Smart As was
not a title that was really on my radar prior to its release.
When I did receive it I expected nothing more than simple shovel
ware. While this is essentially a brain training game there is
a level of polish that pleasantly surprised me.
The first thing
that grabbed my attention was the Unreal Engine logo, using such
a potent engine has bought an excellent level of visual polish
for a game of this type. The animations are all smooth and I
was genuinely surprised with the quality of visuals. The
colours are all vibrant on the Vita screen and the models all
seem to be high resolution.
features a range of mini-games aimed at increasing your
cognitive prowess, covering
arithmetic, logic, observation and language. It
encourages daily plays by providing new challenges daily and
keeps track of your process. To start with many of the
challenges are locked from the start. There are challenges from
choosing if numbers are greater than, equal to or less than to
creating lines between different coloured dots without the paths
crossing. These all start off quite easy but even the types
that you excel at will become very challenging at higher
The game play is excellent throughout. Smart As
will register numbers and letters that are written out and the
tilt controls work reasonably well. As always with tilt
controls take a bit to get used to but ultimately are effective
and never feel like they have been used for the sake of using
it. This applies to the rear touch panel too. It is always
used in an appropriate way. The challenges only take about one
minute each; depending on how fast you are and is perfect for
those short gaming sessions on the run.
does all the voice work. This was a stellar choice and his
witty remarks are actually pretty funny. It is very similar to
the voice work done in Little Big Planet and really does improve
the overall experience. If you are not very good a game then he
will definitely let you know. The sound effects are all pretty
slick and tie in nicely with the animations.
There is some
longevity here, there is plenty of mini games and the different
difficulty levels certainly keep it challenging. There is also
global and friend list leader boards to keep the egotistic
coming back. Playing daily will unlock more of the challenges,
as many are locked at first. And of course, John Cleese will
keep you coming back for more.
This is a very
professional and well done title, and the end of the day, it is
still a brain training game. It is not pushing any boundaries.
Everything that it sets out to do, is done well and as Nintendo
has shown this sort of game works with the hand held. Smart As
was not released as a full price title, moving it away from
direct competition with the major releases. If you are looking
for a simple pick and play a game that is still challenging.
There are better games out there for the Vita if you are looking
for a serious gaming experience.