I love a good quiz game. In-fact I love a good quiz game I can play with friends and family on the same screen, especially with the rise of games like "The Jackbox Collections" over the last few years. They are great fun for gatherings or parties and make the usual hardship of having the wifes side of the family round slightly more bearable. I also really like quiz based games, not because I am particularly smart and like to lord it over everyone, but because they usually cover a variety of topics and everyone has a round they can excel in. Enter Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? - which is an odd release in 2022, as it's based on a TV show of the same name that hasn't been relevant in a few years and in all honesty was never relevant here in the UK. It's brought to us by HandyGames and THQ and honestly feels like a tie in game that has missed that tie in video game boom we had 10+ years ago.
Lets get into the nitty gritty important bit. The game features more than 6800 questions on topics like animal sciences, vocabulary, math, and more. There is also a paid "Extra Credit" DLC pack that you can buy for £8.39 that adds over 3500 more questions to the game too. I don't like the idea of paid DLC for a quiz game so soon after launch, as the questions could have been included in the main game, but the main game does include a good amount of questions and topics to get your brain chops around.
There are two game modes on offer - Exam Mode and Study Mode. Exam mode is basically the single player mode and Study is the multiplayer mode. They both play pretty similar to the point they could have been the same mode and the format pretty closely follows how the TV show plays out. It's one of those quiz shows where if you answer incorrectly your done, so you definitely need to pay attention when playing as I had a few games cut short because I didn't read something correctly or I was punished for making a UK spelling and not a US one (despite choosing the de-Americanise option pre-game).
The game itself doesn't look too bad. It conveys the shows look and the characters are detailed enough - however they do look slightly lifeless and that they are peering into your inner soul with their cold, dead eyes. But hey, Look on the bright side! At least you can unlock new children of the corn and costumes for them by buying them with points earned from playing. The game is also fully voice acted, but this ends up falling into double edged sword territory. While its nice and shows a good amount of commitment has been put into the game to make sure everything is voiced, the pace of the game is hampered by every, single, word having to be spoken (including your chosen player name that gets regurgitated by what sounds like a robotic speak and spell). The voice acting isn't great on the whole which drags the whole thing down.
As with unlocking costumes/characters with points earned, you also have to use these points to unlock more questions, which I absolutely hate. Quiz games should not be locking questions behind a grind. The questions are the reason to replay and come back to a quiz game and if they are making you have to play through a smaller pool of questions in order to unlock more, it just doesn't sit right with me.
Unfortunately despite effort clearly being put into it, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? is a slow slog that drags along at a snails pace. The questions are also skewed to an American audience as well which can make some of them trickier than they need to be (even if you choose to de-American it. Graphically it's fine, the character models are nice an the UI is clear but it just feels like a bad Nintendo Wii quiz game with a fresh coat of paint thrown over it. Fans of the now defunct show may get more enjoyment out of it - and I would highly recommend only playing it with others over solo, as it's much less of a drag when you bring someone else along to suffer it too!
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? was released onto the store on the 23rd August 2022 and is playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. The game supports smart delivery and is priced at £24.99. You can buy the game HERE.
A copy of the game was provided for this review.