What is “fun”? We have often used this term when reminiscing about Disneyland or summer vacation, but how foolish we have been not to use this term to describe the joyous occasion known as the SATs and IQ tests. What’s that, you say? The SATs and IQ tests are the exact opposite of fun? Well, apparently Best of Tests never got the memo.
Best of Tests for the Nintendo DS is not only a great new tongue twister, but an attempt to make ourselves a little smarter while we play videogames. Truly, nothing has ever made this task seem more impossible than Best of Tests. Before I get to that, though, it’s best to start with what the game brings to the table.
Best of Tests has two different modes: Intelligence Tests and Memory Tests. Within these two modes you have Easy, Normal and Difficult settings, and within those you can choose from Short (10 questions), Medium (20 questions) and Long (30 questions) “gameplay” sessions. The End. Seriously. I wish there was more to say, but in the time it’s taken you to read this sentence, you could have played the game for the first time and already gotten bored with it.
The tests are so easy that it feels like the game is insulting my intelligence by patting me on the back for knowing what 2+6 equals. Even in the Difficult tests, you will often find yourself asked what the opposite of “up” is. The Memory tests don’t improve at all, as they’re basically the same as the “Happy-Bunny-match-the-face-down-card” memory games that preschoolers often play. There isn’t any kind of time limit, so don’t feel rushed in the off chance that you can’t figure out the right answer to a question. At the end of the tests you’ll be given an IQ score based on how well you did, but it realistically doesn’t mean much. I scored a 145 (higher than Albert Einstein) after getting 9/10 right on Difficult with one of the questions asking me for the synonym of “below.” Maybe E=MC stupid.
To be fair, trying to educate gamers isn’t where Best of Tests went wrong. After all, Brian Age is one of the DS’ best-selling titles out there. Best of Tests DS is trying to be Brain Age to an extent that is almost creepy. Record of your IQ? Check. Math problems? Check. All-knowing floating head? Check and check. Of course, Brian Age was a good game, and there’s nothing wrong with another good game, right? Well, this would be the case if Best of Tests had been anywhere near as fun as hitting yourself in the head with a stick.
Expect one hour of playtime out of this title, and even that is being generous. I generally don’t enjoy being mean to the titles the DS offers, but I feel it is my obligation to save people money. If you want to be amused and your brain put to the test, buy Brian Age. It is everything Best of the Tests is, with loads more.
- Score: 3
- The game is easy, shallow and repetitive. Stop reading this and buy Brain Age. Your brain will thank you.
— John Dempsey