Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? PS5 Review. The television quiz show that humbled adults can be played at home. How much fun is it to be asked the question ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?‘ then? Let’s find out.
The beauty of naming a quiz show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? is that it’s a deliciously baiting question that preys on the egos of adults that forgot all the mad stuff school threw up as a curriculum. For instance, I’m alright at math these days, but in school I found it to be a confusing mess of complexities to explain answers I usually knew, but couldn’t show the working on.
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? PS5 Review – School-Based Quiz Show’s Console Version Brings Its Textbooks To The Party
Back To School
Playing the video game version Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? occasionally brought unpleasant memories of math class back to the forefront of my mind, but I promise I won’t hold that against it.
Beyond ritual humiliation and childhood trauma brought screaming back to life, the hook of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? is that you, the adult, go through a series of questions based on things taught in school textbooks that scale by grade over time.
The aim is, of course, to get past that title grade and win the big money and retain a shred of pride. Subjects range from the cursed Math to Spelling and Science, and might well bring up the same kind of toxic nostalgia for parents that I encountered.
If something is troubling you, and there’s no shame in admitting there will be things that catch you out in the 6800-plus questions stored in the game, you can call upon the help of a student of the appropriate age to offer some help. Each of these kids are pretty knowledgeable in a particular subject and can be deployed in times of existential crisis or hubris to make a save and keep the ball rolling, but only in a limited capacity.
You’re Not Here For The Visuals
As with plenty of licensed quiz show games, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? takes the presentation of the television show and squashes it into a ‘cutesy’ CG prison where a revolving door roster of digital kids and adults must answer questions for eternity or until the license rights expire.
This is always the right approach because trying to lean into realism with these games would just haunt me a lot more. As a parent, I can appreciate the horror of being trapped in a seemingly infinite loop of answering the same questions over and over, so I wouldn’t wish it on these little digital folks either.
The visual appeal of quiz show games isn’t really the point I suppose. It’s all in the relatively simple template for a game that’s fastened to a flag of the brightest colors and the stinkiest brand of cheesy presentation that ensures even in a saturated market, they’ll usually do well enough for the family demographic.
It doesn’t mean it can’t be done wrong of course, but it’s a subgenre that seems to have a humble yet consistent success rate. It does make it a bit difficult to say a lot about them that hasn’t been said before when they meet that sweet spot, however.
Ego-Bashing Fun With Plenty Of Questions
So, the next step up from that sturdy baseline is to make sure your quiz show game has a unique structure and a dizzying amount of questions to make it a go-to for family get-togethers for years to come.
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? is fortunate then because as I wrote a the top of this review, its concept is the perfect bait for family ego-bashing and creating burning feuds that will simmer from Christmas Day until Halloween.
There’s enough question variety to go with the knockout-style structure to ensure the game has some legs beyond the standard festive five rounds of arguing, getting bored, and confining its digital TV set to the void until another one arrives.
Of course, with quiz games, you only get as much as you put into it, so if you’re not hot on the idea of being quite literally schooled then it’s never going to grab you in a positive way. At its best, with the right conditions, it’s got the right ingredients to be an entertaining, surprisingly intense, battle of wits with the ones you love.
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? is now available for PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One.
Review code kindly provided by publisher.