The PlayStation 2 has the Buzz! series of quiz games, the Xbox 360 has got the recently released Scene It? but what does the family, party console of choice the Wii have to offer? Well, EA's Smarty Pants is looking to fill the void left by other publishers, with a simple to play quiz game - no more, no less.
How the quiz plays depends on the game mode you choose. Solo play is the most basic, with you simply going against the clock, answering as many questions correctly as possible. Here it's simply a case of reading the question and clicking on the correct answer. The questions themselves come from a number of categories, including UK, The World, Food and Drink, TV and Movies, Science, Art and Literature and more.
The Friends mode is probably the most exciting to play, with up to four players able to compete against each other. Before each round a player spins a wheel, with the icon it lands on determining who chooses the next question or if a special card is handed out - these can do all manner of things, from making the question easier to eliminating an incorrect answer from the screen. After the spin all the players can flick their Wii-mote to nudge the pointer on the wheel, making for a crazy few moments where everyone is trying to get a better result.
When the questions start to roll it's time to get your trigger finger ready, or in this case your wrist. Instead of buzzing in you simply hold A and flick the Wii-mote up. Do this faster than anyone else and you'll get to choose from the set of four answers. Buzz in before the question is finished and get the answer wrong, and you'll be put in jail. While in jail you can't answer any questions, but this punishment doesn't last for long. Bonus rounds crop up from time to time, with each player taking it in turn to answer questions, with an incorrect answer putting them out of the round.
The final game mode is Family play, with the idea being that players of all ages can play together. With each player (with Mii support included) having an age, the game can determine what questions are suitable. Rather than competing against each other, in Family play the goal is to answer a set number of questions correctly within a time limit. Players take it in turns, allowing the game to pose questions that should be suitable for the age of each player. In practice this wasn't as good as it sounds, with younger players definitely suffering from a few out of place questions.
Presentation in Smarty Pants is best described as functional. The game is designed to work easily with the Wii-mote, so answer boxes are big and fill most of the screen. A host of sorts introduces each category, but there are no voiced questions and little in the way of personality.
Smarty Pants is exactly what you'd expect it to be, but nothing more. It's basically an interactive quiz, with none of the frills seen in rival titles from Sony and Microsoft. On the Wii, though, there's no competition in this area, making it an essential purchase if you're after a simple quiz game for the whole family to enjoy. If you're expecting something with the glamour of Sony's Buzz! titles you might be a little disappointed though.