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Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day review

Blue. Blue. Buh-lue. BLUE!

Pros

  • Unlocking all the tests
  • Slowly whittling down your age to 20
  • Passing this off to friends

Cons

  • Relearning how to write and speak
  • Some of the tests are boring
  • Scoring 20 years older than your age

You may have heard about the rampant Nintendo DS shortages in Japan. Part of the reason it's in such high demand is this one game - Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day. The everyday mind-stretcher has captivated the entire country, spanning all ages and sucking up non-gamers as well. Now it's your turn.

Every day you're supposed to fire up Brain Age and perform a series of quick tests that gauge how old your mind really feels. They start out fairly simple, like basic math problems, then morph into three-minute memorization marathons. One test has you scribbling answers onto the touch screen, using the DS like a workbook (you even hold the unit sideways, like a book), while the next makes you say, out loud, what color you're looking at. If you're in a compromising position, say on a bus or in class, you can opt for all non-verbal tests.

Sounds a lot like homework.But the constant, positive reinforcement and clicky-clacky sound effects make the logic puzzles feel like a reward. With no goal to achieve or overall score to best, the only reason to play is to better yourself, and hopefully maintain an average brain age close to your real age. Unless you're a sudoku nut - in which case there are a slew of touch-screen puzzles to topple.

Day-to-day stat tracking lets you know how you're doing, plus shows how others sharing your game card stack up against you. If no one else has it, up to 16 can sample the puzzling goodness. Just be prepared for some unexpectedly high ages until you work around the game's touch-and-go interface.

More Info

GenreFamily
DescriptionNot technically a game, but its daily brain teasers are every bit as maddening, insulting and enticing as any puzzler out there.
PlatformDS
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating
Release date:17 April 2006 (US), 17 April 2006 (UK)
Available platforms:DS
Genre:Family
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