PS Vita Review – Smart As

The first brain game for the PS Vita is ready for its world debut. Should you pick it up or is it just a waste of brain power?

Read our review to find out.


How smart do you think you really are? Are you as smart as, say, someone on the other side of the world? Are you smarter than people on your own continent? Country? State? Your own neighborhood? Want to find out how you stack up? Smart As aims to help you do just that.

Built from the ground up for the PS Vita system by XDev Europe, Smart As challenges players to test their brain power with twenty unique puzzle games which utilize the platform’s touch screens, front and rear facing cameras and augmented reality capabilities. Smart As uses Daily Training challenges which include Logic, Arithmetic, Language and Observation based exercises to work all of the major lobes of the brain and calculate players’ Brain Power scores.

The first thing you’ll find is that most games types aren’t available in the Free Play area when you first jump in. Of the twenty total games, only one from each category is directly playable out of the box. Each game type has four difficulty settings: Easy, Medium, Hard and Genius. These are progressively harder, of course. Daily testing will unlock a new game every day. Daily testing isn’t limited though, so you’ll be able to to be tested by whichever games the system wants to use.

Each daily test will quiz you with four separate puzzles, one from each category. You are graded by zero to three stars, depending on how you did on each puzzle. The more stars the better. Once all four tests are complete, your overall brain score is then tabulated and displayed as a percentage on the main screen. Don’t feel too bad if you start out low as this can be brought up by doing better the next day.

From the main screen you’ll be able to access the different areas of the game world. Once you’ve completed your daily training, the calender is crossed out. You can still do practice tests, but these won’t be added to the overall score. If you are in a hurry to unlock everything, manually changing the system date does work as far as advancing to the next day. This can be used to unlock new games for the Free Play area as well.

Tapping on and connecting to the Smart As world gives you access to world stats and leaderboards. Here you can see which area of the world has the best scores. This can be drilled down all the way to your neighborhood.Each category of game, as well as each puzzle game, has their own specific leaderboards so you can see how you rate up against other people.

If you are taking your PS Vita out and about with you (and who isn’t), you can check out area specific Street Smart challenges. On a recent trip to the Fresno, Ca. area, five completely different challenges were found, from five different cities. In each challenge you are given three puzzles to complete. The first one is on Easy, with the second on Medium and the third on Hard. You are once again rated with stars and the more stars you earn, the higher you are on that area’s leaderboard. These puzzles aren’t limited by what you have or haven’t unlocked, so this is a great way to play games you don’t have access to yet. If you live in a metropolitan area, each suburb will probably have it’s own challenge, so be sure to check out that area of the Smart As world.


Anytime you want to see how you are doing personally, You can head to the Charts & Stats section. Here you can track your daily progress and see which way your brain power is going. You can also see which areas are stronger and which areas you may need to work on. Practicing games that are in your weaker areas is a great way to boost your overall score. Practicing before your daily test can also be a great way to get your brain warmed up.

The games themselves start out pretty easy, but by the time you get to the genius level, they can be down right mind boggling. Be ready to touch, twist, pinch, and even move your Vita in all directions. The developers did a great job of utilizing all of the features the Vita has to offer. The Augmented Reality cards are used in several puzzles. Both cameras are used to put your face or your surroundings into a live action puzzles. You’ll be looking around your room for floating bubbles in another game.

XDev Europe developed Smart As with one goal in mind: To create a game that pushes your brain, and the Vita itself, to its very limits. Our only complaint is that it takes a couple weeks to unlock all of the fun games.

We can’t wait to see what DLC is released in the future.