Smarty Pants

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Smarty Pants Game Poster Image
Pricey trivia game with age-adjustable questions.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Language
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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this is a good family trivia game, the questions are not appropriate for kids younger than 8. Also, it doesn't present much multimedia: Most questions simply involve reading them as they appear on the screen. It has both competitive and cooperative modes; questions adjust the difficulty to the age of the participants. The "Games" category frequently focuses on video games, so older players will be out of luck if they are new to video games.

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What's it about?

SMARTY PANTS for the Nintendo Wii allows players to buzz in to answer questions by simply raising their hand holding the Wii remote. The first person to raise his hand will hear and feel the buzzer in the remote, signaling him to point the controller at the screen and select the answer. Each question has four multiple-choice answer possibilities.

Choose the Friends Mode for a competitive, fast-paced game for up to four players with two scoring methods, Countdown or Wager. Players take turns spinning a category wheel that includes art, books, entertainment, fashion, games, places and people, science and sports. For a more cooperative, friendly environment, choose Family Mode. Instead of using the category wheel, players are given a number of questions to answer in a specific amount of time; families can control the speed at which the time burns down as well as the number of questions asked.

Is it any good?

What makes this a good game across generations is that it adjusts the difficulty of the questions based on the age of the participants. As you play, the game keeps track of your progress and adjusts the difficulty of the questions to your performance. The 20,000 questions filtered by age is a plus, as is the method of buzzing in by raising your arm. But for a multimedia game, there's very little multimedia, as most questions are just written across the screen and then show four possible written answers.

The worst problem is the price: $50. For what you get, this game should have been priced in the $20 to $30 range. If you own a Wii, are looking for fun ways to entertain a family group, and price is not an issue, pick this one up.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they prefer to play the competitive or the cooperative multiplayer mode. Does anyone in your family play the single-player mode, and if they do, does that give them an edge when playing with the family? Does this game make you to feel smart or stupid, or neither? Why do you think trivia games are so popular on TV?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $50
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: November 15, 2007
  • Genre: Party
  • ESRB rating: E

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