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Saturday, September 18, 2010

ThinkSMART Family! Wii Game (Review)

I enjoy a good brain teaser, so its no surprise that I also enjoy the many brain-stimulating games you can find for the Nintendo Wii and especially the DS. The first of these games that got me hooked was the classic Brain Age that was released back in 2006. Thanks to Michaelene, I was given the opportunity to review the ThinkSMART game for the Wii. From their press release: 

"ThinkSMART Family for Wii™: This original brain and physical training program is
specially designed for the entire family to play, as each player goes head to head at their
own level.
  • Helps you develop language, memory, mathematics, spatial reasoning and logic skills in an imaginative and creative way.
  • Features Mental and Physical Fitness programs…specially designed for each individual player
  • An individual training plan tailored to your previous performance enables you to keep track of your progress.
  • Customize your own Avatars and compete against the whole family in Multiplayer Mode to find out who has the highest Think® quotient!"
I've had a little over 2 weeks to review the game and have played quite a bit. So far, the ThinkSMART game has a lot of re-play potential. In the game, it tracks your individual "Think Quotient" progress when you play the exercises. There are 6 categories which split into 18 exercises:
  • Language: Double Word, Sort the Luggage, Poems; 
  • Mathematics Chain Calculations, Quantity Puzzle, Mirror Image; 
  • Visual: Shape Search, Cube Shapes, Sense of Touch; Memory: 
  • Memorize Colors, Conveyor Belt, Drum Kit; 
  • Perception: Memorize Patterns, Letter Puzzle, Signal Boxes;
  • Logic: Match Puzzle, Sudoku, Towers of Hanoi
The names of the exercises led me to believe they'd simply be fun and entertaining, but they were actually quite mind-boggling and strenuous. One of the games that I found was quite fun for EVERYONE in my family was Sense of Touch. In this exercise you are to point the Wii mote at an invisible shape on the screen. As you touch the edges of the shape the Wii mote will vibrate and you are to chose the correct shape (choice of 3) on the screen. It was the only game I found suitable my for my younger siblings (4 & 8), sister and parents.

I have found pro and cons for the game; I was not fond of the flow of the game. It seemed laggy for a lack of a better word. That fault caused us not to be able to play for a long period of time. Also, I found it difficult to get used to and load your profile. On the positive side, I found many of the games very entertaining. Surprisingly, I had a hard time playing them in "Hard" mode, which hopefully will change with time as I play more.

Pros - Great re-play potential, great mini-games, up to 16 players in single or multiplayer mode, fun to play with kids as young as 8 and individual "Think Quotient" to track progress.
Cons - Lack of games available for kids younger than 8, the flow and design of the game wasn't favorable to me.

Overall the game has great re-play potential and if fun to play for those family nights we have. The game is rated "E" for everyone, but I would not recommend this game for younger kids. I think 10 and older is more age-appropriate (as young as 8 for certain games in easy mode). Be sure to visit ThinkSmart's Website to sample play 3 of their mini-games. A big thank you to ThinkSMART for the opportunity to let my family & I test out and review their new game :)

Disclaimer: I was NOT paid for this post, however I did receive the product in question to review. All opinions are my own and I have provided a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation for my review nor was I under any obligation to give a positive review. 

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