while True: learn() – Trick Yourself Into Thinking You Know About Machine Learning

while True: learn() describes itself as “a puzzle/simulation game about even more puzzling stuff: machine learning, neural networks, big data, and AI. But most importantly, it’s about understanding your cat.” After playing through the game, I’d say it does an excellent job using your quest to understand your cat through app development to drive the story. Understanding how machine learning really works? Not so much. Maybe some high-level concepts, but don’t expect this game to teach you how to code. That being said, while True: learn() is an excellent puzzle game.

Round peg, square hole…wait…

while True: learn() is all about sorting. At the most basic level, you need to route colors or shapes from the data stream, or the left side of the screen, to their intended targets on the right side. The developers, Luden.io, throw some interesting challenges your way as you progress. You’ll need to use nodes that exclude colors to create your own custom filters. There are time requirements that need to be met. You can only use a certain number of nodes. Toward the end of the game, you will need to train your machine learning nodes before deploying them.

This might all sound extremely technical, but you could play this game without knowing a lick about computer programming. If you like puzzle games where you need to automate resource management, you’ll probably have a lot of fun with this one.

I see graphics cards represent real-world prices. lol

The game has a store where you can buy upgrades for your equipment. I had no problem gaining money and buying upgrades as they became available. It was nice that I could upgrade my equipment, but the upgrades were relatively transparent to me.

You can invest in startups throughout the game as well. These require you to create the machine learning backbone that will run the startup’s systems. Once again, it sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. It’s just another puzzle, which is okay.

while True: learn() is a relatively short puzzle game that will twist your brain at times. The only puzzles that I got stuck on were optional side jobs, so after I got sick of thinking about them, I just moved on. The game has a great visual style and fun story and presentation. The overall game felt even in terms of difficulty through most of it. Although by the end, I felt as if the nodes were doing more work, and the challenges became easier. I didn’t necessary understand why it was doing what it was doing compared to earlier parts of the game.

Clever, clever, computers

I found while True: learn() to be a cool game and a welcome departure from games that I usually play. If you’re looking to switch things up a bit and want to feel smart (or dumb), give it a shot. 

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