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Smart As (PlayStation Vita)
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- Platform: PlayStation Vita
- BBFC Rating: Suitable for 12 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 12. By placing an order for this product, you declare that you are 12 years of age or over.
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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Smart As is a social revolution in brain training, exclusively for PlayStation Vita.
Always believed you were smarter than your friends, family or even your boss? Well you can discover the truth with Smart As, the game that puts your knowledge to the test against the world.
Smart As takes full advantage of PS Vita’s touch screens, cameras and augmented reality capabilities to put your brain to the test in 20 unique, engaging, tactile and highly-interactive puzzle games testing your skills of Arithmetic, Logic, Language and Observation. Your scores from each category are used to calculate your overall Brain Power and the more you play, the better your chances are of increasing your Brain Power score and unlocking new puzzle games.
The best part about Smart As is that it’s not just a brain training game; it’s a social experience too.
When you play Smart As on-the-go using PS Vita’s Wi-Fi and/or 3G connectivity, you can compete with friends on Facebook and share your scores to prove you are the brainiest of the bunch. Access online leaderboards to check how your performance rates against PlayStation Network friends, people that you’ve met through NEAR, players in your city, country, continent and even the entire world.
Using PS Vita’s NEAR feature, you can drop puzzles for nearby users to pickup and discover new challenges left by other players. If your challenge is beaten, you will be notified and given the opportunity to replay your original challenge in a bid to put yourself back on top.
Last but not least you’ll even have the opportunity to play challenges in different regions with the Street Smart mode and by completing in as many regional challenges as you can, you will get to prove that you are smarter, more traveled and more connected than your friends.
So what are you waiting for--find out whether you are smarter than your best friend, person next to you on the train, a complete stranger or even your boss!
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Well, yes. But the thing is, they've not just done Dr Kawashima. Oh no. They've taken the idea of Dr Kawashima and done a great Vita version of it, using the Vita's touchscreen and online functions to add things that the Nintendo game simply can't do.
In essense, the deal is this : Every day you do four random challenges (mini games) from a large set, which mostly use the front touchscreen but also sometimes use the other features, like the cameras or back touchpad. Those four challenges produce a score which rates you brain power. As you build up a history of daily results, the game charts your improvement, or not. You can also practice the challenges you've previously tried in 'free mode'. All this is presented in a very clean, minimalist style a bit like the PS VIta WelcomePark app, but better. And all the while you're being cajoled, encouraged and subjected to the withering disappointment of John Cleese, acting like a genial but slightly over-demanding school teacher.
So it's all good fun. The bit that really sets it apart though is the the PS Vita is much more 'connected' device than the DS was, so you're not just training yourself, you're competing against the world. All sorts of demographic data is saved along with your results and that's squashed together with everyone else's. How smart are you compared to everyone else in your town? In your country? In the world? Are men smarter than women? Are left handed people smarter than right handed people? All of this data swirls around the game giving you constant feedback and making it feel genuinely like you're part of the 'game world'. You can also issue 'near' challenges to your friends/people in your local area and there's also a foursquare like 'town' challenge - for every town or city, you can 'check in' and get that place's challenge, then try to beat it and get your name listed as smartest person in Karachi/New York/Walthamstow.
It all works as a big merry-go-round of stuff and information, encouraging you to try new games and bringing out you competitive spirit.
The best complement I can give it is I can't immediately think of anything I'd have done that they haven't, or that I'd have done differently. They've obviously worked hard and produced a truly first class product. Ideally, I'd like it to be have been a bit cheaper. At £10 it would have been an absolute 'must buy'. At £20, it's still very good value but not entirely essential. Well worth the money though if you fancy something that, IMO, couldn't be done on any other platform than the Vita.
But what keeps me coming back to this game opposed to quickly becoming bored with Kawashima, is the 'competition' factor, you're literally competing with everyone in the world who has this game. There are a shed load of statistics, figures, graphs, so you can see which town in the UK is the smartest, then expand to see which country is the smartest, which continent etc., as well as individual statistics. You find yourself striving to push YOUR city further up the 'league' table. Of course, you also get regular reports on how you are doing personally, and how you stack up with the rest of the world, and while you wait for games to load, you are fed little tidbits of information like what percentage of various attributes you are above (or below) average at, it's all very interesting.
Some reviewers have complained that the daily training is too short. Well you can complete it in about 5 minutes, but just ask yourself, would you keep coming back to this every day if it was any longer? I think 5 minutes is just about right, and then if you want more you can go to the 'free play' area and practice games that you've unlocked until your heart's content.
I've only been playing this for 4 days, so everything is still relatively easy. But I'm looking forward to unlocking all of the puzzles, each of which has 4 difficulty levels, and utilizes all of the Vita's capabilities, including augmented reality. I think I'll be playing this for some time to come.
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