Review by wordsbecoming

"Shallow and repetitive gameplay make this title easy to pass by."

A game purely designed for increasing your intelligence, it is trying to pave its way to a whole new genre of gaming. Although Brain Age: Train your Brain in Minutes a Day can be fun at certain points, its repetitive gameplay really detracts from the fun and makes it just a “meh” experience.

Gameplay- 6
The gameplay is really fun… for a couple minutes. You start by making a profile for yourself and taking a Brain Age Check. Where you will test your brain by completing 3 activities. There are only 6 different activities to do and they get VERY repetitive. These include Calculations x20, where you will have to complete 20 simple arithmetic questions (yawn), Speed Counting, where you umm… count speedily (seriously), and Stroop Test, where you have to say out loud the color of some text. (This has horrible voice recognition, but I'll get into that later) As you can see, the activities aren't that particularly deep and you find yourself getting bored very quickly. Once you finish these (boring) activities, you will be told your brain age, 20 being the best, and 80 being the worst.

For every day you play, you will get a stamp, and once you reach a certain number of stamps, you will unlock another new activity. In total there are 14 activities to complete. (However you can only use the original 6 in the Brain Age Check) You can also measure your best records against other people on the same DS card, which is pretty neat. Thankfully, in addition to the 14 activities, there are 108 sudoku puzzles for you to do. Without the sudoku, Brain Age could easily be a 4/10. And they save the game from being a complete failure.

Presentation- 10
The menus are well organized, and easy to navigate. No problems here. There are no loading times and everything runs smoothly. In case you didn't know, you hold the DS sideways and hold it like a book, which works surprisingly well.

Sound- 7
Nothing much to talk about here, there is just the one song that plays out in the background. It can get slightly annoying sometimes, but it doesn't really bother me too much.


Now you may be thinking to yourself, well the game doesn't sound THAT bad. Wrong. The controls took everything that could've been good about the game and shot them in the groin. You will find yourself yelling at your DS for thinking your 2 was actually a 5 when you're trying to set a new record in Calculations x 20. Soon after you will be frustrated by the fact that when you try to say “Blue” your DS think its “Red” It wouldn't be too bad if only a couple of the activities were like this but since 10/14 activities have this problem, it really starts to piss you off.

Final Thoughts-

If you have not caught on to this yet, the two major factors that ruin the game are the controls and the repetitiveness. You can only play so many sudokus and answer so many math problems before you start wishing that you were playing Mario Kart instead. The incentive to play the activities again and again is small since it is so frustrating to do so due to the controls. I've got to say that it was a good try to make a new genre of games but the formula is far from being perfected.

The Good
- Nice Presentation
- Sudoku
- Comparable Graphs

The Bad
- Short Length
- Repetitive Gameplay
- Horrible Controls
- Little Incentive to keep playing

In my opinion, it is definitely not worth the buy, and I would discourage you from renting the game too. If you REALLY want to play this game that badly, you should borrow it from your friend, because I can guarantee you that you will be at least somewhat disappointed. Thank you for reading my review and I hope you take it into consideration.


Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 10/23/07

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

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