----------------------------------------
Brain Training strategy guide
Platform: Nintendo DS
Author: Kylohk
Version: 1.0
Date: 2009-1-15
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Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. Getting started
3. Brain age check
4. Daily training
5. Sudoku
6. Dr. Kawashima's tips
7. Conclusion

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1. Introduction
----------------
The Nintendo DS is really one big surprise of a handheld. Not only is it the 
first to use a touch screen as a form of control, it gave way to a wide 
variety of non-conventional software. Brain Training, known as Brain Age in 
North America is one of the examples. As an idea based on the book Train Your 
Brain: 60 Days to a Better Brain by Professor Ryuka Kawashima. Some of the 
methods were compiled into a set of training exercises for the Nintendo DS, 
which is the game we have today. So, are you ready to train your brain? This 
guide is here to help you.

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2. Getting started
-------------------
To start with, hold the DS in a vertical position with the touch screen to the 
right. If you are left handed, flip it over so that the touch screen is to the 
left. When you start this game, you will see the main menu on the touch screen 
and the title, along with a polygonal model of Kawashima's face on the left 
screen.

There are 5 options on the main menu. A blue globe button, Quick Play, Daily 
Training, Sudoku and Download.

-------------------
Picking a language
-------------------
The upper left blue button allows you to set the language of the game. Now 
that I am playing the European version, I get to choose between English, 
German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese languages. Since this guide is 
in English, let's assume you are playing it in English.

---------------
Quick play
---------------
Quick play allows you to do three different activities without entering 
personal information. You can perform a quick brain age check, quick training 
(limited to Calculations x20) and a quick game of Sudoku. For more details 
about how to play them, read on later.

--------------------
Starting a new file
--------------------
To start with, tap Daily Training with your stylus. You will be shown four 
empty data files. Pick a blank one to start a new file. You get a welcome 
message from Mr. Kawashima. "Why hello there!" he says, "My name is Ryuta 
Kawashima. Why don't we try doing some brain training together? I've been 
looking forward to it! Please check the time before we start your training."

You are shown the current date and time set on your Nintendo DS. "Is this date 
and time accurate?" Kawashima asks. If it's correct, tap Yes with the stylus. 
Otherwise, you have to turn off the DS and turn it back on to set the time 
again. "Which hand do you use to write?" he then asks. Let's assume you are 
right handed, so tap Right.

Kawashima explains the rationale of his program. "If you don't use your brain, 
it will age quickly. You'll have a brain with less power than the ideal age of 
20. It's just like not using your body! You'll get out of shape and weak!" 
Kawashima makes a "serious" expression on his face. "But don't fret! There's 
nothing to fear! You can train your brain just like you train your body!"

"Please look at these images of brains." You see a picture of 2 pairs of 
brains, marked by letters A and B. Notice how most of the brain is grey, with 
several small red parts. "The yellow and red patches show areas of rapid blood 
flow. Those areas of your brain are doing a lot of work! Image A shows a brain 
in thought. Image B shows a brain watching TV. These brains are hardly working 
at all! Lazy brains!"

"Now, look at the following images." You see two more pairs of brains marked 
with letters C and D. Notice how most of those brains are red. "Image C shows 
a brain that's doing simple maths problems rapidly; while Image D shows a 
brain whose owner is reading out aloud. See how larger portions of these 
brains are being put to work? Solving simple calculations and reading out loud 
activate the brain! These activities are included in this software, as well as 
many other training programs for your brain."

"Modern imaging tools have proved that they are all quite effective! And now, 
it's time to start your training! Oh, but before we do that, let's try to work 
out your current brain age." You then get to do a brain age check, before you 
can actually start training. Oh yes, don't forget to write down your name 
using the stylus before you begin!

--------------------
Daily training menu
--------------------
After the first brain age check, you will be brought to a second menu every 
time you load a file. You get to choose to check your brain age, take part in 
one of the nine training activities available in this package, check up on 
your progress through many graphs and adjust settings for your file.

------------------------
Recording your progress
------------------------
Whenever you check your brain age or take part in any of the training 
activities, only the results of your first attempt of the day will be recorded 
by the system. Activities the results of which have not been recorded will be 
marked in orange, otherwise they are marked in grey. Subsequent attempts will 
not be recorded by the system, no matter how good they are. If you have 
underperformed badly in one of the activities, there is nothing you can do but 
wait for the next day to have a better result.

You will be awarded a stamp to mark your calendar once you have participated 
in at least one activity in the day. You receive a bigger stamp if you have 
completed 3 or more activities that day. The more stamps you have on the 
calendar, the more activities and features you can unlock. Here is a list of 
the things you can unlocked and the number of stamps you need for each one.

Low to High: 1 stamp
Syllable Count: 2 stamps
Head Count: 3 stamps
Reread Dr. Kawashima's Tips in the Options menu: 5 stamps
Design your own stamp in the Options menu: 7 stamps
Head Count hard mode: 9 stamps
Calculations x100: 11 stamps (or complete normal mode in 90 seconds)
Triangle Math: 13 stamps
Time Lapse: 15 stamps
Triangle Math hard mode: 17 stamps
Voice Calculation: 20 stamps

In all, you need to spend at least 20 days playing this game to unlock 
everything.

-----------------------
Tracking your progress
-----------------------
You can look back on the days on which you have trained by tapping the left 
and right buttons on the upper right corner of the touch screen to change the 
month on the calendar on the left screen. You can also review your 
performances in each activity for up to the last 2 months. Just scroll up and 
down and tap the activity you wish to check for the corresponding graph 
showing the fluctuations of the results. Tapping "2 mos." brings out a graph 
over spread over the last 2 months spanning both screens. If you have more 
than one data file in this game, you can tap Compare to compare your results 
to everyone else's.

If you hold the Select button while tapping Graph, you get to see the top 3 
results for all activities!

---------------
Options screen
---------------
Tap Options to bring up the Options screen, where you can change your reading 
font size (used for the Reading Aloud activity), your handedness (left or 
right) and your signature. You can also delete your file if you wish! Once you 
have unlocked them, you can design your own stamp or re-read Dr. Kawashima's 
tips for your brain. Tapping the icon with a person on it brings up the 
credits.

-------------------
3. Brain age check
-------------------
OK, let's start by checking how old your brain is! Select Brain Age Check on 
the menu after loading your file. You will be told that your brain age is 
determined by three tests chosen in random. There are a total of 6 tests that 
may be chosen for you. That number will be reduced to 4 if you tell Kawashima 
that you can't speak. The six tests are: Stroop Test, Speed Counting, Word 
Memory, Connect Maze, Number Cruncher and Calculations x20. In order to do the 
first two tests, you must be able to speak.

The best brain age that can be obtained is 20, and can only be achieved if you 
meet the target of all 3 tests you are given. In this section I will explain 
the tests one by one and give you some strategies to reach the target.

---------------
Stroop test
---------------
Target time: 50 sec

If you tell Kawashima that you can speak, you will always be asked to do this 
test first.

The Stroop test aims to determine how susceptible your reaction time is to 
interference. You will be shown a series of words Red, Yellow, Blue or Black 
in the four colours of those words. When shown a word, you should quickly say 
the colour of the word, not the actual word itself! For example, if you see 
the word "Black" in a red colour, say the word "Red" aloud and you will be 
shown another word which you have to say the colour of. Repeat this until you 
are done.

Whatever you do, you must be able to see the words clearly for the test to 
make sense. Don't try to perform a sideways glance at the Nintendo DS so you 
can only make out the colour of the word-That's cheating. The Stroop Test is 
arguably the hardest test of them all to reach the target time. Since you have 
to determine the colours of 50 words, it means that you have to say 1 word per 
second. I doubt many people can say things this fast! 

This brings out another problem. The software's ability to detect your answer 
many depend on your accent. Sometimes they may fail to detect the words Red 
and Blue properly, costing you many seconds. For me, my strategy is to 
pronounce the word "Red" by hardly mentioning the "D" sound at the end. 
Nevertheless, I believe the target time is unrealistic and hence you should 
never tell Dr. Kawashima that you can speak on your first attempt of the day 
(the one which counts!).

---------------
Speed counting
---------------
Target time: 45 sec

This is another of those tests which require you to be able to speak. Your 
goal is to count from 1 to 120 loudly in the shortest time possible. Once you 
have finished, tap Done on the touch screen. In my opinion, this isn't a test 
of your brain power, it's a test of your vocal cords! Counting fast is like 
reciting a tongue twister. Since there is no voice detection in this game, you 
are free to slur as you count up, even though the game tells you not to. 
Whatever happens, always count in the language/dialect you are most 
comfortable with. For me, I'd count in Cantonese since numbers are the easiest 
to count in a fast speed.

---------------
Word memory
---------------
Target: 16 words memorised

This is one hard test. You are shown a list of 30 four letter words on both 
the left screen and the touch screen. You have 3 minutes to memorise them and 
then you are given another 3 to write as many of them down on the touch screen. 
This has got to be the most taxing test since it's really going to hurt your 
brain!

I suggest that you start by trying to quickly memorise the first 8-10 word on 
the left screen so that you can kind of recite them in your head. As for the 
rest of the words, it's a matter of prioritising. Try to look for words which 
have rare letters like j (jink, jazz), x (axle, oxen, exam) or y (spry, zany, 
army, very). Those words are bound to stick out and hence are the easiest to 
remember. You can also try to group words by type such as animals (cows, mare, 
dove, oxen) or military (army, mine, bomb, duty). Such strategies should more 
or less guarantee you have memorised enough words to meet the target.

If you are that desperate, you can always take a picture of the words using a 
camera phone so you can easily read then later!

---------------
Connect maze
---------------
Target time: 30 seconds

This is one complicated connect the dots puzzle in which you have to connect 
the circles on the touch screen using the stylus alternating between letters 
and numbers, going from the lowest to the highest. (To be precise, you join 
them in the order A -> 1 -> B -> 2 and so on) The line is drawn using a cursor 
that can only be moved by sliding the tip of the stylus across the screen. 
There is only one strategy to do it quick: Have a good foresight. You should 
be looking for the next circle while you are moving your stylus towards the 
current one. Be careful not to touch any incorrect circles or your will be 
slowed down.

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Number cruncher
----------------
Target time: 1 minute

You will be shown a pile of numbers on the left screen and will be asked how 
many numbers are there of a colour (red, yellow, blue, black) or value. In 
addition, you may be asked how many numbers are pulsing, rotating or sliding. 
You answer by writing the number down on the touch screen. This is a mere test 
of your observation skills, there aren't any tactics here. Whatever you do, 
you cannot answer wrongly, or you will be given a harsh time penalty. 

-----------------
Calculations x20
-----------------
Target time: 15 sec

You are to quickly solve 20 simple mathematics problems, each of which 
requiring you to add, subtract or multiply 2 numbers. For the best results, 
lay the Nintendo DS on a flat surface like a table before you start. 

My strategy is to have foresight: You should be solving the next question 
while you are writing down the answer to the current one. The hardest number 
to write is definitely the number 3 since you must write both curls clearly or 
risk having it being mistaken for a 7. Each wrong answer adds 5 seconds to 
your total time, so you can't afford to make any mistakes.

------------------
4. Daily training
------------------
This is the meet of the game, where you perform various exercises to train 
your brain. Brain Training features 9 fun and exciting things to do, 4 of 
which you have from the beginning. The other 5 require you to acquire enough 
stamps before they can be played. It takes 20 stamps to unlock everything this 
game has to offer.

In addition to the 9 activities, you may be given a pre-training activity 
during the first few times you load your file every day. You may be asked 
about something related to your daily lives for that day (Such as the most 
interesting thing you have seen on television). Once you have answered, make 
sure you remember what you've written since you will be asked about it a few 
days later.

Another thing that you may be asked to do is to draw three things as 
instructed by Kawashima. You will be asked to draw many things such as North 
America, a shark, a bicycle or even Beethoven! This is entirely for fun since 
I am sure not everyone (including me) is an artist. If there are multiple 
files on the game card, you can compare the versions drawn by different 
players once everyone's done it! And now, let me list the activities and their 
corresponding strategies.

Your performances in each activities are ranked using modes of transport. The 
best rank is rocket speed while the worst one is walking speed. Hence I will 
list out the requirements to achieve rocket speed in each activity, as well as 
flying speed (the second highest) for harder ones.

-----------------
Calculations x20
-----------------
Rocket speed requirement: Fewer than 12 sec

This is the same Calculations x20 of the Brain Age Check, so the same 
strategies will apply for it.

------------------
Calculations x100
------------------
Rocket speed requirement: Fewer than 1 min 5 sec

This is a tougher version of Calculations x20. You have to solve 100 simple 
math problems as quickly as possible. The game designers are generous with 
their rocket speed requirements, giving you 1 minute 5 seconds to solve all 
problems rather than just 1 minute. After all, your wrists are going to get 
tired after all that writing, right? The strategies are the same as that of 
Calculations x20.

During hard mode, you will be asked to solve division problems as well, but 
that won't be too hard since it's still straightforward.

---------------
Reading aloud
---------------
Rocket speed requirement: 12 syllables per second
Flying speed requirement: 10.6 syllables per second

This is one hard event. You are given an excerpt of a famous British or 
American novel to read as quickly as possible. It's obvious that they don't 
intend you to read it aloud like how a normal person would. In fact, you are 
likely to get rated with a cycling speed or worse that way! Since there is no 
voice detection, just speed through the passage and don't worry about slurring 
or words that are difficult to pronounce. Hell, you can skip the title of the 
passage if you please! Just remember not to go too fast or else Dr. Kawashima 
will claim that he can't measure you.

Remember that you can change the font size of the words by going to the Option 
screen. By setting the font size to normal, it will ensure adequate time spent 
on a page. Note that you will still struggle to get rocket speed performance 
because it's just near impossible to read out 12 syllables in each second. 
Just try saying the name Mario 4 times within 1 second, since that's how fast 
you will have to be!

---------------
Low to high
---------------
Rocket speed requirement: 60 numbers memorised
Flying speed requirement: 50 numbers memorised

This is another extremely difficult game which tests your short term memory. 
In the beginning of each round, you are shown a group of numbers on the left 
screen for a brief moment. After that you are to tap the squares on the touch 
screen corresponding to the positions of the numbers to reveal them all, from 
the lowest to the highest. Every time you manage to get the order right, the 
number of numbers you've just memorised will be added to a cumulative score.

The size of the group of numbers gradually increases as you complete each 
round successfully. You begin by having to memorised a group of 4 numbers 
arranged in a square, then 5 numbers, then 6 numbers arranged in a right 
angled triangle, followed by 7 numbers, followed by 8 numbers arranged in 2 
rows, followed by 9 numbers arranged in 3 rows, then 10 numbers, then 12 
numbers arranged in 4 rows! If you make a mistake while you are revealing a 
group of numbers, you will fail the round and be given a slightly smaller 
group of numbers to memorise and reveal for the next round. At the same time, 
the quantity of numbers you've revealed for the failed round will not count 
towards the total score.

In my opinion, things get tough once you are asked to memorise 8 numbers or 
more. The best strategy is to try and memorise a rough path to be followed by 
your stylus as you tap those squares. Following that is practice, practice and 
more practice.

The scoring system may also interest you. A simple addition game can help you 
extrapolate your score. Remember that you only receive points from a round if 
you reveal the entire group of numbers in the right order, and that there are 
10 groups of numbers to do. So, let's just assume you are able to get the 
first 6 groups correctly. You get the following score:
4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 = 39

Let's say you get lucky with the next round. You'll get 10 more points, 
raising your score to 49, which is one point below the flying speed 
requirement. Let me try to make a simple "flow chart" which details the total 
scores that you might get under different scenarios. 

Round 8 (Group of 12):
If you succeed, you get 61 points (rocket speed). If you fail, go to round 9.

Round 9 (Group of 10):
If you succeed, you get 59 points (flying speed) and go to Round 10a. If you 
fail, go to round 10b.

Round 10a (Group of 12):
If you succeed, you get 71 points (rocket speed). If you fail, you still get 
59 points (flying speed).

Round 10b (Group of 9):
If you succeed, you get 58 points (flying speed). If you fail, you are left 
with 49 points (train speed), despite the great achievement of managing to 
memorise a group of 10 numbers!

The above analysis shows that it is possible to be left with a train speed 
result even if you can memorise 10 numbers at a time. The worst case scenario 
(Round 10b) is extremely likely because by failing at round 8, many people are 
likely to lose a lot of confidence, resulting in them not being able to 
memorise subsequent groups of numbers. In addition, it is shown that you must 
be able to memorise 12 numbers at once to get rocket speed, so this game is 
serious, I tell you!

Knowing the above truth, it might be strategically viable for you to 
deliberately fail round 7 (group of 10) if you are able to consistently 
memorise 9 numbers but are unconfident with memorise more. Then you can 
succeed in round 8 (group of 9), deliberately fail round 9 (group of 10) 
before you succeed in round 10 (another group of 9). This trick allows you to 
end the game with 57 words memorised, which is of flying speed performance. It 
also allows you to save face. Imagine how insulted you are when you found out 
that you are only of train speed even though you are able to memorised a group 
of 10 numbers at once.

---------------
Syllable count
---------------
Rocket speed requirement: 1 min

You are shown a number of famous quotations and idioms on the left screen. The 
objective of this activity is to count the number of syllables in each phrase, 
writing your answers on the touch screen. I've found that the most effective 
way to count is by tapping the words, syllable by syllable on the left screen 
while counting softly. Certain words may prove tricky, such as desperate (3 
syllables), fire (2 syllables), curiosity (5 syllables), educated (4 
syllables). Since the number of phrases is limited, you will eventually see 
the same one after a large number of tries, allowing you to complete this 
activity faster.

---------------
Head count
---------------
Rocket speed requirement: All 5 correct answers

You will be shown a number of people (up to 5) before they are sheltered by a 
house. Now, keep track of the number of people inside the people inside the 
house as people enter and leave. After some activity, you will be asked how 
many people are still in the house by writing the number on the touch screen.

There are a total of 5 rounds in this activity. The first two rounds are 
simple as people can only enter or leave the house at any instance, but not 
both at the same time. In that case, It all changes from the third round 
onwards, where people will enter and leave at the same time. The fifth round 
is the hardest since people will be moving much faster than before, requiring 
you to think quickly.

When I do this activity, I start by counting the people who are initially in 
the house and commit it to memory. Whenever there are people entering or 
leaving the house, I add to or subtract from that number as appropriate. When 
people start to enter the leave the house simultaneously, I calculate the net 
change to the number of people in the house and adjust the number in my head 
accordingly. You should not find it hard to constantly get all 5 rounds 
correct if you use my method.

In hard mode, people will start entering and leaving the house through the 
chimney, thus requiring you to make up to three quick calculations in any 
instant.

---------------
Triangle math
---------------
Rocket speed requirement: 30 sec

Triangle Math requires you to solve mathematical problems with a twist. In 
each problem, you are shown a row of 3 numbers on the top of the left screen 
along with a number of intermediate operations (addition or subtraction). You 
are to do the following:

1. Add or subtract (as required) the second number to or from the first one
2. Add or subtract (as required) the third number to or from the second one
3. Add or subtract the answer of step 2 to or from the answer of step 1 for 
the final answer
4. Write down the final answer on the touch screen

Those are the steps I take to solve each problem. Subtractions do not need to 
be done until the final two problems. Whatever happens, you will be asked to 
write down the absolute value of the final answer as the negative sign will be 
already included with the blank square meant for the answer on the left screen. 
(So write down the number 3 if the final answer is -3)

The game is very generous in terms of the amount of time within which you must 
solve all the problems, so take your times to avoid making mistakes. If you 
think you are up to scratch, you can try the hard mode once you have unlocked 
it. During the hard mode, you will start with a row of 4 numbers at the top, 
thus requiring you to perform 3 more operations in your head.

---------------
Time lapse
---------------
Rocket speed requirement: 40 sec

This is a classic time addition problem found in primary schools in many 
countries. You are shown two clock faces on the left screen. Your objective is 
to determine the amount of time between the time shown on the two clock faces 
in terms of hours and minutes. There are 2 fields to fill in: Hours and 
minutes. Again, I will show you how I do this exercise quickly.

First, I determine the difference in the minute hands, filling up the Minutes 
field in the process. After that, I have a look at the two times and note the 
two hours the two clocks are at. I then calculate the difference, taking 
another 1 hour off if the minute hand on the second clock is at an earlier 
position compared to the minute hand of the first one. (For example, if the 
first clock is at 6:35 while the second clock is at 9:10, the difference in 
hours will be 9 - 6 - 1 = 2)

If the time on the second clock is at an earlier hour than the first one, then 
I will convert the former to the 24-hour format. For example, if the first 
clock reads 9:15 while the second reads 4:35, I will convert the time on the 
second clock to 16:35 in my head, allowing me to quickly work out the answer: 
7 hours and 20 minutes.

Time Lapse is one of the harder activities, but getting a rocket speed 
performance isn't nearly as impossible as Low and High. Start practicing.

------------------
Voice calculation
------------------
Rocket speed requirement: 55 sec

The last activity requires you to solve 50 simple math problems, just like 
those in Calculations x20. This time, you are to say the answers into the 
microphone of the Nintendo DS. The same strategies involving foresight apply 
for this game, along with a new complication, the voice detection! You can't 
imagine the number of times I have said "six" only for the program to register 
it as an "eight", resulting in lost time.

As a result, this program can be playable or not depending on your accent. 
Whatever you do, try to place the DS so that it is 30 cm away from your mouth 
as instructed by Kawashima. In addition, try speaking the words a bit slowly. 
My best record is 50 seconds, and that's because the program recognised my 
voice incorrectly only twice!

---------------
5. Sudoku
---------------
Sudoku is a Japanese number puzzle that has taken the world by storm, 
appearing in newspapers worldwide. In case you don't know, a Sudoku puzzle 
consists of a 9 x 9 grid of squares further divided into 9 3 x 3 grids that 
are partially filled with numbers. You have to fill up the squares so that 
each column, row and 3 x 3 grid contains a number between 1 and 9, with each 
number appearing only once. In short, Sudoku is solved using the method of 
elimination.

Now I won't go and list out the solutions of all the 120 problems in this game, 
but I will just give you some general strategies. You can focus on a 3 x 3 
grid at a time, or you can focus on a row or column.

-------------------------
Focusing on a 3 x 3 grid
-------------------------
You should always start by focusing on a 3 x 3 grid, preferably one that is 
already partially filled with numbers and follow the steps below. 

1. Choose any number that isn't already within the 3 x 3 grid. 
2. Examine the three rows and three columns that intersect with the grid. If a 
column or row within the 3 x 3 is already full, don't bother with that column.
3. If the number chosen in step 1 appears in a row or column that intersects 
with the grid, you can be sure that the number will not appear in that row or 
column within the grid.
4. Repeat step 3 to eliminate up to 2 rows and 2 columns from the possible 
squares in which the chosen number could appear in.
5. Check the remaining squares that have not been eliminated from the above 
two steps. If only one of the squares is empty, you can write that number into 
the square by tapping it with your stylus to zoom in to that square. Make sure 
you write a big number to fill it in properly. If you want to erase the number, 
draw a zero on the square or just tap Erase on the bottom of the touch screen.

On the other hand, if there are multiple squares remaining, write down a small 
version of that number onto one of nine positions within the square. Choose 
another number and return to step 1.

-------------------------
Focusing on a row/column
-------------------------
Once a row or column as been considerably filled (typically with 5 or more 
numbers), you can start focusing on it. The steps below assume you are 
focusing on a row. The strategy can be used for columns as well: Just replace 
the words "row" with the words "column" and vice versa.

1. Choose any number that hasn't already appeared within the row.
2. Examine the columns that intersect with the empty squares within the row.
3. If the chosen number has appeared within those columns, you can be certain 
that number cannot appear in the intersecting squares.
4. Examine the 3 x 3 grids which the row intersects with. If the chosen number 
appears in any grid, you can be sure that the chosen number cannot appear 
again inside the empty squares belonging to the row intersecting with that 
grid.
5. If only one possible square remains after step 3 and 4, fill in the chosen 
number into that square. Otherwise, mark a small version of that number onto 
the remaining squares before returning to step 1.

---------------------------
Dealing with uncertainties
---------------------------
The Sudoku game of Brain Training comes with the option to mark numbers on 
squares on which you think a number might appear on. I suggest you mark 
squares whenever a number may only appear on two squares. If a number is 
marked on only two squares that are on the same row, consider that row taken.

Now let's say you are trying to determine the location of that same number on 
any column, you can be assured that the number cannot appear on the square 
that intersects with the row, just like in step 3. The same can be said for 
columns.

If it is found that a pair of numbers may only be found in any two squares 
within a 3 x 3 grid, consider those squares filled when you focus on that grid.

--------------------------
The last remaining square 
--------------------------
Whenever only one empty square is left in a row, column or 3 x 3 grid, the 
solution is obvious. Check which number between 1 and 9 hasn't appeared in 
those 9 squares and fill it in fast! Many people tend to forget this while 
they are busy doing the puzzle.

---------------
Cheat mode
---------------
Whenever you start a puzzle, you will be asked whether you want to turn on the 
cheat mode. If you do so, you will be told whether you have written the right 
number whenever you fill in a square with a large number (not one of those 
uncertain guesses). Be careful since each mistake will add an extra 20 minutes 
to your total time.

---------------
Advance mode
---------------
You are initially given 80 Sudoku puzzles in two difficulty levels: Basic and 
Intermediate. To unlock the third difficulty Advanced, you must beat at least 
one puzzle in 15 minutes or less.

---------------
Ranking system
---------------
Whenever you complete a Sudoku puzzle, you are told how much time you have 
spent on a puzzle and are given a ranking based on a mode of transport. The 
faster you beat the puzzle, the higher the rank. The time required per rank is 
different for each difficulty level. For example, completing an Intermediate 
puzzle in 10 minutes and 32 seconds gives you a flying speed rank while 
completing an Advanced Puzzle in 13 minutes and 42 seconds is already enough 
for you to be given a rocket speed ranking.

------------------------
6. Dr. Kawashima's tips
------------------------
Dr. Kawashima will give you a brain training tip the first time you complete a 
brain training activity on each day. Those tips aren't related to the game but 
rather related to your daily life. There are a total of 23 tips, which can 
make an interesting read. Once you have collected 5 stamps, you can read those 
tips by going to the Options screen. Here are all the tips.

1. Your belly needs food, doesn't it? Well, so does your brain! And breakfast 
is key! A morning meal helps your brain run better. Your brain is usually at 
its best in the early morning. So, let's make sure it has the energy, or 
carbohydrates, that it needs!

2. You brush your teeth when you wake up, right? I hope you do! While you 
brush your teeth, try counting all the brushstrokes. This will help to wake 
you up and warm up your brain!

3. The daily commute is a great brain training opportunity. Try to read all of 
the billboards and signs as quickly as you can.  Doing so will help to 
activate your prefrontal cortex.  But make sure to keep your eyes on the road 
if you're driving!

4. Look at people on the street and try to guess how they are feeling, then 
put those feelings into your own words. Speaking imagined ideas puts many 
areas of your brain to work.

5. If your train or bus is so crowded you can't even open your newspaper, try 
reading all the advertisements instead. See how many you can memorise in 
thirty seconds. This is good general training for your prefrontal cortex.

6. Listen closely to the news on the TV or radio, and then try to summarise 
all the stories in three to four minutes.

7. Look around you and count all the numbers that you can see, then add, 
subtract, multiply, and divide them until you get an answer of one. Performing 
simple arithmetic really wakes up your brain.

8. Walking around can also present brain training opportunities. Try counting 
the number of steps you take as you walk. Counting uses both the left and 
right prefrontal cortex hemispheres.

9. Say, do you try to work or study with the radio or TV blaring away? This 
kind of multi-tasking splits your brain focus and lowers efficiency.

10. It's only polite to make eye contact when speaking to another person.  Eye 
contact does two things. First, it improves your communication. And secondly, 
it gives your brain more information to work with.

11. Cell phones and e-mail have made our lives more convenient, but you can't 
rely on those tools alone. You must seize every opportunity for conversation! 
By engaging in direct conversation with many people every day, you will be 
forced to use words and gestures that stimulate the brain.

12. Before you start to work or study, take a moment to prioritise your goals 
for the day. Such prioritisation is actually very good brain training!

13. Imagining an image and then creating it is good for the prefrontal cortex. 
Painting a picture, for example, or sculpting something out of clay. Make sure 
that you create what's in your mind. Don't use a model!

14. Think of the names of all the things around you, and then try to think of 
as many related verbs as you can. So, for the word "pencil", you might think 
of "scribble" or "roll."

15. Even a large and noisy dinner party presents training opportunities. Try 
shutting out the loud hullabaloo of conversation and concentrate instead on 
the voice of one specific person.

16. Do you have any subconscious habits? I know you do! Your brain suffers 
when you lose conscious control of your actions.  Try to curb habits such as 
fidgeting or biting your nails. Doing so is excellent training for your brain!

17. You can easily learn people's names when you first meet them. Just repeat 
the name silently to yourself over and over! Try telling yourself "I'm going 
to remember" as you do this.

18. Do you like to eat out for lunch? If you find yourself doing so frequently, 
try going to new places at least once a week. Your brain needs new stimuli on 
a regular basis.

19. Have you had a good laugh recently? Like they say, "laughter is the best 
medicine." And it's good for your brain, too!

20. Even bad puns can be good for your brain! I know they often aren't very... 
punny!  Hoo hoo ha! But if you can stomach them, they'll really help your 
brain.

21. Checking the route you take to school or work will help activate the brain. 
Your brain gets tired of the same stimuli day in and day out!

22. Singing a cappella is also a form of brain training. If you have the guts, 
try singing karaoke without any music!

23. After a hard day of work or school, cool down your brain with TV or video 
games! Even these simple things could improve your overall brain efficiency!

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7. Conclusion
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Hope you enjoyed training your brain? Brain Training is a fun and helpful 
edutainment tool that will have you coming back for more. Being one of few 
Nintendo DS games that have gone diamond, having sold over 16 million units 
around the world, Nintendo has struck a chord with the general population in 
regards to the Nintendo DS. It's gone so famous that it's got the approval of 
celebrities like the singer Ronan Keating as seen on the Nintendo Channel of 
the Wii. Which brings the question: Are people feeling bad about their own 
intellect that they need to buy games like these as a self-help tool?

Despite the chagrin from the so called hardcore gamers, Brain Training does 
have its lasting appeal due to their high scores, and the fact that one can 
readily pick it up and play it in short bursts every day. Other games in my 
collection might be more exciting than this game, but Brain Training 
ultimately took the longest playtime out of all my games. Here's to you, Dr. 
Kawashima!

Oh yes, this guide is copyright 2009-2011 to Kylohk. It is to be exclusively 
hosted on GameFAQs so don't bother asking.