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Subject: The Technology Behind Shop 'N Time rss

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Kevin Nesbitt
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Shop 'N Time is a very easy game to learn: Deal 7 cards to each player, start the app, pick a card, pass the rest, get as close to the price target as possible without going over. There are other modes to play too, but these are the basic rules. You already know enough to play!

But there is some really neat technology built into the app too, and it's worth talking about.

A pricing game wouldn't normally be possible without two key problems:

i) How/where do you write down all the "answers" and who will then referee the game?

ii) Once you choose a product once, how do you stop the game from being ruined thanks to someone just remembering the prices?

The Shop 'N Time app is cleverly designed to solve both of these problems, and it's perhaps a first of its kind in boardgaming.

How the app accomplishes this is by having all the pricing information within the app itself. It knows the pricing behind all 100+ items so the players don't need to worry about supplying a referee to check the prices and tell you who the winner is. The information is encoded inside a QR code which is shown on each card. Using the camera on your phone/device each player just scans their purchases and the app does the rest. The back of the box is even designed to be set up like a checkout stand! Swipe your purchases one-by-one underneath the camera just like a supermarket, or you can take a shortcut and just point the phone/device at ALL the cards simultaneously!

But what's more, the basic rule in the game is that you must always select at least 3 cards, and the app will simply reveal the total amount you've spent plus or minus any coupons you take (yes, there are coupons in the game too). Because the app acts this way, you never learn the *exact* price of any single product, meaning you can play the game hundreds of times.

That doesn't mean you won't get better at the game with more plays, of course. Since the app reveals your total each time, you can start to get a sense of just how cheap or expensive things are. But we have had players who have played the game more than 100 times and they still find the game to be a fun challenge. With more than 100 unique products to choose from, you can imagine just how many combinations of 3 or more products that yields!

That's the secret behind the Shop 'N Time app!

NOTE: Shop N Time is not a trivia game. You don't need to know the price of anything, and in fact, in testing the best players are those who shop on instinct. Get your price target from the app, and then act fast. Let the app worry about the exact total - your goal is just to get close to the target!
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