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Test Yourself Bundle (PS3) Review

Creat Studios brings you all of the fun of a psychological evaluation, without the hefty price tag. The Test Yourself Bundle is designed to evaluate various aspects of who you are, and give you a nice little written assessment to base your self-worth on.

The Test Yourself Bundle contains the original Test Yourself game, which evaluates your nervous system and intellect, as well as the Memory and Attention add-ons. If you’ve ever played Brain Age or one of its clones, then you’re likely familiar with the process. The game presents you with various tests and then gives you an assessment based on how you performed. Each test has a little tutorial before it, which is basically a short sentence or two telling you what to do, and then three practice questions that are quite easy. You can practice each of the tests in the Training Mode as well, but there isn’t much benefit to this unless you are hung up on improving your scores, as the tests are essentially the same in both modes. Don’t even get me started on the fact that if this is meant to be a true psychological assessment, then allowing the “patient” to practice really would not give true results.

If you’re thinking nobody would expect a video game to give an accurate assessment, I’m going to stop you right there. Test Yourself was created by a whole team of professionals with a united goal of accuracy. According to the game’s description, “The goal of Test Yourself is to provide users with an affordable, professional assessment of various aspects of their personalities and psychological abilities.” Being a psychology buff (who also studied various aspects of psychology at university), I loved the idea of Test Yourself right from the start. I also liked the idea that the game is meant to pique public interest in the field of psychology. Unfortunately, while the game does has some really good aspects, I was rather disappointed in Test Yourself as a whole.

My first complaint was that the game does not do a very good job of explaining itself. While you can go and visit the game’s “Library” to read up about various aspects of psychology, there is very little information about the tests themselves. For instance, one of the puzzles involves pressing different buttons when you hear different sounds, and another does the same with shapes. Now, I get that they are likely measuring reaction time and such, but there isn’t any explanation attached to it. Even just a short write-up on what they are testing for and how it affects you would have been interesting and enlightening. Given the goal of bringing awareness, I find it unusual that the reasoning and psychology that goes into the tests are not shared.

I ran into the same issue of too little information in another aspect of the testing when I tried the Intellect test. This consists of various puzzles to solve that will ostensibly measure your intellect. One of the tests involves looking at pictures of interconnected shapes that have a red dot placed somewhere among the shapes. The test instructs you to look at the picture and then choose another picture that would allow you to place the dot in the same place. Whaaaa?  Not to sound uneducated, but I just did not get what they were asking me to do, and the assessment at the end of the test told me I was “of below average intellect.” Ouch. Now, I can accept it if I don’t perform well on a test, but it just seemed to me that this was mostly a case of poorly written instructions, and there is not anywhere in the game that you could go for clarification on how to perform. So, I asked a couple other adults to look at the test and tell me what to do (since I had already been told that my feeble brain couldn’t handle it). Funny thing is, they didn’t know what they were supposed to do either. If three college-educated individuals are unable to understand the instructions on your test, then either you need to clarify more or colleges need to work on their admissions processes.

I did eventually, through some trial and error, get a basic enough idea of where the dot should go to retake the test. This time, it told me my “intellect is impressive.” Oookay…..so am I stupid or a genius? I wasn’t sure, so I moved on to another test, which told me again that I was too dumb for words. “You can work with small amounts of data, but it requires much effort.” It even told me that I should try to get friends and family to do things for me, since they probably have less problems than I do. This might sound like sour grapes at performing poorly on tests, so I want to give you a little background. I have a four year degree from a private university and I am generally considered to be at least somewhat intelligent. Yet a test that promises an accurate assessment first tells me I’m an idiot, then says I’m very smart, and then again tells me I ought not to think too much as I wouldn’t want to hurt myself. The inconsistencies bother me, given the focus of the game. It is also tough to really label it as a “game” per se, as there isn’t a whole lot of playing to be done. Each of the four current categories (there are more coming as DLC) has just a few tests involved with them. While you can practice them if you like, I can’t imagine anyone getting a whole lot of gaming time out of replaying the same short tests over and over again.

Test Yourself also has a Social Mode, designed to “evaluate your friends and allow them to answer questions about you via PlayStation Network – you’ll learn more about your own personality and find out how you come across to others.”  Basically, you answer various questions about your own personality, and then your friends can be invited to answer questions about you. These range from whether you think they get lost easily to the somewhat offensive questions of whether they are “sharp as a tack or somewhat retarded.” This is intended to increase your awareness of what others think about you.

I was more than a little shocked to see the term “retarded” used by such a “professional” piece of software, especially when it was used as a negative descriptor. While I’m not the most politically correct person in the world, I found it extremely close-minded  and in poor form, for the developers to allow that term to be used in the way that it was. It makes me question the credibility of the “scientific professionals” behind it, and for me it tarnished the legitimacy of Test Yourself.

 

Final Thoughts:

Test Yourself is a really cool concept that seeks to give players a greater understanding of both psychology and themselves. However, the execution of the game leaves a lot to be desired, and can leave players felling more confused that enlightened. Test Yourself is priced to be accessible, and the low price makes it worth a look if you are interested in psychology or self-study. However, gamers who are looking for an in depth game that offers true insight will likely be disappointed.

 

A Joint Review by Amy Nelson & Troy Benedict

About Amy

Amy
U.S. Senior Editor/Deputy EIC at BrutalGamer, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @MacAnthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)

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