OutSmart™ Amanda Bynes on MSN Games
Developed by Jellyvision Games

An ONLINE videogame review. Only La Fée would put me up to this.

OutSmart™ is a whole series of online trivia games where you compete against celebrities in a battle of wits. The gimmick is that the questions are somehow vaguely related to the celebrity opponent and what exactly it is that made them so famous.

I actually played one of these OutSmart™ games before … I think it was "against" alleged R&B singer Anastacia. She was as stupid as you might imagine, so I kicked her ass.

The range of celebrity involved here is bafflingly wide. It ranges from obvious one-hit wonders like Sisqo, or gimmicky actors like Kathy Kinney, to huge names like J-Lo and Florence Henderson. (Pause for readers to use the previous statement to calibrate their Panasonic XGEN™ Sarcastrometers. The correct reading should be between 135 and 140.)

It's utterly perplexing to see Mariah Carey or J-Lo or Garth Brooks and think, "Wow! They got some pretty big fucking stars to do this stupid little thing!" and then immediately see Frank The Pug or Ty and Amy, the carpenters from Trading Spaces. Frank The Pug isn't even fucking real, what the hell is up with that?

Right, the game. The proceedings are hosted by an emcee of sorts, an annoying guy whose name I forgot immediately. I'll just call him Faustino Kern, which comes from my rapidly growing list of people with utterly odd names who have sent me spam e-mail. Faustino introduces your opponent, and gives them some time to plug whatever straight-to-video movie or flavor-of-the-month CD they are riding at the moment.

Several questions are asked, and 100 points are given for a correct answer. On alternating questions, either you or the celebrity will go first. If you get a question right that the celebrity does not, you have "outsmarted" the celebrity, and you are rewarded with an extra 100 points.

Oddly, it isn't a two-way street, because the celebrity is given no bonus for outsmarting you. I suppose in the case of some or all of these people – Sisqó? Scott Bakula?? Jamie Kennedy??? – the fact that they are even remotely famous and you're not means that they've outsmarted you already.

Oh, I guess I'm actually supposed to be reviewing the version with Amanda Bynes, aren't I? Amanda herself comes off as slightly less preening than you might expect for an aging child star, but the fact that the interview was literally (and quite possibly figuratively) phoned in hurts the whole operation. She disinterestedly answers a few questions about her career from emcee guy, and throws out a few lame taunts to her unseen opponent.

I ended up trouncing Amanda by the score of 1100-600. I got a couple questions she didn't, but they were rapidly lost in the bottom of my martini glass, as are so many of my other precious memories. I remember that one question had to do with "Beverly Hills 90210," since Amanda is/was apparently in a sitcom with Jennie Garth. Another question was about bangers and mash, since her new movie is set in Great Britain.

As a harmless way to kill 10 minutes, the OutSmart™ games aren't all that bad. If you're dying to know what that new project Jamie-Lynn Sigler is working on, this game will scratch that itch for you. If you just have to answer some inane trivia questions, you're good to go. Unfortunately, if you're looking for truly raucous entertainment, you'll have to wait for the game I'm developing, OutFart™ Amanda Bynes.

Review by Mario Speedwagon