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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Trivia

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Los Angeles/Planet Moon Studios

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

November 13, 2007

 

 

 

–Board game gameplay provides perfect family fun that both parents and kids can enjoy being “smarty pants” together

–Use of Wiimote really raises the gameplay to a laugh-out-loud good time

–Questions are region-appropriate

 

 

–Questions could be unequally balanced in Friends mode if there’s an age disparity among gamers– kids wouldn’t have even the slightest idea of the correct answer for some of the “adult” questions

 

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Smarty Pants

Score: 7.5/10

 

smarty-pants-1.jpg (106932 bytes) smarty-pants-2.jpg (95504 bytes) smarty-pants-3.jpg (93885 bytes)

 

Just like the first five questions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, gamers can be given a sense of smartness that easy trivia questions provide in Electronic Arts trivia game for the Wii, Smarty Pants. Although it’s nothing more than a trivia board game on a home console without much high-quality presentation values, what could be an uninteresting – and even worse, boring – undertaking is actually entertaining because of the use of the Wiimote that brings laughs to the gameplay when there’s four Smarty Pants players.

 

That four-player multiplayer is a very important aspect to point out, because Smarty Pants only reaches its zenith of friends and family fun when multiple players are in the game together. Really, no one will find any joy in Smarty Pants playing just solo or even as a duo. Four is where the fun’s at in Smarty Pants.

 

Just like the above-mentioned Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Smarty Pants gives you the question along with possible answers. An important pre-game setup feature is selecting the correct age for each player, because Smarty Pants will use that knowledge to assign age-appropriate questions, although that can lead to some younger members of the party not having any idea of the correct answer, in the Friends mode, if they’re playing with adults. One question asked who played Tootie on the 80s TV show The Facts of Life. How many kids today even have seen the Facts of Life, let alone know who played its characters?  But the

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suggestion from Nintendo is that Friends mode is saved for competitive games where the re isn’t quite a large child-parent age disparity. Where the age gap won’t matter in the questioning is the Family mode, where everybody is working together. The Family mode is where many of the hilarious Wiimote gameplay elements can be implemented.

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Besides a gamer using the Wiimote to “buzz in” to answer questions, there are times in the gameplay when it’s time to get up and dance – literally– using their Wiimote. Smarty Pants has players do dancing, shaking and waving arms (with Wiimote in hand) to affect the timer, giving everybody more time to answer questions in Family mode. In competitive play, players can use their Wiimote to move the spinner after it has stopped to “nudge” onto another selection, and it’s a lot of fun when players are battling on the spinner. Another friendly fight can occur with the tug-of-war sequences.

 

Although there is sometimes a disparity in the questions that can make it difficult for younger gamers to match trivia wits with their older parental units, Smarty Pants’ 20,000 questions means that there’s enough chances to level the trivia-answering field for everybody. What really elevates Smarty Pants to a high level of Wii multiplayer entertainment that just wouldn’t be possible without it is the developer’s intelligent use of Wiimote in the gameplay. Smarty Pants is a perfect Wii title for a family fun night that will tease the brain and tickle the funny bones.

 

–Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

January 28, 2008

 

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