Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?® is a popular TV show where contestants can win up to $1 million by answering “grade school” questions. In this iOS remake of the game show, you can play a similar game with friends via Facebook integration. Or play as a guest against random people. The app obviously deviates from the real TV show in several aspects, however the game is kept fairly consistent. As the title suggests, this app is free, but be aware of the in-app purchases they often try to tag you with.
In terms of the game itself, you’re up against six other players. They claim it’s live, but I’ve closed the app and then went back to it several minutes later and nothing happened. I wasn’t disconnected from that game. You do not get to pick the category of questions that comes up, but ultimately they are all cycled through, so the order doesn’t matter all that much. You have 10 seconds to answer the question that appears. There are four choices. The person who answers the quickest receives a $1000 bonus, in addition to the dollar value assigned to that particular question. The harder the question, the more money it’s worth. After the 8 questions listed as grades 1-4, the leading scorer goes on to the 5th grade question. If you pay extra stars you too can access the question without having finished in first place. There is the option to pay stars for the “copy” cheat, as the other two cheats are not part of this game.
As a social game, Are You Smarter certainly follows a lot of conventions: there’s a system to level up and earn stars and such, you can challenge buddies through Facebook, there’s even my favorite twang of freemium with each match you play costing you stars that recuperate themselves slowly. Some qualms- many questions are simply not grade school level, and some of the information is pretty useless, you either know it or you don’t. But a lot of the questions can be guessed accurately by using some background knowledge, which is good. I also don’t like the fact that this app is so unoriginal, save the game itself. They did not innovate any aspects of the good ol’ freemium model, which is, of course, not for the better. Lastly, and this is a big intangible, Are You Smarter is fun here and there, but I just found it tough to really get into. It’s not one of those games that captures you for hours and days. 6/10.
-TheAppEmperor signing out