|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Otaboo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Conspiracy Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Joseph Catalanotto
The alternative genre of video games is one that was pretty much brought about by Nintendo, and particularly by their handheld video game system: the DS. Sure, before that there have been plenty of games that challenge traditional thinking regarding what exactly a video game is, but none to the extent that several DS titles have done.
Before the DS came along, anybody would have thought you crazy if you talked about a "brain game," as they've affectionately come to be known. But they've become quite popular, a trend brought on by Brain Age and quickly exploited for a quick buck by several developers churning out less-than-stellar games. And sadly, Best of Tests DS falls into the same category.
Naturally, such brain games, as I'll continue to call them, have a major drawback, and this is the one that really hurts Best of Tests DS. The thing is these games can get pretty boring if the developers aren't careful. I mean, you already went to school, right? So do you really want to spend your free time playing a game that's not even all that fun, even if it will supposedly make you smarter? Titles like Brain Age and Brain Age 2 succeeded for two real reasons: you could -- you were encouraged, in fact -- to play in short, daily bursts. Naturally, this keeps the game from getting boring. And secondly, you really feel as if you're making some sort of progress, and the fact that the game keeps detailed records of your improvements (or, in some unlucky folks' cases, lack thereof) allowed you to really visualize your improvements. Sadly, Best of Tests DS pretty much fails in both respects.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, however, I'd best take a moment to explain the basic premise of Best of Tests (and yes, it truly is basic). Like in Brain Age, you're given a series of varying questions that are supposed to test your Intelligence Quotient (IQ). The game spews out a number, and to be honest I'm not even all that sure how accurate it really is -- that's certainly a bit of a disappointment to have an IQ game that may not even be entirely correct in giving you your IQ.
Regardless, you'll start out your experience with this game by taking a preliminary IQ test, in which you're simply given a rather lengthy set of questions that honestly aren't all that interesting. At the end of this test, the game spews out a number, and this is supposedly your starting IQ. From there, every time you power on the game, the biggest "attraction," so to speak, is simply the mode which serves as an IQ test. Your starting IQ pretty much determines the difficulty level of the questions that you're asked, and as you progress and your IQ increases, the questions you'll be faced with will increase in difficulty.