It’s a testament to Kawashima’s original lobe-enlarging regime that we remember it so vividly, allowing us to realise that More Brain Training is fundamentally the same. The irritating voice recognition colour game has been replaced with an irritating shape recognition paper/scissor/stone game.
Sudoku returns, with over 100 puzzles of different difficulties, and so good is it - well organised, slick controls, easy navigation - that the title almost feels more like a Sudoku game with tacked on minigames. You’ll certainly never play the rock paper scissors one more than twice. No one in the world has the patience.
Personalised profiles again monitor your quest for brain youth-ifying. To ensure the journey isn’t a lonely one, the ace 16-player single-cart wireless battle play returns. Now you’ve just got to find 15 DS units to connect to.
There has been some change. Clearly losing his mind over the magnificent sales figures of the original, Kawashima now giggles if you say “Coriander” on the menu screen or scratch his mic hole. The DS’ mic hole. Whatever.
Other minigames make for a slightly tedious mix of cognitive and arithmetic tests. Identifying the correct change for a fiver by poking coins with the stylus evokes youthful memories, while taking a large number and repeatedly subtracting another from it (-9 = x, x-9 = y, y-9 = Z etc) dusts off areas untouched since our non-calculator GCSE maths paper.
More inventively, playing tunes on a miniature piano will baffle the tone deaf, but feels satisfyingly fluid when you get the hang of it. Just don’t expect Rachmaninoff-esque wonders as promoted by the ‘Masterpiece Recital’ name - it’s mostly ‘Home on the Range’ and ‘Buffalo Girls’.
All solid stuff. But we don’t know about you - our prefrontal cortex could do with a few more clapping monkeys with cymbals in order to feel more enjoyably stimulated...