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Brain Age

Way back in the day, it was Tetris that snuck Nintendo's original, green-and-blacktastic Game Boy into everyone's backpack, briefcase and duffel bag. With so many easily-accessible games landing on the Nintendo DS, it's only a matter of time before the company's latest handheld completely dominates the market. Oh, what’s that? There's another pick-up-and-go, brain-teasing title coming that's aimed primarily at video game virgins and adults? Score another mass-market point for Nintendo.

Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day isn't really a game at all - it's a collection of quick mental tests that strap your noodle to a treadmill and never let up. After passing through the reading, memorization and counting puzzles you're rewarded with your Brain Age. Accuracy and quickness will determine how stupid your DS thinks you are. The only enemy is your own mind.

In our hands-on time with the title, we leapt through some mental hoops that asked us to solve dead-simple math problems as fast as possible. There's nothing more ashamedly sobering than realizing your Brain Age is 70 ... when you're actually less than half that age. Time to hit the books.

To make Brain Age even more appealing to the PDA crowd, the DS is held on its side like a book. Answers are typically written with the stylus and a creepy computer man narrates your progress. It's an extremely user-friendly interface that absolutely, literally anyone can understand. And that's the point, really, to grab a larger audience that normally wouldn't even look at video games.

If all this weren't enough, the game also includes a series of Sudoku puzzles. These logic puzzles have been infiltrating national newspapers for the past couple of years, and here you're getting them bundled in with another frustratingly appealing game. Imagine a crossword puzzle with numbers instead of letters and you're on your way to getting Sudoku. You'll either love it or hate it, but hey, free stuff.

You'll be able to test your Brain Age on April 17, but if our scores are any indication, you might want to start brushing up on your elementary math.

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