Dec 14, 2007
The title of Left Brain Right Brain is rather misleading. You might think that the game is yet another of the billion mind-training games coming to market, when it’s really not a “brain” training game at all - at least, not in the cognitive thinking sense. Instead, Left Brain, Right Brain is a game meant to develop ambidexterity - the ability to use both hands skillfully, rather than relying on one “good” hand. Sounds like a cool concept? It is. It’s just too bad that the execution leaves something to be desired.
LBRB works to train you through mini-games. Basically, you go through a game with your “good” hand first, it records the score, then you try it again with your “lesser” hand and see how they compare. The purpose is to play the games repeatedly using your “lesser” hand to eventually get scores close or equal to that of your “good” hand. That’s really all there is to it.
The games are all very simple and easy to understand for players of all skill levels. Unfortunately, this simplicity is a double-edged sword. These games tend to grow very dull, very quickly and don’t really compel you to keep playing them over and over. The games are also limited in number - 15 total (not counting 2-player games, which are usually just competitive variants of the standard set).
Another thing to note is that most people who play games regularly as a hobby already have a decent degree of ambidexterity that comes from years and years of coordinating controller movements. We found that we were able to get high ambidexterity scores with our “bad” hand on most games that required rapid motion or precision movements during our first attempt at them. (Games that involved precise writing-based skills were a different story.) Taking this and the game’s simplicity into consideration, LBRB is probably better suited to people who don’t play games much at all.
But there’s still one more thing on our minds: is this game really necessary? One could, theoretically, reap similar ambidexterity benefits by taking any other (better) touch-screen minigame collection on the DS and playing it for several days with your “bad” hand. You won’t be able to see how your hands compare, but you’d still be improving your skill.
Left Brain Right Brain might be an interesting concept, but it fails to be an interesting game. Sure, it’s only $20, but that money could be better spent on a far more interesting and enjoyable collection of minigames.