American Mensa Academy - 3DS

Release Date:

November 27, 2012

Also on:

3DS Wii

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
6.4

Summary:

American Mensa Academy on the 3DS contains a hundred different mini-game puzzles, separated into five different categories: visual, memory, language, logic and numeracy. If you've ever taken an IQ test, a lot of the puzzles will be instantly recognizable, because they are taken (or developed) straight from the typical IQ test.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Silverball Studios
  • Publisher(s):
    • Square Enix
  • Release Date(s):
    • November 27, 2012
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Everyone
  • Mode(s):
    • Single-player
  • Not Compatible:
    • Internet
    • StreetPass
    • SpotPass
    • Local Play
    • Download Play
  • Also Known As::
    • Mensa Academy (UK)

Technical Information

  • Average Playing Time:
    • 10 Hours
  • Number of Level(s):
    • 100
avatar name

Posted:
2013-08-17

Gareth1991

Newbie

3DS

6.2

Designed by Silberball Studios in conjunction with the Mensa International (the high IQ society) and released in November of 2012 for the 3DS market, American Mensa Academy is a somewhat fun and challenging puzzle game that falls into what has become a niche genre for the 3DS series of handheld consoles. Featuring a hundred different puzzles to solve that are based on IQ tests, this game aims to "improve" your intelligence scores by playing. Although the science behind these types of games is dubious at best, the extra weight of Mensa International and game giant Square Enix lends some credibility to this one. Generally, well received so far, this game will probably only appeal to a limited number of people.

"Brain training" games have become somewhat of a trend lately, as more and more across all forms of video-game type entertainment hit the market. Mensa Academy distinguishes itself by the use of "Mensa," in an obvious marketing ploy to enhance the reliability of their brain training claims and separate themselves from the competition.

Although American Mensa Academy is the first of this type on the 3DS market due to reasons mentioned above, it doesn't really make use of the available graphics or capabilities of the handheld gaming system to fit it all together. Most of the gameplay is centered on one screen, with the touch screen only being occasionally utilized for its unique capabilities. 3D effects are only used for layering on otherwise two dimensional models, making the graphics not easily distinguishable from last-generation handheld consoles.

There are over a hundred different mini-game puzzles, separated into five different categories: visual, memory, language, logic and numeracy. If you've ever taken an IQ test, a lot of the puzzles will be instantly recognizable, because they are taken (or developed) straight from the typical IQ test. The game purports to let you know what your Mensa score is, but it doesn't make it clear that the Mensa score doesn't actually mean anything (it doesn't). In reality, it's purely an in-game mechanic.

The Mensa scoring bit, incidentally, is the real thing that sets this game apart from other games that are otherwise too alike to justify buying this title over any others. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, this feature is a bit of a letdown. If you remember exams from school (I think we all do), after the first few minutes this will just feel like a repeat. It consists of questions with a 15-minute time limit to answer them. The questions are mostly multiple choice, and just like an exam in real life, you can go back to change answers if you aren't sure you did the right thing (or if you just plain skipped it). Most people don't buy video games to feel like they're back in school, so this can be disappointing for some.

Overall, American Mensa Academy gives the feeling of trying to market itself to both children and adults. With a fun and wide variety of puzzle games that run the gamut between easy and challenging, this game seems like it should have the power to appeal to any audience. Unfortunately, the one selling characteristic really doesn't give you what you want, and so there is really nothing particularly distinguishing about this game to separate it from other titles in the same genre which is a shame.

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By:

Square Enix

Release Date:

November 27, 2012

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