Available On: Android, iOS
The famous (or for those that weren’t very good at it, infamous) Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? quiz hit screens a number of years ago. Its premise was essentially to attempt to humiliate adults by pitting them against children in a quiz that issues questions to both the adult and child; the questions ranged from 1st-grade level to 5th-grade level. As you can imagine when the adult falls behind the child in terms of total points scored, things can get pretty humiliating. This premise has been moulded (and some would say forced to an extent) into the mobile-gaming world, resulting in Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? & Friends for mobile. As you’ll find out the game has a pleasant and entertaining enough premise, but is it too weighed down by developer greed to really shine?
The premise of this game is rather obvious, and the way in which it goes about offering what should be simple trivia to players is as far from groundbreaking or inventive as could be. It’s really just standard trivia with the ability to level up: questions are asked and you must answer them from the multiple-choice solutions you have on the page; money is won based on the number of correct answers and also how quickly you manage to answer each of the questions. Levelling up occurs when you manage to earn enough money by doing well at the questions. It’s all pretty simple – nothing out of the ordinary to see here.
Problems may arise for players that aren’t particularly fond of in-app purchases since being able to play this game for any decent length of time means you will have t hand over cash to purchase stars, the currency that you must spend to play each round of the quiz. It costs 25 stars to play each time, and considering that you only start with a limited number and must wait a while in order for them to regenerate, what’s really going on here is the squeezing of your wallet rather than the developers genuinely wishing to give you the best trivia quiz experience possible.
There are a few upsides to owning this game, the main one is that you can play against friends and other players if you login to Facebook through the game. At least this provides somewhat of a social element if you do go ahead and decide to spend a few bucks (550 stars will set you back $4.99) on stars in order to play games more frequently. This social element is reminiscent of Quizup, but the massive question database and fantastic design are lacking here. For many, it simply won’t be worth spending any money on this actual quiz, especially when you see just how few plays you get with your initial stars and therefore how desperately the developers seem to be clawing at your wallet.
It is difficult to say anything overly negative about the game’s design however: it’s professional, it’s colourful, and it does convey the style of the original Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader TV Show (there are rumours about it returning to TV that can be read here). The game plays well without bugs or slowdowns even if you’re playing on slightly older devices. Even though it’s pretty solid in the design department, the game really just doesn’t have the flair or creativity of superior trivia games like Moviecat!.
If you happen to like trivia games of this style and absolutely must own this app because you’re a fan of the original TV show, then it’s worth downloading because you do get it for free and aren’t actually obliged to hand over any money. It’s just that most people with this attitude will soon realise just how desperate Ludia Games are to squeeze money out of you at every opportunity. Though developers have a right to and even deserve to make money from the games they create, there’s really no need to be as blatant about it: if you’re not paying money then you can only play a few rounds before you have to wait a number of hours to play again for god’s sake! Some would say this isn’t on.
So is the game worth a download? It is if you’re hyper-curious about what it’s like, but there’s not enough originality, difficulty in the questions, or replay value to be found in this game. You’re better off simply going online and finding similar quizzes with none of the pressure to hand over money. One such quiz can be found at Funeducation and it is a much more enjoyable experience.