122 of 126 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
I must admit, having heard about Brain Age (the US title of Brain Training) some time ago, I wasn't immediately interested. It seemed to me to be nothing more than a 'mini-game'; something frivolous and not to be taken seriously, all the more so when you notice it is priced at a lower point than other DS games.
However, suspending disbelief I purchased a copy to play with on my new DS Lite and was stunned at how good it is. Firstly, you must have your 'Brain Age' calculated, which involves completing a Stroop Test -- that is, coloured words appear and you must speak their colour into the microphone. Sounds easy? You'd think so, but it really isn't. When the word "Red" written in blue comes up, you have to say "blue". Surprisingly tricky. The voice recognition works almost-perfectly, slightly hiccupping on the word 'blue', but working very well other than that.
After that, you must perform small daily tasks that constitute your 'brain training'; tasks such as Calculations x 20 in which a series of small mental arithmetic puzzles appear on screen and you must work them out and write the answer on the touch-screen, which is then transcribed for you. Again, quite boring-sounding, but doing it against the clock -- and against your previous record -- is more fun than you might think. And the handwriting recognition works a charm too.
Other functions include the built-in Sudoku, not particularly well-integrated with the 'brain age' daily training (it forms more a separate add-on game) but still very worthwhile nevertheless. I found it far easier to use than doing a sudoku on paper, not least because you can easily write in miniature 'suggestions' in the corners of blank squares and delete them later on.
All-in-all, this is an excellent game to add to anyone's DS. It's charming, easy to pick up; you can play it with friends or family (it can link up with up to sixteen other DS units with just one game card) or just do a sudoku on your own. And -- more amazing than any of these things -- it makes maths fun! Scary stuff.