Review by EJRICH

"Good Evening to You to, Big Head."

You know, it's funny. Whether you're two years of age or twenty, your brain is always deteriorating. You can't help it, I can't help it; but perhaps video games can. Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day continues down the path of Nintendo's eccentricity by essentially introducing a game that can help your brain. Not that I actually noticed any differentiation, mind you, after having it for roughly a full seven months.

The big draw with Brain Age is that it actually stimulates your wits through a sequence of tasks that allegedly “Encourage” your brain so that it gains both vigor and potency. The large quandary is most of the tasks that the game has to present really are nothing more than novelty, minute things that you could merely do on your own time with a scrap of paper. Do you really want to squander twenty bucks just to play a game that allows you to mark some numbers on your screen?

The point is, yes. From the instant that the game is turned on, the participant is greeted with a giant, almost creepy, floating head. That head happens to be the cranium of the prominent physician who created this game, and he'll be your guide as you go throughout the title. For what reason he had to place his head in the game, I'll never know.

For one reason or another, Brain Age focuses on boosting brain capacity through short, straightforward challenges that although my seem uncomplicated at first, really aren't. Come on, you can do a simple set of multiplication problems in a certain period of time, right? You know, the ones that you learned in grade school, 2x2, 3x3, 4x400…well, the point is most of you won't, basically because the game has a way of making you as the player look like a complete idiot.

Let's face it, holding the DS the way that this game makes you isn't exactly comfortable, particularly if you are using a Lite. It's because of this that nine times out of ten you'll wind up making not one blunder, not two blunders, but many before you actually get the wits to do something about the way that you're holding the darn thing.

Even once you do get around to shifting the way that you hold the DS, you still have to deal with the fact that the game has problems recognizing numbers, voices (Ever hear of the word blue?), and most notably, stylus taps. And yes, this can moderately be attributed to the player's own inclination to miss marks, but the point in fact resides, sometimes the game plain out doesn't recognize things.

It's forgivable nevertheless, generally because this game has as much as it does going for it. As I said earlier, I'm still playing this game, even seven months from when I got it. If that doesn't reek replay, I don't know what does. Nonetheless, the game includes a good section of Suduko maps for fans of the hit game to keep busy with (I've spent a good portion of time in them myself), while including a decent difficulty step to keep new players happy.

Probably what makes this game exceptional, though, lies in the originality that Nintendo decided to include in this title. Much like every other touch generation game out there, Brain Age makes certain that it can appeal to all audiences, whether young or old, through a game play experience that gets the mind moving. The varieties of tasks that are accessible to the player right from the start are lean, but as the game progresses, it gives you a reason to want to keep playing. What will I unlock next, how many more days? Questions like that make spending the simple five minutes a day this game requires worth while, while helping your brain to achieve maximum efficiency.

Not only that, but it's also extremely rewarding to see your brain age increase as the days go by. The age of 20 is the preferred age (Doesn't mean you have to actually be 20, it's just a border), while 80 basically means you've been playing way too much Zelda. Seven months in, and I'm happily sitting at perfection.

While not everyone will necessarily like Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, the game does plenty right while keeping your brain young, something that truly is priceless.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/29/07, Updated 12/20/09

Game Release: Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! (US, 04/17/06)

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