Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader: Back to School

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader: Back to School Game Poster Image
Some flaws prevent this game from getting top marks.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Overall, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader: Back to School promotes learning in a fun manner, challenging players with questions based off material learned in the 1st through 5th grades of elementary school.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The host of the show, Jeff Foxworthy, is polite, keeps an upbeat and humorous air, and is sometimes encouraging. The game, though, does have some head-to-head competition where the shenanigans permitted allows others to gain an advantage. The comic mischief refers to the ability to attack the answer boards of other players during head-to-head competitions, using spit-wads to shoot at the screen and obscure the answers that other players can draw from. Other attacks include erasing questions, turning off the lights over their questions and answers, and freezing them for up to 10 seconds, preventing the opponent from doing anything.

Ease of Play

There are some problems in the Pop Quiz mode of the game when timed exercises require using the Wii remote to move answers from one side of the board to another, or to move objects - such as the hands of the clock. Though the correct answer is known, the movement functions do not always register properly, which can lead to frustration - especially when working against the clock. The instruction manual fails to adequately detail how this works, and though trial-and-error found a method, the movements seem to have to be enacted slowly to get adequate responsiveness from the system. Fortunately, the main game (the Home Room mode) does not use this movement feature.

Violence & Scariness

The game is tied to the television game show, and the idea is to win dollar amounts by answering questions correctly. While there is no overt advertising, the overall marketing is implied.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a video game version of the popular TV show. It features more than 6,000 questions and allows players to compete head-to-head (each player must use his or her own Wii remote) in a question-and-answer format. The questions are assigned a dollar value based on questions from 1st to 5th grade, and players try to accumulate money by the end of the round. They can then walk away, bet a portion of the winnings, or bet all of it in a final question to win up to $250,000 cyber dollars. The money cannot be spent on anything. Answering questions will earn players grades on a report card that tracks progress.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 17 years old Written byBigbillyboy September 13, 2012

Easy to play!

This video game ROCKS!! It's super educational,very fun,ect.AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! I LOVE ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER: BACK TO SCHOOL!
Teen, 13 years old Written bymrbookworm01 July 28, 2011

Kinda bad

I have the DS version. It's not that good. You need a Dsi camera to make your character look like you and it doesn't offer much replayability. Educati... Continue reading

What's it about?

ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER: BACK TO SCHOOL is based off the game show in which contestants selects questions from a board tied to material learned in the curriculum of elementary school. The questions have dollar amounts associated with them and the goal is to answer questions correctly to build up the banked dollars and make it to the final question. During the Home Room competition, players can have a non-playable elementary-school student partner with them and can get limited help from that partner. If a question is answered incorrectly, all banked monies are wiped out and players start from zero again. 5th Grader has five modes of play, including a head-to-head game with another player on the Wii, a game in which four players can battle it out, and a cooperative team competition.

Is it any good?

The main problem with 5th Grader: Back to School rears its head when players are in the Pop Quiz mode. These questions are timed and run the gauntlet of the question types; however, the connectivity between the Wii remote and the game screen can hinder answering the questions in a timely manner and create frustrations. Generally, the questions cover a nice range of topics from 1st grade to 5th, and the game presentation is solid. Graphically, the game does not challenge the Wii's abilities, but the audio can feature redundant phrases.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how knowledge learned in school can be beneficial in a variety of ways.

  • Families can also discuss setting responsible limits on playing time.

  • Families can also discuss what happens when some players take competition to unhealthy levels. Why did this game allow for doing underhanded things to win? Was that fun in the video game setting?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: November 2, 2010
  • Genre: Party
  • ESRB rating: E for Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief, Violent References
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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