Review by MrMooTooBooHoo
"Nintendo's newest nerdy innovation"
You've got to love what Nintendo's doing with the DS. I admire Nintendo here: no one else wants to try anything new: let's indulge the nerds! Nintendo's doing a great job at doing this, as you can see through games such as Elektroplankton. I thought, and so did everybody else, that Nintendo wasn't going to get much weirder. But now Nintendo is releasing a game that being used in hospitals to aid those with dementia.
Brain Age: Train Your Brains In Minutes a Day is an oddball. Who wants to do homework for a game? But it's not homework. It's comparable to Warioware, almost, except faster, and more on your toes. In fact, I think the creator of this game would like the idea behind WarioWare. He wants you to think. And he manages to get you to do this too, in the strangest way possible.
Gameplay: 10 out of 10 / 3 out of 10
Brain Age as a normal game would get kicked in the face if let play with the big kids. Squashed. Made the net. Or more likely, the puck. But if you can ignore your Resident Evil and Super Mario, you'll find Brain Age has a lot to offer. And it's the only game that offers it, too: what other console game do you know for brainiacs?
Basically, you'll play the game guided by the floating head of a neuroscientist who had a long Japanese name. He'll first ask you to play a short little game: you say the color of the word written. For example, the word "yellow" may be black. So you'd say "black" much to the confusement of people around you who wonder why you are talking to a game. (Just kidding - there's an option for people who don't want to talk.)
So Mr. Floating Head will first ask a few questions about yourself, and then he'll tell you your Brain Age. The youngest your brain can be is 20, although don't be surprised to get something in the seventies. You can always improve your Brain Age later, by taking a test again. And now, having proved the worth of your brain, Mr. Egghead wants to beef it up a little. By working it like a muscle.
I've only had the game for a day, so I only have a few games available to be right now. I can read a passage out loud, as fast as I can to work my brain. Or I can solve 20 very simple math problems (2 times 0, anyone?) or 100 of those. There's also an exercise that works on your short term memory, and there are various other things you can unlock by playing the game every day.
And there's also sudoku puzzles. Now, if you don't know what these are, well, how did you get a computer to fit under that rock? These are logic puzzles that are sweeping the nation, and are in almost every newspaper these days. The game has over 100 of these, along with helpful strategy tips. That's the best part of the game: it helps you along.
GRAPHICS / SOUND: N/A
Doesn't matter. There's no jagglies, although Mr. Balloon Face is a little polygony. It's nothing worse than Animal Crossing, and I have no idea what you're doing staring at a Japanese neroscientist. As for the sound? Let's just say you might want to use your own music: the sounds of the game gets repetitive after a while. But please don't let that stop you from buying the game: there's a volume control for a reason.
Here's a test to see if you should buy Brain Age. Do you think Electroplankton, in all forms, was stupid, pretentious, and overarty? No? Good. Do you mind repetitive sound? No? And last of all: do you want to buy a game where entertainment is second to brain power? Yes? Then I can fully endorse Brain Age: Train Your Brain In Minutes a Day to you.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/18/06
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