Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Smarty Pants (Wii) Review

Super fun happy family trivia fun! What could be better? Well, lots of things could be better, but sadly you can’t yet turn your Wii into a Sirloin Steak and devour it whole...drat. Which brings us stumbling rather awkwardly towards Smarty Pants. Released by EA with the sole purpose of exploiting the ‘it’s Christmas, we have to do everything as a family and spend quality time together’ market, and boy does it exploit it well. So, should Smarty Pants be filling your stocking this festive period? Or is it just a load of pants?

The game is a simple one. Pick up a Wii-mote, shove the disk in the hole in the Wii and answer some questions. You can do it by yourself or with three other people. Everyone has their own Wii-mote which acts as your buzzer. If you know the answer, you buzz in by pressing A and waving your arm around in the air. Heck, even if you don’t know and you want to piss everyone else off you still buzz in. Hilarious.

There’s a whole shed-load of questions from categories such as Science and Nature, Literature, the World, Food, Sport and a whole lot more. What’s super-duper cool is that each version is localised for its specific market (so the UK version that we’re reviewing contains a ‘UK’ category of questions, ditto for the other versions in Europe and the US of A). The questions range in difficulty from the simple to the obscure. They’re pitched at different levels depending on how old you are (you tell the game your age and assign your details to your Mii character before you start playing), so if you’re only ten the game won't start asking you about amino acids or Moll Flanders. Get a question wrong and you’ll be docked points and placed in jail, meaning you can’t buzz in again until you get ‘out of jail’. If you’re playing with four people you can also play in teams, which is great fun.

Screenshot for Smarty Pants on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The game is split up into a solo mode (which is a bit dull) a friends mode (which is a bit competitive) and a family mode (which is a bit warm and cuddly). In solo mode you have to answer as many questions as you can before the timer runs out, in friends mode you have the chance to compete head to head to find out who is the Smarty Pants and in family mode you all work together and have lots of jolly good fun. Jolly! We do have a minor complaint though: in friends mode, if you’re ahead on points (not in timer mode), you can basically sabotage the game. We would explain, but then that would tell you how to ‘cheat’ the game.

Screenshot for Smarty Pants on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

We’d much prefer it if EA had kept this game to being quizzical and nothing else. It has all these stupid little mini-game elements, which to be blunt, are bloody stupid. Especially the one that requires you to dance around like a fool for nearly a minute. Pointless, unnecessary and just plain odd. It just doesn’t fit into the whole feel of the game. There are also random and often confusing ‘bonus cards’ that allow you more time to answer questions, make questions harder and the like. Why they exist we’ll never know. They have bizarre rules, knowing when to use them is confusing and it just detracts from the fun of getting quizzical.

There are 20,000 questions in total and it’ll take you a fair bit of quizzing before they start cropping up again. You can also select how long a game lasts, so if you want a quick round of quizzing you can select short or if you want a longer experience you can go for a full on hardcore quiz. Just how good this game is depends on how much you like being clever, or being found out as dumb. If going to pub quizzes, playing Trivial Pursuit or even playing along when you watch The Weakest Link or something of that ilk is your thing then you’ll probably enjoy Smarty Pants. If getting a little tipsy over Chrimbo or New Years and and trying to be clever whilst playing Wii with your mates and or family is your thing, then you’ll probably enjoy Smarty Pants.

Screenshot for Smarty Pants on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

So, what wont you enjoy about Smarty Pants? Well, it has a very annoying ‘host’ who shouts enthusiastically at you the whole time and makes you want to hurt people (our top tip: turn him off) and it looks a bit naff (our tip: don’t buy this game looking for amazing graphics, its a ruddy quiz game) and it buggers about with a normal quiz format in favour of stupid and 'crazy Wii stuff.'

Screenshot for Smarty Pants on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Great fun with four people, less fun with two people and a bit dull with one person. This is a really fun family quiz game that will provide loads of fun (key word: fun) for people of all ages. The Wii controller is implemented well and the whole game knits together really nicely.

Graphics

Functional at best. The colours are all very bright and everything is very nice and shiny, but the N64 probably could’ve done most of the stuff on show here. Still, it isn’t a game about graphics and it doesn’t look offensive, so we can’t complain too much.

Sound

The music is irritating, the stupid little host man is...you guessed it, irritating, and the sound effects are fairly nondescript.

Value

At £40 this game is about as 'good value' as paying £5 for a punch in the face. We've found it for £30 though, and no doubt it'll get cheaper soon.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Yes, yes, yes, it isn’t an average of the scores above so quit looking so confused. This really is a great little game for Christmas and beyond, but in all honesty it is a total rip-off. That’s 0.002p per question. When you think that you can get a truly epic title like Bioshock or Super Mario Galaxy for the same cost it kind of seems like EA are having a bit of a cruel joke at your expense (literally). Pick it up cheap and you’ll no doubt enjoy it, pay £40 for it and you'll feel a bit short-changed.

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16.12.2007

4

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Developer

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Publisher

EA

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Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

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When I saw the boxart for this game at the shops the other day, all I could do was laugh. Great review though I think it will be quite awhile till this game (in my general area anyway) will get cheap.

So would it be fair in saying this is basically something like Buzz or Scene it? Except without the fairly useless buzzer peripherals?

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

Yeah, I was going to compare it to Buzz or Scene It...but I didn't bother in the end. It is similar, but it is nicely 'Wii-i-fied' and relies on a little more intelligence and general knowledge (rather than Scene It which is entertainment knowledge) and Buzz (which is quite easy a lot of the time).

Also it doesn't have funky video clips and the like.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Seems like something great for the family. Looks like quiz games are all the rage now, with Cheggers and Alan Hansen getting in on the act this Christmas as well...

This certainly seems to have picked up speed in the charts thanks to good word-of-mouth!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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