A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that ThinkSmart Kids is much better suited for younger players than its companion title, ThinkSmart. The exercises here are challenging, but challenging at the right level for elementary school kids. Be aware, though, that the game does encourage kids to play every day in order to stay sharp -- and although this is purportedly an educational game, some parents might not appreciate the requests for daily screen time.
What's it about?
THINKSMART KIDS aims to sharpen the mental abilities of young players by drilling them on puzzles and questions that test their language, logic, memory, math, and awareness skills. An amiable host will lead you through the exercises and ask you to come back every day to train and re-test to improve your score. Multiple kids can join in quiz-show style multiplayer matches via WiFi or by simply passing the DS back and forth.
Is it any good?
In the realm of brain-trainers, ThinkSmart Kids is more fun and child-friendly than the sometimes stodgy Brain Age and more directly lesson-based than the colorful and cartoony Big Brain Academy. It is definitely more kid-appropriate than its companion title, ThinkSmart. While you may wonder exactly how some of the challenges are supposed to be educational, most are at least entertaining. The whole package is friendly and welcoming, from the unintimidating hosts to the colorful wallpaper. It's a good brain game for kids who are age 8 and older.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the types of skills that come into play for the different exercises in the game. How can each be applied to real life?
Is a game like this truly a measure of how smart you are? Do the scores you achieve in the game have any bearing on how you do at school?