Review - Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training (NDS)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Kirby102, Sep 18, 2006.

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Sep 18, 2006
  1. Kirby102

    Member Kirby102 GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Dr. Kawashima's
    How Old Is Your Brain?

    By Kirby102

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    *This title of Brain Training is the EUR / AUS version, even though the US version is called 'Brain Age - Train your brain in minutes a day!', it's the same game*


    Brain Training is a new educational series based on the recent studies from Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, to whom is a Japanese neurologist. As the game is more approached to adults in Japan, this 'edutainment' is phenomenal worldwide, due to the release of this title on the Nintendo DS. The game's main focus is on the non-gaming demographic, which proved to be a success globally.


    By taking advantage of the Nintendo DS features, most of them are put into practical use. Firstly, this game is played sideways as if you were to read a normal book. By utilising the touch screen, you are able to draw numbers and even letters. With the microphone internally built into the console, you are able to say the words and even answer some questions.
    Some training exercises include:
    • Calculations x20 - 20 simple math problems
    • Calculations x100 - 100 simple maths problems
    • Syllable Count - Counting the amount of syllables in the sentence
    • Reading aloud - Reading a portion of a classic novel and timing how many words read per second
    • Low to High- Given a glimpse of several numbers to tap in order from low to high
    • Head Count - Counting how many people remain in a house after a series of travelling in and out
    • Time Lapse - Calculating the difference in time from two clocks
    • Triangle Math - A series of maths puzzles within a upside-down triangle solving the paired numbers beside them and making your way to the tip of the triangle
    • Voice Calculation - 50 maths problems that are required to speak out the answers instead of writing them
    The list doesn't end there, in the US and EUR versions of Brain Training, there are 100 sudoku puzzles included as well, so the fun doesn't stop here.

    + Lots of exercises to train your brain and 100 sudoku puzzles included too
    ? Some features aren't recognisable properly (eg. Blue! in the stroop test, some letters and numbers)

    Graphics / Sound

    The graphics are not the main focus of this game, as it isn't counted as a real game. The graphics are plain numbers, colours and shapes. The only worthy graphic is the floating Dr. Kawashima head, which is 3D. The sound of this game consists of some menu music and some other sound effects. Most interesting and cool are the scribble sound and the page turning sound which is incorporated as if you were doing it in real life. Other than that, this sector of the game is lacking, but it isn't meant to be focused primarily about.

    + Simple and easy graphics that will appeal to non-gamers
    ? Absence of real graphics may put of gamers to attempt to say something positive about the game

    Replay Value

    The length of this game extends over more than 20 days, as the whole collection is unlocked after 20 stamps. But these stamps can only be acquired once per day. The 'Brain Age Test' feature can be done on a daily basis too, highlighting your brain age of that day, to indicate any improvements or not. Although, this will eventually result in being a repetitive chore after a long period of time.

    + Spans over 3 weeks collecting 1 stamp per day to unlock more training exercises
    ? Grows repetitive after a while, doing only the exercises you like


    Brain Training is more of an utility, rather than a game, as it contains many training exercises that could improve your brain power and even complete easier tasks more efficiently. With nearly all the features of the DS put into use, it has indicated a success for the device, as shown in Japan with the second revision of this released already. Although, some people might not want to spend that much money over a videogame console as it can be easily be replaced by activities such as newspaper for reading, sudoku book for sudoku, and movies for some leisure time.

    + Appeals to a whole new demographic of middle-aged adults, and proved to be successful!
    + Possibility of improving brain age to 20 and doing easier tasks more efficiently
    ? Not a real game, as it is educational (Edu - tainment!) and can be replaced by other activties.
    ? Constant repetitive exercises that could bore you during the weeks to come upon completion

    SCORE: 8 / 10


    Just for the fun of it (as if this will be an attempt to improve the score - doubt it would), here are some 'training exercises':

    The Stroop Test
    Say the colour of the word, not the word itself.

    Red Black Yellow Blue Black

    Yellow Red Yellow Blue Red

    Black Yellow Red Blue

    Calculations x5
    Solve these as quick as you can: (more like 5 seconds)
    • 1 + 2 =[*]2 x 4 =[*]6 x 9 =[*]8 + 9 =[*]14 ? 2 =
    Syllable Count
    How many syllables in the following sentence:

    "GBAtemp is the biggest GBA and DS Community on the net!"

    Copy this grid and complete it:


    Stroop Test: Jeez, it's just the COLOUR OF THE WORD.
    Calculations x5: 3. 8. 54. 17. 12.
    Syllable Count: 20.
    Sudoku: PM me for the answers [​IMG] Muahaha.
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