Product Type: Nintendo Nintendo DS games
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Get those brain cells exercised!
Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain (DS)
Member Name: bettyboop2002
Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain (DS)
Date: 17/08/12, updated on 18/08/12 (29 review reads)
Advantages: Anyone can play it, good to know your brain's "improving"
Disadvantages: Gets dull after a few weeks
I had seen a few adverts for this brain training game for the Nintendo DS before I purchased the DS. Being a lover of puzzles it was one of the first games I bought when I finally got my DS. Overall I was a little bit disappointed with the game, there are a few things that annoy me about it which I will go into later.
I paid around £5 for a used copy in a game shop. The game is available on Amazon used from £0.40 plus delivery.
WHAT IS BRAIN TRAINING?
Brain training is selection of puzzles to complete. Before you start you enter your name, age and whether you are right or left handed. You then complete an age test which consists of 3 random puzzles, the results will give you an age for your brain. In this game the lower your brain age the better. The lowest the brain age can get to is 20 therefore this is what the player is to aim for. Each day you can complete a brain age check with a graph showing your brains improvement/decline in comparisons with other days.
Sometimes the character of Dr Kawashima pops up on the screen to give you hints or may ask you to draw a picture. Some days he may ask you a question, for example"what did you have for breakfast today?" he will then pop up a few days later and say "What did you have for breakfast on the 17th August?" to see if you can remember.
WHAT ARE THE BRAIN TRAINING PUZZLES?
-There are three types of calculation puzzles, calculations x 20, calculations x 100 and voice calculations. You can also select a difficulty for the puzzles. There are no division calculations if you select the easier option. The screen will show a list of calculations and you are to use your stylus to write the answer. At first the game may not recognise your numbers as you write them but you will soon figure out how to write them clearly so they will be correct. In voice calculations you say our answers aloud.
-A syllable count puzzle will display a sentence or phrase. You are to count the syllables and write the number on the screen with your stylus.
-The head count puzzle shows a picture of a house, a number of people will enter the house through a door and some may leave, you are to keep track of how many people are left in the house and write the number at the end. This starts off quite simple but soon speeds up and adds more and more people so can get tricky.
-Low to high is a memory game. A few boxes appear on the screen with numbers on them. After a couple of seconds the numbers disappear and you need to remember which numbers were in which boxes and touch the boxes in order or low to high. The further you get with this the more boxes are added for you to remember.
-Reading aloud is a puzzle which gives you a few pages of text to read. You need to tap the next button at the end of the page, this tests how quickly you read the text. If you try to cheat and just keep tapping next the puzzle will end.
-Time lapse shows two times of two different clocks and you are to calculate the difference in the times by writing the number.
-Triangle math is available in two difficulties, there are numbers shown in the shape of a triangle. You are to solve the sums you are given to fill in the next row of the triangle. The hard mode has an extra row to the normal mode.
BRAIN AGE CHECK
Other puzzles are included in the brain age check. You can do this more than once but it will only save your first result for each day. At the start of this test it will ask you if you can speak. I always say no now as I feel like an idiot talking into the machine but I've tried it a few times before. If you select yes the first test is known as the stroop test.
-The stroop test - The word of a colour will be shown in front of you. Say for example the word reads 'red', it may be written in a blue font and you are required to say aloud the colour of the font NOT the word as it reads. You are to say as many of these as you can in an allotted time, it's very frustrating as there's always a couple I slip up on.
-Speed counting requires you to count clearly up to 120 as fast as you can.
If you say no you cannot speak aloud you will be given three of the following puzzles-
-Word memory - this is my favourite puzzle. The two sides of the screen display a list of 30 words. You have 2 minutes to try and memorise as many of these words as you can. You then get 3 minutes to write as many of these words as you can onto the screen using the stylus. You must write clearly or the word may not be accepted. I personally try to remember words in small groups that rhyme or start with the same letter but I'm not sure if it helps much.
-Connect Maze - A bit like dot to dot but with letters instead of numbers, starting at 'A' going through the alphabet to 'M' you must draw a line from one letter to the next as fast as you can without touching the other letters.
-Calculations x20 as described in the puzzles section
-Number cruncher - A screen full of numbers is shown on the left hand side, some numbers may be written in different colours and come may be moving in circles or sliding from side to side. Questions will come up on the opposite screen for you to answer such as 'How many yellow numbers?' or 'How many moving numbers?' or ' How many number 5's?'. You must then write your answer in the box provided and get through as many of these as you can within the time limit.
A popular number grid game found in many magazines/puzzle books/newspapers etc., this puzzle is included as a fun extra on this game. It is not necessary to do as part of your brain training or age check it's just an extra which in no way affects your results. There are three levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The idea of this game is you have a 9x9 grid in which you have to insert numbers from 1 to 9. No column, row or 3x3 square should contain the same number twice. There is a tutorial which will explain this better than I can for those who are unsure how to play.
Good for having a quick game or letting friends have a go as you dont need to put in your details and can just play. You can do a quick age check, training or sudoku that will not be saved.
If you have the game and somebody else hasn't got it but has a DS and would like to try it they can download the quick mode from your game or one of the calculations games to try out. I have never tried this before.
The game is for ages 3+. I think it may be a bit difficult for a 3 year old, but for children who can add up and know there alphabet all the way through to the elderly, this game is suitable for all ages. It does seem to work and just doing the few puzzles a day you will notice that your speed improves as the days and weeks go by.
After a few days I was a bit bored of doing the same puzzles over, I wish there was a bit more variety. When I had done the sudoku puzzles I had no interest in doing them again although they are timed so you could try to beat your speed if you wanted to.
I used it every day when I first got it but it soon got a bit repetitive doing the same sort of puzzles and it doesn't last long each day and I got bored after a few weeks. Although written down it may look like a lot of puzzles but a lot are similar puzzles, just different lengths and difficulties.
If you can pick this up for a few pounds it is definitely worth getting. It is good value for money as the whole family can use it.
Summary: A good game for all the family
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