Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? from developer Massive Miniteam is out for all major systems through publisher HandyGames – we played the PlayStation 4 version of the game.
The game show that this one’s based on has been very successful since its inception, roughly fifteen years ago. It was quickly picked up for a videogame conversion (for systems like the PS2 and the Wii) as well, but it’s been a few years since we’ve been able to play the game on current (non-PC) formats. The actual game show format hasn’t changed much though, so will it be refreshing or will it feel like something we played before?
The game features two main gameplay modes, called Exam mode and Study mode – where the first one is much like the original TV show concept in that answering wrong means you’re out. The stakes aren’t as high in the Study mode options, which means it’s a good way to amass the in-game equivalent of XP and unlock some of the game’s many extras, which includes additional question content, costumes and new students to help you out.
When playing solo, what’s missing from the game is the heart and soul of the show that comes from witty banter and suspense, even though the game does feature fully voiced questions and animations to help bring each ‘show’ to life. The developer’s also done a good job at implementing the show’s various lifelines into the game, but what a game like this really needs is a couple of friends that you can play with during a local multiplayer game.
Due to the nature of the show and questions, this is a great trivia game to play with families, where even young kids can probably help out and feel pretty smart for the first few rounds. Later rounds can have questions that can be quite obscure to even the adult players in the room, but we figured it’s a good way to draw in the Trivial Pursuit crowd looking for a bit of a challenge. As long as you have a nice diverse group to play with – or one that’s looking to get competitive through ever-harder questions, this will be a good option for a game night.
As a solo game you’ll probably quickly get tired of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? as it’s quite formulaic in its approach, but in local multiplayer it can serve as a nice tool to help guide you through a trivia-filled night – and it’s a rare example where that includes families with kids.