A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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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?
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