Smart As: Review

Brain Teasers on the Go

Smart As
Playstation Vita | Climax Group| October 30, 2012

Smart As is a collection of twenty brain teasers for the Playstation Vita. The review can practically end there; if you read that sentence and were bored at the prospect of solving puzzles and equations, this isn’t the game for you. If you are the type who wants to flex your mental muscles then Smart As is an excellent brain exercise app.

There are four main categories players workout with. Logic will test spacial orientation and the ability to find paths in 2D and 3D scenarios. Observation ranges from a modified shell game, tapping prompts to picking objects out of a group. The Language games mostly test your ability to spell correctly, but there is one that is suitable as a SAT prep course as users pick out which word doesn’t belong. The Arithmetic section involves different math puzzles, an understanding of basic algebra will suffice.

The game starts off simple. On easy the arithmetic section asks 9 – 7 = X. By the time you reach genius, the questions will be XX * 38 = 874. These can be figured out (or ‘cheated’ using a calculator), but the game grades players based on how quickly they complete tasks. The interface will know if you pause and attempt to solve the equations while the Vita is off. If you want to earn three stars on all games you will have to legitimately know the answer.

The main game consists of a daily training regiment. Four randomly selected games, one from each category on easy, will be served to players. At the end of daily training players receive a score and congratulations if it was an improvement or mockery if it went down. Fortunately, John Cleese narrates all segments with expert comedic timing. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of sayings that will repeat. Playing daily training will unlock additional games in free play.

Most of the games are easy to control and work  well with the Vita’s layout. There are a few that don’t. When drawing characters on the touchpad, there were numerous times when Smart As thought I wanted the incorrect answer. Unbeknownst to me, my 8 looks a lot like a 5, my R can be confused with a T and god help you if you need to differentiate between a G and a C. The worst offender of gimicky controls is when the game uses the front facing camera to create a jigsaw puzzle. No matter how much light is in the room, the puzzle will pretty much all be black. Trying to piece together a 16 part puzzle without knowing what corner is which is frustrating…and time consuming.

Trophy hunters beware, this game take a long time to platinum. There are weekly challenges that players can partake in for their area. The game will have a random easy, medium and hard puzzle. Players can earn up to 9 stars if the master each section. There is  a trophy for 100 stars. This will mean that the most successful of players will take 12 weeks to complete, or traveling to numerous cities.

Smart As is a solid puzzle game that works best when playing in bite-sized chunks. Most of the game controls feel right at home on the Vita, but there are a few that are a chore to complete.


Score: 8.0 /10

+ Variety of Puzzles
+ Funny Narration
+ Steep Challenge
– Steep Challenge
– Control Schemes Fail in Some Games


Level Up, Friends!