Product Type: Majesco Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... In this challenge a number is displayed for a few seconds on the screen and the n disappears. You are then presented with a ver... more
Brain Boost: Gamma Wave (DS)
Member Name: otalgia
Brain Boost: Gamma Wave (DS)
Advantages: Increases you brain power
Disadvantages: Not much variety in the games
My last review was of The Professor's Brain Trainer: Logic which was a game of Memory based set of challenges. This review may seem similar to the previous game review and this is because Brain Boost Gamma Wave is identical in structure to the other game; though it's set of 5 challenges are different.
The game has once again been created with the assistance of Dr. Makoto Shichida, who is a Professor and expert in Brain study. The 5 games concentrate on the development of the right side of the brain.
On starting the cartridge you are asked to create a player profile and there are four slots available to save your game.
Once you have created your profile you are then presented with two modes of play; challenge mode and training mode.
Before playing the challenge mode it is worth undertaking the training first. In both modes there are five challenges available and four levels of difficulty.
The first challenge is called "Remember Colours". The screen displays a pattern of small coloured dots on the screen for approximately 3 seconds. This then vanishes and four similar patterns are then displayed on the screen. One of these four images is an exact match to the previously displayed image and you have 5 seconds to select it by a stylus tap. This challenge can be quite difficult as the dots are rather small and the multiple choice patterns can be very similar and hard to differentiate.
The second challenge is named "Remember Numbers". In this challenge a number is displayed for a few seconds on the screen and the n disappears. You are then presented with a vertical list of four numbers to choose from and have 5 seconds to select the number that matches the previously displayed number. This challenge starts off easily enough with 3 digit numbers become a breeze to remember. It's when the numbers have 6 or more digits and the multiple choice numbers start to take similar forms that this challenge gets a lot harder to progress through.
The third challenge "Remember Circumstances" is in my opinion one of the more difficult challenges. In this game a varying number of pictures are displayed briefly on a 4 by 3 grid of squares, disappear, and then are redisplayed with only one of the images displayed being different from the original display. You have 5 seconds to identify and then stylus tap on the offending picture. This challenge gets progressively harder as the number of images on the grid increase and harder again when the individual images are of a similar style and become harder to differentiate.
The fourth challenge is called "Remember faces". Its Gameplay is similar to a police suspect line up squad. A cartoon drawn face is displayed for a few seconds and then vanishes and replaced with a grid of four similar faces and you have 5 seconds to select the face that matches the previously displayed image. I found this game was easy at the lower skill level settings but became monstrous at the more difficult levels where, for example, the only difference in an image may be the angle of an eyebrow.
The final challenge is called "Remember Images". In a similar vein to the flash card system used in schools you are briefly shown a sequence of picture cards. A few seconds later a grid displaying the cards recently shown plus one extra card that wasn't shown in the initial sequence. You have 5 seconds to stylus tap the bogus card. I found this challenge quite difficult as you have a couple of seconds to remember the original sequence of cards and keep that fresh in your mind whilst searching for the offending card.
There are 20 occurrences of this task and a progress bar in the top corner of the Nintendo's bottom screen show's your level of progress and has a marker to tell you when you have successfully answered enough tasks correctly to have cleared the level.
In the challenge mode you are set the quest to complete each of the 5 challenges in a series of four continents. Each continent becomes progressively harder and is directly related to the training levels; so the difficulty of the challenges in continent 4 is the same as in the training level 4.
To clear a world and progress to the next you must successfully compete in and clear each of the five game challenges that are detailed in the training section of this review. To clear each game you need to pass a 'clear indicator' that is shown on a progress bar at the top of the screen; each correct answer makes the progress bar grow closer to this indicator. The games are identical to the games in the training mode so if you have trained well then passing through the levels is a breeze.
Complete all four continents and its game over!
Sound, control and graphics
The music is pretty unimportant in this game as the main objective of the game is to concentrate.
There is a computer musical soundtrack that underlies each challenge which is pretty average. There isn't a great deal of sound effects in this game and the navigation and selections sounds are all positive and clear in their purpose.
The controls are mainly stylus based and respond well.
The graphics are clear and cartoon like in parts. Some of the challenges, the dots in "remember colours" spring to mind, are a little on the small side and required good eyesight.
I have the same feelings about this game as I did about "The Professor's Brain Trainer: Logic".
My main issue with the game is the limited number of challenges and the lack of praise when you do finally manage to complete a difficult level. The challenges are challenging at the harder levels and undoubtedly do aid observation and memory skills. Unfortunately unlike Kawashima's Nintendo "Brain Training" game there is little variety and user interactivity and I soon became tired of playing. On completing a really hard level I expected the game to greet me with a fanfare of fireworks and musical entourage; instead I got mere fizzle of congratulations.
Gamma Wave? Wave goodbye I say!
© M Jones (Otalgia) 2008
Summary: A brain development NDS game.