November 16, 2012

The Top 2%


Lasting First Impressions of American Mensa Academy

Developed by Barnstorm Games & Silverball Studios  |  Published by Square Enix

Mensa Academy boxart» I have always been fascinated with tests that tell me about myself, whether it be a personality test or, my favourite, an IQ test.  The Mensa Society is an elite group of people whose IQs are in the top 2% of the world and, to be honest, something I have always wondered if I could get in to.  I love puzzles of all kinds, be they fun language puzzles, or mathematical equations.  It is for this very reason that I enjoy all sorts of brain training games such as Brain Age, and the more recently released “Smart As…” for PS Vita.  Recently, Square Enix published a new training game sponsored directly by the American Mensa Society called, appropriately, American Mensa Academy.  While it is available on a number of consoles, Wii, PC, and 3DS, I had the opportunity to sit down with this title and give my brain a good workout on the iPad version of the game.

Mensa Academy contains more than 100 tests and challenges in several disciplines including: Language, Numeracy, Logic, Visual, and Memory.  Upon starting the game, there are three possible avenues to begin. The first is Play which will list all five disciplines and present 20 levels within each for the player to begin testing themselves.  Next is Coach, breaking each of the categories down into further sub-categories and presents challenges for the player to achieve Bronze, Silver and Gold results in each set of questions.  Finally, all of these are in preparations for the Test.  Test is where it all matters and your actual IQ will be calculated.  This is a 15 minute timed test consisting of 30 random questions. After all questions are answered or time is up, your IQ will be evaluated.  Exclusive to the iOS version of Mensa Academy is the ability to share your results with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or through SMS.

Mensa screen 1

The inherent challenge of Mensa Academy is offset by the quirky cardboard like visuals presented for each set of challenges.  Colours are vibrant, music is uplifting, and the visuals are silly lending to an air of fun surrounding what is certainly some true testing of the brain’s power.

Mensa Screen 2If you’re looking for a real workout for your grey matter, look no further than Mensa Academy, fully endorsed by the actual Mensa Society of America with real questions from their libraries.  Mensa Academy isn’t a traditional ‘game’ per se but it is something that I love to come back to every day for a little brain workout.  After testing my skill in both Play and Coach, I took on the Test and it scored my IQ at 130 which is typically where I fall in any other IQ tests I’ve ever taken.  This just proves that the scoring in this game is certainly genuine.  I love a good puzzle challenge and Mensa Academy has plenty in store.  I can only hope that future updates to the software would add more questions.  Until then, Mensa Academy is a wonderful brain trainer.  Add this to Sony’s Smart As or other puzzle games like Professor Layton, and you may even find yourself in the top 2% of the world!

Barnstorm Games & Silverball Studios, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of The OMG! Hour, our weekly podcast. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.


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