Volley Launches Magic Word Google Assistant Puzzle Game
Voice game developer Volley has launched a new puzzle game for Google Assistant called Magic Word. The game combines audio and visual clues like GIFs and music cues to take advantage of the multi-modal capabilities of Google Nest smart displays.
Volley is best known for its Alexa and Google Assistant voice games like Song Quiz and Yes Sire. The company acquired the game studio Voxion back in April to boost its game lineup and potentially use Voxion’s tech to build games that can connect to smartphones. Magic Word is Volley’s first foray into puzzles. In this case, the puzzle game is built around thematic GIFs. Multiple players gather around the smart display to start the game and are shown four GIFs with a connecting theme. Whoever shouts out the theme word wins the round. The game was designed with Google Assistant’s Interactive Canvas framework, a tool that lets developers add visuals to the vocal conversations with the voice assistant.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Google Assistant on a game experience that combines the magic of internet GIF culture with the visceral pleasure of shouting out answers before other family members,” Volley CEO Max Child said.
Google Nest smart speakers and displays upgraded their games interfaces at the end of last year, and Volley is leveraging those improvements for its new game. The company is part of the rising tide of new and creative voice games that apply multi-modal interactions to function well. Rival studios like Earplay are publishing intense audio games like The Orpheus Device, which lets players explore a haunted house and investigate ghosts solely by voice, and Pac-Man Waka Waka, a Pac-Man game with movement controls based on the made-up Wakanese. The value of games as a way to entice people to try and stick with a voice assistant and related devices is growing, and innovation in the field will likely heat rivalry among developers more over time.
“The next generation of engaging games in the home will combine voice, visuals, and touch to bring compelling experiences to life,” said Google Assistant ecosystem senior product manager David Kaufman said in a statement. “We believe natural, effortless interactions like those on display in ‘Magic Word’ represent the future of entertainment and are on the leading edge of the industry.”