Review by PoPPiP

Reviewed: 05/30/06

A fun little game that is best played with many people.

Brain Age is a fun little game where you will be able to "train your brain" with various activities. These activities range from the Stroop Test (where you will have to call out the color of words as fast as you can), to doing 20 simple calculations as fast as you can. In order to truly get the most out of the game however, it is a lot more enjoyable when you can then compare your scores with other people.

Gameplay 8/10
There are around 14 activities in total, but you will only start with a handful of them being playable. In order to unlock the rest, you will have to play a little bit everyday to collect stamps. You only have to play at least one activity to collect a stamp though, so this feature is mainly available to help entice you to come back everyday.

Of the game modes, there is: Quick Play, Daily Training, and Sudoku. Quick Play is great if you want to let someone who has never touched the game try it out. It will teach the player how to play every time, and then offer a quick Brain Age Check.

Daily Training mode is the main game mode in Brain Age. Inside, you can conduct the real Brain Age Check, play some Training exercises, or study the Graphs to monitor your progress. Brain Age Check sets you through 3 tests in order to determine your "Brain Age." It will randomly pick 3 activities, and according to how well you do, it will give you a Brain Age from 20 to 80. Your Brain Age will then be set for that day, and you cannot change it until tomorrow (You can play the Brain Age Check again but it won't change your score).

Training mode differs from the Brain Age Check in that it has different activities (Brain Age Check has 6 activities, Training mode has 9. All are different except the 20x Calculations game). It is here where you'll be collecting stamps (one per day) and unlocking new activities.

There are also 100 Sudoku puzzles, where you must fill in a grid with numbers from 1 to 9. The grid has 9 large squares set in a 3x3 fashion, each large square with its own 3x3 grid. You must place the numbers in such a way that each large square has each number from 1 to 9 only once, while each row and column also has the numbers 1 to 9 only once.

Lastly, you can also transfer a demo onto your friend's DS, which is essentially the Quick Play mode.

Graphics 6/10
Nothing to amazed about, the graphics get the job done and that's all. The doctor Ryuta Kawashima who does all the explaining in the game isn't particularly well modeled either. The menus are also very simplistic making it very easy for anyone including non-gamers to pickup and play.

Sound 6/10
Very simplistic sounds, that get the job done, but nothing more. You have some pretty generic elevator music, some chimes here and there and that's all.

Final Verdict 8/10
For just $20, this is a great puzzle game for the whole family. The game is very easy to pickup and play, and addictive enough that you'll probably be coming back everyday for quite some time. Just one tip of advice, this game is most fun when you can compare your scores with other family members, and the game allows up to 4 saves on the cartridge.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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