing but math word problems ripped from a textbook somewhere (Probably India). Fun indeed.

And I guess we should have a special shout-out the the small category of love-starved, offensively robotic, and completely inane 'virtual girlfriends'. No, Chatbot Julie. No matter how many times you ask, I do not want to kiss you. Yes, I'm glad you find that "Interesting".

But, just like real life, if you sift through enough crap you find... Umm...

"Okay Google, what is something good you can find in poop?"

Yeah... Let's not and say we did. I have Safe Search turned off. "Hey Google, abort metaphor."

Anyhoo, Safari Mixer is a breath of fresh air in the fecal stench filled world of Assistant games.

More toy than game, Safari Mixer asks you to name 3 animals which it then blends together and presents to you with a silly name, fun fact, animal sound, and a delightful image of your Moreauvian beast (Sorry smart speaker users, you're missing half the fun).

Much to my surprise, Safari mixer is no slouch on content. There are a number of animals included and the app will offer suggestions if you're drawing a blank or asking for an unsupported critter. There is also a remix option for the creature you just created, but I had problems with app crashing trying to use it.

It may not be the most riveting of pastimes, but is a light delight to mix up a mutant freak when you have a minute to kill. I can imagine young children getting a huge laugh out of this. I know I did.

Much like the advent of touchscreen gaming, it will take a while for designers to crack the code on what a virtual assistant game can be, but Safari Mixer is a shining beacon of hope in the primordial morass of smart speaker plug-ins. It is charming, accessible, and, most important of all, entertaining.

Try it for yourself by cuddling up to your favorite Google Assistant enabled device and say "Okay Google, let me talk to Safari Mixer".