Smart As PS Vita review – No, not the ‘suit and tie’ type…

Smart As PS Vita review

My brain is currently operating at an impressive 92%. I’m pretty pleased with this – it has a nicely intellectual ring to it, right? – especially seeing as I was working with a paltry 74% when I started playing Smart As. I’m clearly never going to be headhunted by Mensa, but I reckon I can now comfortably consider myself to be smarter than a ten-year, or perhaps even a jellybean with a smiley face drawn on it with ballpoint pen.

Smart As PS Vita review

Given the success of the Brain Training games on DS, it’s hardly surprising that a Vita equivalent has popped up. You can test your mental prowess once a day –or practice whenever – with tasks split across arithmetic, language, observation and (my personal nemesis) logic. You tap the front and back of the console to test your reactions, complete quick-fire sums and fill in the missing letters from words, with the touchscreen only occasionally failing to decipher my messy scrawl.

There’s also a veritable textbook full of mini-games, unlocked through the main testing mode. They’re divvied up into the same categories, and include the likes of block-rolling, anagrams and a Generation Game-esque object memorisation task (although sadly not featuring a cuddly toy). While it’ll take you a while to open up a decent-sized library of these, they provide a steady drip-feed of new content to keep you interested and will appeal to those with a perfectionist streak.

It’s nicely presented, too, with glossy visuals and – best of all – warmly funny, encouraging narration from John Cleese, who’s clearly studied Stephen Fry’s work on LBP. I liked it best when he called me Sparky. You can also use Near to pick up extra challenges, and to compare your intellect with others.

It won’t keep you amused for great stretches at once – it feels a bit more like a really great app than a fully fledged game – but for enjoyable chunks of puzzle-centric play to dip in and out of, this hits the mark. It never did tell me precisely what I was as smart as, mind. Which is a shame, because I’d really been hoping for ‘Brian Cox’. A geek can dream…

Our Score

Score: 7