Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Unfortunately for fans of the show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? & Friends Free is a good example of how not to use the freemium model. It's a little too heavily reliant on in-app purchases to the point that players will feel cheated at times.
The basic structure of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?® & Friends Free is solid enough. Players have to log in via Facebook for full functionality but this enables them to compete against friends and other players across the world. Then it's a matter of being pitted against numerous questions, all of which that 5th graders should be able to answer without any difficulty.
Like in the TV show, questions are according to grade so 1st grade physical science will be a lot simpler than the 5th grade equivalent. It's a little unnerving how many simple questions are tough to answer, depending on one's trivia knowledge but that's all part of the experience. Money is then accumulated depending on correct answers and speed of completion, which then goes towards the player's experience level.
Levelling up mostly offers the benefit of free plays which is useful given that players will only get around 4 sessions free every 8-9 hours. Other than that, players are reliant on spending money on points which unlock extra plays. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?® & Friends Free certainly isn't a game to play for an extended length of time.
The questions are interesting and numerous. It's just frustrating to be restricted to only a few plays at a time. The game encourages spending of points on assistance with questions but I didn't go near these as it meant less time to actually play the game. Sure, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?® & Friends Free is free but for the same price as the lowest priced in-app purchase, you could get something like QuizQuizQuiz and feel less restricted.
This is one for those who are huge fans of the franchise more than anything else.