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3DS  header logo

Mensa Academy

For: 3DS   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad

S-M-R-T

Product: Mensa Academy | Developer: Barnstorm Games | Publisher: Square Enix | Format: 3DS | Genre: Brain training | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Mensa Academy 3DS, thumbnail 1
How smart do you think you are? And we're not referring to street smarts, dress sense, or pub trivia mastery. We mean: what do you think your raw intelligence is?

The non-profit organisation Mensa has, for the last 60-odd years, provided a way of finding out, measuring the intelligence quotient of individuals using standardised tests.

With Mensa Academy you're given the opportunity to not only find out how much of a smarty-pants you are, but also to improve your IQ score.

Boff-job

For a product based on a bunch of brainiacs, there's little sophistication in the game's design. The roughly hewn 3D models awkwardly toddle about a fantastical representation of Mensa HQ, the menu layout is basic at best, and the accompanying soundtrack is often jarringly ominous in tone.

Modes on offer are Play, Coach, and Test. Play has you work through rounds of ten questions against a timer, aiming to get the right answer in the shortest time possible to receive a high score and subsequent rating out of three stars.

Categories of questions come in the form of mini-games covering language, numeracy, logic, and so on. These range from working out which operator you need to use to get the correct total in a mathematics problem to figuring out the logical relationship behind a given sequence of symbols.

The mini-games become increasingly more challenging as you progress through the rounds, and they only take a couple of minutes each - perfect for a 15-minute commute.

However, some are a little dubious in their academic merit. We're not quite sure how edifying it is to judge whether a Hare or Tortoise will finish first in a race by watching them.

The standard

There are multiple versions of the title available, but the 3DS has the least direct form of inputting your answers. You control a pointer on the top screen by moving it about with the stylus on the bottom screen, tapping when you think you've got the right solution.

It's a cumbersome system, and occasionally the game will register a tap when you meant to indicate a direction of movement.

Coach mode teaches you how to get better at the games from Play mode, gradually unlocking content as you progress.

Test is what it sounds like: a test in the form of a Mensa examination. From here you'll discover your IQ and what that number means in relation to the average member of the general public. I scored a considerably above average 128, from which I can deduce that its measurements are spot on.

Mensa Academy is Brain Training but without the depth of stat-tracking or polish that that game brought to the original DS. Unappealing aesthetics and a little wonkiness in the controls aside, it's a decent quiz game, with the added allure of being able to show your mates (through science) how much more of a smarty pants you are than them.
 
Mensa Academy
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 16 August 2012
Entertaining in ten-minute chunks, Mensa Academy is a game for intelligent people that unfortunately suffers from a few dumb design decisions
 
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