Review by devilangelx4
A Great Little "Optimizer" for Your Brain.
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!, it's a nice little addition to the DS library of games. How old is your brain? Well, you're gonna find out! It's designed to give your brain some exercise everyday by doing some brain-exercising mini-games to supposedly lower the age of your brain, all for just $20! Just don't over-do it, it may actually do the opposite and stress your brain instead.
So, after you choose an empty file, you will be greeted by the one who inspired the making of this game Dr. Ryuta Kawashima. You will then be asked to set the time, and select which hand you write with. Then, he will give you a brief explanation of the brain and how certain activities affect the blood-flow on your brain. Then, the doctor will get you to figure out your current DS brain age after you do some exercises. Then, some more stuff to finish the creating-a-profile part. After all of that, you may finally play the game.
There really isn't much to say about the controls. The touch screen is basically the only input of control you need to play and navigate through the game. Sure, the buttons have their uses, but you could play the game without them. Also, the touch-screen really isn't all that accurate; that's because it determines what you wrote by the movement of the stylus, not by what the final result is. Example: You could write a 26, sure; but if you write the 2 and the 6 joint together by a line (like what happens when you don't lift up the pencil/pen/stylus), the final result is a 26 and it certainly does look like one, but then, the game will take it for a 7 (at least in my case). So, because of that, you might get frustrated when you're writing fast to beat your record and it doesn't understand or misunderstand your writing. That's a real let-down for me.
The sounds, in my opinion, are OK. Some of the sounds in the game are annoying, like the buzzing sound it makes when you write in the wrong answer. But that shouldn't really affect the overall experience you'll get from this game.
The graphics are the least bit of concern in this game. There is nothing really much to show, just the polygonal professor and words. Nothing much to say here.
The game-play, is what makes this game unique. First of all, the DS must be turned sideways so that the touch screen is on your right-hand side (if you're a lefty, then the touch-screen should be on left-hand side). The game-play is pretty simple, just play some mini-game-like exercises to train your brain. Among the exercises include some mathematical exercises, where they give you a problem and you solve it by writing the correct answer on the touch-screen; one where you're supposed to read aloud, and other varying exercises. After you finish the first exercise of the day, you will have to paste a stamp (which you can design after you have unlocked that option) on a calendar to show that you did at least one exercise that day; do at least 3 exercises that day and the stamp for that day will get bigger. There's also a graph to show your progress on each of the exercises; and the game also keeps a record of your top 3 best scores for each exercise. This game also include Sudoku puzzles, for those of you who are Sudoku fans (I'm not a big Sudoku fan myself, by the way). There's also this thing called the Brain Age Check, which will supposedly tell you the age of your brain after completing some exercises; with 20 being the best score. In this game, the lower the brain age, the better. And sometimes, before you begin your supposed daily training, the doctor will have you do an activity that involves using the brain; one example of these activities is drawing a pictures (no, there wont be like a model for you to follow in the game... unless you take one from the real world). Again, make sure not to play too much in one day, or try to beat your previous record too many times, you will actually stress your brain instead of training it. It is meant to be played for only a few minutes a day. Trust me, I did that, and the results were not good.
I would definitely recommend this game. I see this game more as maintenance for your brain, to keep it working its best. It's a good game with some flaws, but it's still OK. I have seen people complain about how this game is not as fun as they though it would be; that's just it, it's not meant to be all that fun; it is just to train your brain, to keep it fresh. So, get this game if you are feeling your brain getting a bit sluggish, just don't get it if you want some fun out of it.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! (US, 04/17/06)
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