Number Detective for Windows

Number Detective for Windows


The Number Detective is based on the "I Spy" children's guessing game played by millions of kids everywhere. No doubt you played it with a parent, your child or a sibling on one of those long family drives. Each player would take their turn by saying the phrase "I spy with my little eye, something _____", usually filling in the blank with a color, shape, etc. The Number Detective uses NUMBERS instead. The object of the game is to guess a randomly generated number, between 1 - 999, before your opponent can. Clues are provided to help you narrow your guesses.

  • How To Play


    Each guess is tested by comparing it to the random winning number. An incorrect guess causes a colored "Range Indicator" to be displayed. Range Indicators depict the proximity of the guess to the winning number as follows:

    COLOR (Description)    RANGE

    - Purple (Cold):    500 or more
    - Cyan (Warm):        250 - 499
    - Green (Warmer):    125 - 249
    - Orange (Hot):        25 - 124
    - Red (Ouch!):        24 or less 

    If "Hint Arrows" (see below) are enabled, Range Indicators are filled in with either an UP or DOWN arrow, indicating that the guess is less than or greater than the winning number. An UP arrow means the next guess should be HIGHER than the last (and vice versa).


    You may choose one "Human" opponent or up to three "Computer" opponents. If more than one computer opponent is chosen, a "Swarm" (see below) feature is available which allows the computer opponents to collaborate (share clues).


    Each player has a "Human" or "Computer" type designator. A field is provided to enter a name.

    The first player is always Human. The second player can either be a Human or a Computer type. If three or four players are selected, then only one Human can play (Player1); the other opponents are automatically designated as Computer types.


    Step 1) Select playing mode:

    Default setup (Human vs Computer) is as follows:

    Player Type    Names
    - Human        "Player 1"
    - Computer    "Comp 2"  (selectable)
    - (inactive)    (blank)
    - (inactive)    (blank)

    Increasing the Player Count to 3 or 4 results in the following:

    Player Type    Names
    - Human        "Player 1"
    - Computer    "Comp 2"  (type is fixed)
    - Computer    "Comp 3"  (fixed)
    - Computer    "Comp 4"  (fixed)

    Step 2) Select the number of games needed to win the overall match. Range is from 1 to 10.

    Step 3) Select Hint Arrows ON or OFF.

    Step 4) Select Swarm Mode ON or OFF (this switch is enabled only when more than one computer opponent is selected).

    When Setup is complete, press the "Start Contest" to begin.


    Play opens with Player-1's first turn. Since Player-1 is ALWAYS human, the selection wheels are active. The wheels display each player's previous guess, so in this case "000" is displayed as there was no previous guess. Player-1 spins the wheels to make a guess. Pressing "TEST GUESS" causes the program to evaluate the guess. Unless there is a match, a Range Indicator (see above) is displayed and the guess is saved for Player-1's next turn.

    Selecting "Next Player" closes the current turn and moves to the next player. In a HUMAN/HUMAN match, the wheels are once again active for use by Player-2, who chooses a guess in a similar fashion. 

    If the next player is a "Computer" opponent, the wheels are inactive and display "# # #". This indicates that the computer opponent has chosen a number. You must press "TEST GUESS" to process it. Unless there is a match, the display changes from "# # #" to "* * *". A Range Indicator is displayed as before.

    Sometimes, depending on age/skill level, a Human player would like to see the guess(es) of his/her opponent(s). Pressing the "Show Last Guess" option will display a mini-window with last guess and Range Indicator of every player. During a HUMAN/HUMAN match, this switch can be cycled between turns.

    Selecting "Next Player" closes the turn and moves to the next player. This process continues until a guess matches the winning number, indicated by a "WIN!" display on the selection wheels and flashing bank of Range Indicators. Pressing "UPDATE SCORING" will display the current scorecard. 

    Once a player reaches the Games Needed For The Win mark, the game is over and the program returns to the Setup screen to start a new contest. If that mark wasn't achieved on this round, transfer control back to the Game Play mode by pressing "NEXT GAME".


    Each computer opponent uses its previous guess and Range Indicator independently so as to continually reduce the range of its next random number guess. Thus, a HUMAN vs COMPUTER slightly favors the Human, insofar as a computer opponent makes purely random guesses within a smaller and smaller number range. A Human can use non-random techniques to reduce the range more rapidly.


    Swarm mode allows computer opponents to collaborate. Each computer guess is randomly generated, but the range is refined with each computer guess. This causes the swarm guess to converge on the winning number rapidly. To beat a swarming set of computer opponents is an extremely challenging task! You can always choose the three player option and limit the swarm to only two computer opponents. Convergence is still fast, but manageable.

    Good Luck!

    version 1.0.0
    copyright 2020


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