Games that challenge your mind are nothing new, and since the phenomenal success of the Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training series on the Nintendo DS, it seems as though many developers have attempted to mimic its success but have never quite managed to match it in terms of quality or sales numbers. So is Smart As any different and does it succeed where others have failed?
The structure of Smart As follows the classic formula of all IQ tests and the games in its genre. The games within Smart As are based on Logic, Language, Arithmetic and Observation. Each games will immediately test you to give you a baseline to work from. Each category has a random "game / test" to determine your brain matter, and you are rated out of 3 stars for speed and accuracy. If you make a mistake during a certain game you will incur a time penalty, so being slow but accurate tends to be better than being fast but incorrect. A percentage is given to you in each section and averaged out to give you your final score.
The biggest difference between Smart As and every other brain training game is that it compares your scores with not only your PlayStation Network friends, but also the rest of the world. This lieaderboard system is even broken down into towns and cities, as well as individuals, and rates each thing accordingly, which really amps up your competitive nature. In addition to this, there is also an online Daily Test which really does improve the replay value of this game tremendously, although almost all of the games/tests on offer are randomized.
Outside of the main Daily Test, you can play games in the free play mode, where only one game out of five in every category is unlocked. Each game starts off at the Easy mode, and as you three star each difficulty mode you unlock, medium, hard and "Genius" mode, which greatly jumps the difficulty curve up and offers the same game at the greatest challenge level. The games unlock as you return and complete a Daily Test, and will keep you returning for a month in order to play all the games on offer. Most of the games require the use of the front touch-screen, but some games also use the back touch-screen and the tilt functionality of the Vita too, and they work exceptionally well.