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 game based on the television show of the same name. Kids will learn academic facts by playing this game, and it's the type of game you can play together in front of the same PC or TV. This game offers good, clean family fun.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
Based on the popular television quiz show, this entertaining and interactive sequel once again has you as a virtual contestant on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, with more than 6,000 grade school questions in nearly two-dozen categories. Create a character from scratch (or click \"randomize\" if you could care less) and then select one of five fifth graders to help you answer multiple choice questions at the podium.
Examples of questions range from easy: \"What day of the week does Thanksgiving fall on?\" (answer is Thursday) to the more difficult: \"Who is the Mexican artist famous for painting murals on public buildings?: Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Pedro Friedeberg, or Diego Rivera (answer is Rivera). Some questions include images, too, such as \"What is the following musical symbol called: #. Is it Sharp, Flat, Natural or Coda (answer is Sharp). As in the TV show, if you need some help answering a questions you can choose to \"copy\" your classmate's answer, \"peek\" at your classmate's answer (and decide if it's right or not) or have your classmate \"save\" you if they've got the answer right.
Is it any good?
In the main game mode, Homeroom, your goal is to work your way up to the $1 million dollar grand prize by successfully answering questions from the board in categories such as Math, English, History, Music, and so on. But the real fun is playing against family members, such as your spouse or children, in one of three multiplayer modes: Academic Academy (1 to 4 players), Flashcards (1 or 2 players, competing simultaneously) or Spelling Bee (identify misspelled words against an opponent). Other fun extras include earning gold stars, earning a spot on the Honor Roll (by answering all the questions correctly), and the ability to distract opponents with paper airplanes or spitballs.
The game looks, sounds, and plays just like the TV show in the PC version we tested (it's also available on the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, and Sony PlayStation 2), and the mouse controls are easy and responsive. Therefore, this game will most definitely satisfy fans of the TV series and trivia buffs alike; but keep in mind that eventually you will see all the questions this game has to offer and then there's no reason to play it again; too bad there isn't an option to download additional sets of questions as you can with some other trivia games.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the game makers did a goob job by making you feel like a contestant with the familiar graphics, host, and sound effects. Or did the "virtual" Jeff Foxworthy turn you off (opposed to showing a real video of his hosting duties) and the fact the game doesn't say the name you type in as they do the five grade school children? Or are you forgiving of these minor issues? Does playing this game make you want to try to be a contestant?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.