Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? (Back To School Edition)
I’ve never agreed with the title of this show, mainly because I consider a lot of the questions that are asked to be insignificant in relation to what the average person needs to know on a daily basis. What is the French word for above? I don’t know, but I’m fairly certain that knowing how to write a check and balance a bank account ledger makes me smarter than a 5th grader any day of the week. Anyway, I digress…let’s take a brief look at how the Wii version (the game I own) measures up in the grand scheme of things.
There are five game modes, three of which are multi-player. “Homeroom” takes one player through the main game, allowing them to pick classmates and use cheats to answer questions. “Pop Quiz” is the other one player game that takes a more streamlined approach and is much quicker to play. “Classroom Clash” can be played with up to four players, however any humans that don’t play are forcibly filled in by the AI, who are quite ruthless. In this mode, players all answer the current question…the quicker you buzz in, the more you win or lose, depending on your answer. “Study Buddies” can be a bit confusing. It can also be played up to four players and again, the AI will fill in for human players whether you want them to or not. Players One and Three are on a team, and Players Two and Four are on a team. Players One and Two answer the same questions and Players Three and Four answer the same questions…scores are tallied at the end of it all. Finally, “Super Battle of Wits” is a two player game that allows players to use power-ups to help themselves or hurt their opponent. Power-ups are chosen from preset lists before the game begins (passive, balanced, and aggressive).
All of that offers a lot of replayability, however the game itself suffers from one giant flaw…a tenth of the time, the game does not register or pick up your Wii Remote cursors when screens change…meaning you won’t be able to answer questions at all when prompted to. All you can do is wave your Wii Remote around in frustration like a disgruntled ground air traffic controller, trying to find a cursor that is probably frozen off-screen. Twice, the Wii Remotes didn’t pick up during the final score screen and you can’t get back to the main menu without clicking on the “continue” button…I was forced to reboot the game entirely. During the main game, the cursor lagged and slowed to a crawl when trying to choose answers. This is a real shame as the game has a lot to offer, including the ability to import your Mii characters.
When the game works, it’s a lot of fun. However, paying money for a game that doesn’t work all the time can piss a lot of people off, including myself. Perhaps other versions of this game are more stable and work better, but I’d stay away from the Wii version if you can help it.
Final Verdict: 3/10