The Brain Age video game for the Nintendo DS is educational
and mentally rewarding. Brain Age does something that is quite
remarkable in that it crosses generational lines and appeals to
people of all ages. The content is rated "E", and does not include
any violence, adult content, or questionable themes. In today's
contemporary gaming culture, this can be extremely refreshing. The
actual educational content of the game is somewhat advanced, so if
your children are unable to read or answer elementary math problems,
then this game is definitely not for them.
The game is designed to encourage parts of the prefrontal cortex to
respond to corresponding stimulus. Some examples of Brain Age's
mini-games include: memorization, math equations, oral reading,
logic, and general perception.
The Nintendo DS has a touch screen which makes this game even
more exciting and educationally challenging because quick responses
raise your score. In addition, you are continually aware of your
progress and your "brain age" score that improves the more you
practice and play the game. The designers did a wonderful job of
creating a reminder that encourages you to play every day. If you
have gone for several days without playing, the system will remind
you to practice.
There are several special features incorporated into the Brain
Age game that make it even more appealing. One feature is the
ability to request a left-handed mode of play. This is such a nice
feature for children who need this option and are unable to find it
in other video games. Another accommodating feature of the Brain
Age game is the multiple player option…no one gets left out. Of
course one of the ground breaking features of the game is the use of
a microphone to record answers. Yes, the games are simplistic in
nature but the added features make it seem more complex.
Brain Age can be quite addicting…in a good way. Some of the
challenges are based on a timed score, so you will find yourself
playing again and again in attempts to increase your answer rate.
Also, many of the goals are structured around your ability to retain
information. Your kids will often play the same mini-game
repeatedly, so they can increase their memorization score. All of
this is done in a non-threatening manner, and the creators spent a
great amount of effort and care to ensure a feeling of
accomplishment and a sense of encouragement at the end of a gaming
Pros: educational, fun, challenging, addictive, entertaining,
Cons: handwriting recognition, sensitivity of the microphone
- Educational and fun.
- Pleasantly challenging and addictive.
- Handwriting recognition is imperfect.
- Sensitivity of the microphone is imperfect.
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!
for the Nintendo DS
Reviewed: July 2009