Review by DanteRules

"A good thinking game, but will it work for you?"

Introduction: In a time where violent games are common, Brain Age decides to take a
different approach. The idea is simple: release a series of mini games that causes your brain to think on a
variety of levels.

Gameplay (7):: There are over a dozen games which test various abilities. Some are based on memorization, such as remembering a group of words. Others are based on shifting your brain to pay attention to certain details. For example, you will see the word of a color on the screen and you have to shout out the color it says, but the word might be in a different color. There are also games such as sudoku, which has become a huge craze over the last few months. These games will use about every function the DS can do. You will use the pen to draw and write as well as the microphone to shout out answers.

Unfortunately, this is where the flaws are. The microphone doesn't seem to like picking up everyone's voices. It wouldn't understand the word “blue” half the time we said it, and four of us tried. The pen won't always work correctly, either. Some things such as “4” and “e” will not always be read correctly, or at all. It is incredibly frustrating to have your score ruined when it's not even your fault.

Controls (7): The controls are fine (minus the hardware issues). There is a downside when it comes from a lack of configuration for some games. After all, this is a portable game and you should be able to play it anywhere. Can you imagine being in a public place and shouting “YELLOW! BLUE! BLACK!” around others? It would be nice if they came up with alternate ways to play some of the games, but they don't.

Graphics (5): This game is not about graphics. With that said, I don't take it into much consideration for scoring this game. As for the graphics that it does have, you won't see anything too cool here.

Difficulty (7): The difficulty depends on how good you are at that certain game. Since these are puzzle-type games, you don't necessarily have to worry about how good you are. Your goal is to keep increasing your abilities and shave off as many seconds as you can.

Music (2): There is little music in this game, and it is nothing great. That isn't necessarily a bad thing considering you probably want a quiet place to concentrate. Still, it would be nice if they had more in it.

- Some fun and addicting games.
- Does a great job of making you think.

- The 15 games just aren't quite enough.
- Serious hardware issues.

Conclusion (6): If you are lucky enough not to run into the hardware problems, then this game might be for you. Regrettably, that is a huge risk when considering its price. This is redefining the term “hit-or-miss”. Like I mentioned earlier, four of us had problems getting things to work. It would be best to test this game out before throwing your money at it. Aside from the hardware issues, the game is decent enough to look into if you like thinking games.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 06/26/06

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