Who has the smartest pants in the family? EA has the trivia game that can answer that question.
The Wii is a game console for all ages, and EA is looking to make a game that is, too. Its Casual Entertainment division thinks it has such a game, and it's called Smarty Pants. It's a party trivia game with a traditional multiple-choice design that also uses an array of the Wii's features to make it more than just another boring board game.
The game features several game modes that mix up multiplayer possibilities. Up to four players can play in a free-for-all contest, team, or even a family mode game where all players cooperatively attempt to answer as many questions as possible in a set time limit.
Smarty Pants has Mii integration, so you can choose yourself or some other virtual avatar to represent yourself while playing. At the start of a new game you'll be asked to register your age, which is important for a few reasons. First, the questions you'll be asked are tailored to your age, and therefore how much stuff you (should) know. In this way, kids and adults can play the game simultaneously and be asked age-appropriate questions. Secondly, if you're a whiz-kid and get a lot of questions correctly in a particular category, the game will automatically start feeding you more difficult questions; that is, questions meant for older people. This works the other way, too, so for all you older folks out there that don't quite remember the answers to some of the questions, the game will make it easier on you.
Speaking of questions, Smarty Pants boasts 20,000 of them over ten categories. (For comparison, Trivial Pursuit, the classic trivia board game, has around 4,000 questions and only six categories.) There are classic categories like sports, people & places, entertainment, and the dreaded spelling. There is also a category devoted to video games, so there's even a little something included for gamers. Our international readers will be glad to know that EA is fully localizing the game for countries like the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
The game incorporates the Wii remote in ways appropriate to the genre. To spin the category wheel between rounds, you must physically "crank" the thing up with a similar motion of the Wii remote. To buzz-in for a question, you need to hold down the A Button and swing the remote upwards, as if to raise your hand. (The A Button is used to prevent accidental buzz-ins.) There are also tug-of-war and dancing mini-games to win score multipliers or the right to answer the question after a tie buzz-in. The game is played with the Wii remote alone, so of course its pointer function is used to choose categories and pick an answer for the game's questions.
Smarty Pants is due for a North American release some time this month.