Review: Smart As (PS Vita)

By Wayne Webb

Smart As takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to brain trainers and IQ tests while also being an effective and entertaining game that does both of these things well.

By Wayne Webb

Smart As takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to brain trainers and IQ tests while also being an effective and entertaining game that does both of these things well.

However, I would not necessarily class this as a game. It’s more like an app, a brain gym and a social network all-in-one package. It has games in it, but they are mental exercises dressed up as mini games. They can be a lot of fun, while throwing in a good dose of frustration, too. This is not a true test of intelligence though, as it relies on physical as well as mental dexterity. The mini games range along the usual line of word and numeric tests, problem solving, observation and reasoning.

You may have to find a missing letter in a word and then sketch this on the touch pad. This is easy enough, but the game is also timed, so haste can make waste and lower your score if you scribble badly. There are loads of mini game challenges and if you take the daily challenge often enough these extra games unlock for free play so you can practice your skills and improve your scores. These are then uploaded along with your location, as well as answers to questions that are asked during the game, such as ‘what kind of music you like?’ You are then treated to comparisons between yourself and other players locally and globally.

At one point I was asked if I preferred dance or rock music, which makes no sense, as this is completely subjective. Later on it randomly tells me I am above average intelligence of males who prefer rock over dance. Completely useless fact and comparison, but it does stroke the ego. Ditto when you compare your country, city or continental stats against your neighbors. There aren’t enough people playing and uploading these scores in the suburb where I live, but in the wider city and in Oceania, it’s good to compare results and feel a little chuffed.

The best part of this game is the narration by John Cleese, which also makes Smart As, fun. When I heard his voice I initially thought they were trying to imitate the success of Stephen Fry and Little Big Planet. After a few hours I realised that his intelligent and condescending tones are perfectly placed to not only make you feel smart but also put you in your place at the same time with wit, dry humour and style that not many voice actors can manage to convey. Totally worth the price of the package just to have Cleese in your life on a daily basis.

Pros: Narrated by John Cleese, good brain training, fun mini games, global and local comparisons, good use of touch controls.
Cons: Will be a lot more fun if everyone had it, not really a game, not really an IQ test

3.7 Shacks Out Of 5

 

 

 

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