previews\ Oct 18, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Smarty Pants: Trivia Fun for Everyone - WII - Preview

E for All 2007 Preview

Given the Wii’s broad, mainstream appeal, the system is prime real estate for the casual gaming genre. EA is releasing their first foray into the genre with an easily accessible and fun trivia game called Smarty Pants. Smarty Pants is a trivia game with a twist, requiring you to play through a variety of motion-based minigames in addition to answering from more than 20,000 different questions. Smarty Pants is a good casual game that everyone in the family will be able to sit down and have a great time playing.

You begin by spinning a wheel to determine which question set you’ll get asked. You spin by winding up with the Wii-mote and then letting it go. However, once the wheel lands somewhere, you and your opponent can still “nudge” it in a direction in order to make it land on whatever category you want it to. You each get 10 nudges, so it can be quite the tug-of-war between two people.

Things are a bit different leading up to the actual trivia portion. You have to wager before answering the questions, where you and your opponent must do a shooting gallery portion in order to set the bet. By shooting objects on the screen that have either a positive or negative number attributed to them, you’ll drive up or down the total wager. Each time you answer a question correctly, you’ll get the total score from the wager. However, if you miss a question, you’ll lose whatever the wager was.

The questions in the game are divided into several different categories, like entertainment, sports, or even games. In order to answer the questions, you have to hold down the A button and raise the Wii-mote as if you’re raising your hand. The questions are multiple choice, and you simply have to point to the answer with the Wii-mote.

In the game, you can also get cards that you can play in order to change the outcome. You can say that a question was too hard, allowing you to switch to an “easier” one, or you can claim a question that your opponent buzzed in to be too easy, leading to a mini-game where you have to put fire icons into a thermometer to make for a harder question. Additionally, if your opponent buzzes in on a question that you know the answer to, you can drop a card on them and go into a tug-of-war mini-game, where you’ll have to pull on the Wii-mote in order to gain the chance to answer the question. These are only a few of the mini-games, as there will be plenty of different cards you can get to answer your questions.

Smarty Pants is turning out to be a fun and engaging twist on the trivia genre, offering some great elements for both casual gamers and hardcore ones alike.

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