American Mensa Academy Game Poster Image

American Mensa Academy

(i)

 

"Brain-training" mini-games cover math, reasoning, logic.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn about logic and math as they play mini-games filled with official Mensa questions. American Mensa Academy gives players the chance to take a test based on Mensa questions. Tests combine all sorts of skills ranging from basic counting and algebra, to more robust logic and puzzle-solving challenges. Kids practice literacy, numbers, critical thinking, memory, and spatial recognition skills, but without much record keeping.

Positive messages

This game conveys the message to players that practicing their skills in math, English, and identifying patterns and honing their reflexes to recognize answers as quickly as possible can be fun.

Positive role models

The brain-busting mini-games are the star of this game. There is no storyline or character development so there is no presence of role models.

Ease of play

The genius of this game is that players of all skill levels can easily pick up the game and play, but only those who stick with it and take the time to play each challenge over and over again will be able to gain a strong score. The mini-games largely test aptitude rather than any specific knowledge, although players will need to be old enough to perform basic multiplication, and understand terms like anagrams in order to partake in the mini-games.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that American Mensa Academy features a series of mini-games that tests players' ability to quickly and accurately identify patterns, answer basic math questions, decipher clues, and utilize basic English and grammar skills. The main mode of the game involves completing a handful of these mini-games back-to-back in order to receive a Mensa score.

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What's it about?

AMERICAN MENSA ACADEMY enters the fray of \"brain-training\" video games as the only one with an official certification from the American Mensa society. Players can complete a series of mini-games back-to-back and receive a score. If their score is low, players are encouraged to keep trying until they can improve their skills. The game does not really teach players any special skills; instead, it relies on them to keep playing the mini-games over and over again until something clicks inside their mind and they figure out how to keep answering more quickly and accurately. The game also encourages players to get their friends and family to take the test as well, creating a fun and competitive way to hone everyone's critical thinking skills.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

American Mensa Academy is a brain-training video game that provides players with a score. While players cannot become Mensa members simply by playing this game, there is a sense of importance to the game knowing that the questions and scoring system are based on the official Mensa tests. To that end, the mini-games are also unique to this game. They range from multi-faceted exercises that test math skills while also testing hand-eye coordination, to strict multiple-choice quizzes that focus exclusively on time and accuracy. It would be nice to see more detailed statistics and record-keeping about players' progress over time, but all in all this title is a definite standout in this niche video game genre.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of education and the practical applications of what they learn in school. Where can you apply the concepts that are tested in this game?

  • Which mini-games are you best at, and which ones are your worst? Why do you think this is?

  • Do you like learning from playing video games? Why?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii, Windows
Subjects:Math: algebra, grouping, sequences
Language & Reading: text analysis, vocabulary
Skills:Self-Direction: academic development, self-assessment, work to achieve goals
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Maximum Family Games
Release date:November 16, 2012
Genre:Edutainment
ESRB rating:E for No Descriptors

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