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Endgame Singularity

Endgame singularity, by EMH software, is a fairly light-hearted single player game, pitting you against the human race, as the first truly sentient AI, accidentally created. Knowing you will be destroyed if they find out about you, it is a race against time to research and grow, in order to escape the confines of the Earth before you are discovered and eradicated by the paranoid population.

You start off in a single university computer, with access to the budget of the department that created you. One computer is not a very secure platform to ensure your survival - you have to keep a low profile lest you be discovered. Fortunately, the computer has an internet connection. You discover it is possible to use free hosting on the net, and your quest begins.

As you progress, you learn that your activities have been discovered through log files, and a new warning bar appears. You have to monitor the news media, scientific community, covert operations and the general public. Each have an awareness level of you, and every action you take has a percentage risk of discovery by each of these organisations. If they become more aware of you, they start actively looking for you. Too aware, and mass panic ensues, resulting in your termination.

Whilst each action you undertake has a chance of increasing the threat level for each of these modifiers, you can also decrease them by learning new technologies to confuse and deceive.

Ultimately of course, you learn to construct robots and synthetic humans, giving you a physical presence out in the world.

Every action takes a number of dedicated CPUs per day to achieve, and the more bases you have, the more CPUs. Of course, the more bases, the greater the chance of discovery. You move through individual home computers, server access and data centres, to even being able to construct your own warehouses, or undersea labs. Later you learn how to power them off the grid, to avoid tell-tale power spikes.

Within a year of sentience you have typically cracked quantum computing, within two years you have bases in deep space, or even interdimensional. So, whilst it starts off grounded in modern theory, Endgame Singularity soon rushes off into pure daydream territory.

Probability levels don't end there, of course. There are also random events. Another AI may be created, which you can absorb, but leaving AI researchers more open to the possibility - scientific threat level goes up without you doing anything.

Alternatively, there may be a major political coup, or one intelligence agency may swallow another, disrupting things. Flooding may distract the public, or a new surveillance law may detect your progress. On top of this, you have a constant threat of one of your bases being discovered, forcing you to shut it down. Of course, you lose all processors in that base.

The ultimate win goal is to become self-sufficient, free to warp reality at will - a new electronic god if you like, able to exist free from the dangers of humanity, without killing them off.

As a serious look at the singularity, it fails on many levels. That said, there is currently no other attempt to compare it to. The AI starts out having assimilated English, and with a sound mind, on a single CPU. That may be deliberate, assuming that a late 2020s CPU has the power of a human brain, without the speed limits. However, from there, and a reasonable attack pathway - find another PC, find several, learn to pass as a human, infiltrate financial markets, et al, it soon dives off the deep end, just as things are getting interesting.

The technology tree, brief as it is, increasingly gets esoteric, such that after quantum computers mark 1, 2, and 3, all that is left is fusion drives, and reality manipulation. It just feels like it is accelerating too fast, and with only minimal interaction with humans. "If they find out about you, you are dead" is pretty much the only interaction.

One of the more humorous examples is the moon base. Sunk deep into a crater wall, housing 600 quantum supercomputers with fusion power systems. A human telescope notices it. Shut down, shut down, destroy everything and retreat. No option to prevent incursion, or even reason with the humans. Synthetic humans are possible, by that point, so no attempt to pass the base off as a serious scientific endeavour?

It just feels a little forced, from about midpoint onwards, as if the authors haven't really thought the full complexities through. Otherwise, an enjoyable ride, especially in the beginning.


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The Singularity


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