Smarty Pants Review
Smarty Pants is a trivia game designed for the Wii, but it doesn't work that well as a trivia game or a Wii-specific title. It's straight-forward and unexciting presentation and game options make it look pretty plain compared to browser-based trivia games that you can play for free on the internet.
One of the biggest problems with the game is that it insists on taking advantage of the Wii's motion-sensing features even though they are not needed for a game of this type. For example, "buzzing in" to answer a question is not simply handled with a button press, but you need to jerk the controller up as well. Question categories are selected by spinning a wheel like that in Wheel of Fortune, but the game seems to have a little trouble sensing the spinning control-button pushing combo that must be done to spin the wheel. You're also supposed to be able to nudge the wheel left or right before it stops to keep the wheel from stopping on a category that you want to avoid, but I could never get that feature to work correctly. And then there are the inane mini games that are occasionally forced upon you. For example, you are given the chance to get a score multiplier for a round by dancing. In theory you're supposed to dance around with the Wii Remote and charge a bonus meter to determine your multiplier. In practice, no matter how much you dance and jump around, your Mii does the same little dance on screen and you're given a paltry bonus and told that your dance was mediocre. I don't know what dancing has to do with trivia, but if you're going to stick such lame attempts to add motion control to a trivia game then you should at least take the time to be sure that they work correctly.
The trivia itself features some surprisingly challenging questions, but there are some odd design decisions in this aspect of the game. First of all, for a family game an amazingly large number of questions are devoted to video games. You get one question on classical literature or pop culture for every ten that ask you things like how many shots are needed to take out a Galaga. The format is also strange, as the questions are all multiple choice but you don't see the answers until someone buzzes in. You'll have no idea how hard the question is to answer until you commit to answering it. As for the overall presentation, all you get is the players' Miis, the question, a lot of white background, and some of that Wii-style peppy elevator music in the background. A plain-old Trivial Pursuit board is far more colorful and interesting to look at than this game.
There is a single player mode in the game that dispenses with all of the mini game and motion-sensing lameness. You try to answer as many questions as possible before time runs out and that's about it. With the number of questions in the game and with many of those questions being fairly challenging, you could conceivably use the game as a trivia trainer for yourself. But then again, you can do that with plenty of games that are available for free play right in your browser.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 55%. The inane mini games and forced motion-sensing features turn a bland trivia game into an annoying one instead.