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Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Score: 59%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: THQ
Developer: THQ
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Trivia

Graphics & Sound:

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader is a game based on the TV game show of the same name. In the game and the show, you are asked questions that 1st through 5th grade students are supposed to be able to answer.

The graphics are fairly static and minimal. Jeff Foxworthy serves as the host of the game, just like in the show. He's there, but in a blocky 3D form that lacks any detail. Lips don't move when he talks to you, and he only has a few random animations. The group of 5th grade students that join you in the game are even worse looking. They stare at you, unblinking, through glassy eyes and misshapen heads.

At least you can look away. For some reason, you have a first person view that allows you to look about 45 degrees to your left or right. It doesn't contribute anything valuable to the game, as you can only look back and forth between Foxworthy on your left and the children of the corn on your right. It might have been interesting to be able to look at the audience, but I'm a little worried about what they would have looked like anyway.

But then, games based on game shows don't have a great track record as far as looks go, so you don't go in expecting great graphics. The menus and buttons are at least simple and easy to understand. As for sound, you'll hear Foxworthy's voice as he banters you throughout the game as well. It doesn't seem like he has any new material exclusive to the game, and he starts to repeat his jokes pretty soon anyway. You can turn off voices or music if you get tired of it all, and you probably will.

I'm saying low production value shouldn't hurt a game show game, but I was hoping for something different for once. Game show games have always had an empty, almost disturbing feel to them for me. Maybe it's all the repetitive audience applause tracks and start-and-stop music. An experience that is a little more seamless with a real TV show would be welcome.


Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader plays just like the TV show. You're given a choice of questions from different subjects in grades going from 1st through 5th. You choose one 5th grader to help you while you are playing. You have 3 different options available to help you on questions you are unsure about. You have one "Peek," which will let you look at the answer your 5th grader wrote down. There is one "Copy" available, which allows you to copy the 5th grader's answer without looking at it first. Then there's the "Save," which will automatically use the 5th grader's answer if you get the answer to a question wrong.

Don't expect interaction with the 5th graders like you see on the show. I'm not sure what the point of picking a 5th grader is if you can't at least question them a bit about their favorite subjects and get a feel for what they might know. No, there's nothing more to do here other than answer questions and test your knowledge.


There is no variable difficulty available, so this game is only as difficult as your general knowledge makes it. In fact, it's much easier than the TV show, as every question is multiple-choice up until the final question. And if you feel the need to win at all costs, well, there's no time limit. If you'd like to jog over to your local library to get the answer a particular question, you can. But you'll probably just use the internet. That is, if you want to cheat at questions a 5th grader is supposed to be able to answer.

I did recognize some of the questions from the TV show, so having watched the show may give you an advantage. Then again, going over some basic, elementary school questions will give you that "edge" you're looking for.

Game Mechanics:

There's not much here to remark on. Selecting answers and progressing through the game works just as it should. Actually I had a couple of minor annoyances with the Option Menu. When you are adjusting volume, you can't hear while you are adjusting. So you adjust, then exit the menu to hear the new level, adjust, then exit, etc. The first person view was also a bit annoying, as it would trigger if you move the mouse anywhere near the edge of the screen. The edge of the screen is also where the button to lock in your answer is, so I ended up jerking the screen around inadvertently a few times. It's annoying, but nothing that will stop you playing for too long.

You can create individual profiles for players that record their high scores. But there's no head-to-head competition or progress tracking beyond that. And when you beat the game, you get some confetti, and the theme song (again) and that's about it.

Make no mistake, this is a no-frills game. You answer the questions, and use options like you see on the TV show, so it does indeed resemble the show, but it doesn't give you a particularly unique or interactive experience. You've got to enjoy it because you enjoy testing your knowledge and nothing more. The production level doesn't go an inch above that. Even if you're a fan of the show, it would be smart to wait until this game hits the bargain bin.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista, Pentium IV 1.2 GHz, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB video card, 120 MB Hard Drive Space, DirectX 9.0 compliant sound card

Test System:

Windows XP, 3.20 GigaHertz Intel Pentium 4, 1 GB Ram, RADEON X850, Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS

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