Thanks to Brain Age, millions of kids have been able to trick their parents into thinking that the Nintendo DS is being used as an educational device. With the help of popular college prep company Kaplan, the trickery can continue. They announced their plans to create a SAT prep game for the Nintendo DS with the help of developer Aspyr only a few months ago. Now, they have a fully functional prototype ready, and a name to boot.
FutureU will feature at least four different question types, and over 1200 questions. Now, we asked why it wasn't called something a bit more marketable, like R0x0rz the SATs, or SAT Test Prep DS, and a Aspyr representative informed us that The College Board has strict control over the SAT brand. The title won't have "SAT" in it, but the packaging will make it very clear what the product's purpose is.
A very early version of the game we saw featured some rudimentary character customization, added to give the illusion that FutureU is more of a "game" than a "learning experience." The DS version of the game won't offer any real questions from the SAT, nor will it try to grade you. Instead, players will go through various games that test the concepts found in the SATs. For example, Glyphs will have players attempt to figure out the meaning of a word by deconstructing the word's various roots. Predictions train reading comprehension by removing a word from a passage. Players can then scribble predictions on what should be in the missing blank(s). Then, players will be able to choose from a selection of possible words, and use their predictions to choose the correct missing word.
While its interface is more "game-like" than most edu-tainment titles, it's still clear what FutureU is and what its purpose is. And that's to let you carry your DS around and claim you're "studying." FutureU will be available on DS, PC and Mac this Fall.