J is creating a magazine as a project for his gifted class. He chose to make a games magazine and he recruited the members of his immediate family to write reviews, including me. The following is the review I gave him for the game, Brain Age. The girls think I overdid it a bit by using words and phrases like "prefrontal cortex" and "extensively" but hey, these kids are supposed to be smart. I think they'll figure it out.
Platform: Nintendo DS
Brain Age consists of tests and activities designed to keep the prefrontal cortex of your brain active, which, the game's makers claim, will help to prevent a decrease in brain function. It's not just for adults, however; children will find lots to enjoy, too.
The activities in Brain Age include memory and observation games, simple math quizzes, reading tests featuring excerpts from classic literature, and various Stroop tests. For those who don't know, a Stroop test uses words and colours in a way that forces you to really think about what you are seeing. The name of a colour is shown with the letters of the word in a different colour. If, for example, the word "brown" is shown with the letters coloured in blue, the correct answer would be "blue". It's harder than you might think.
To play Brain Age, the DS is held sideways and the touchpad is used extensively. The handwriting and voice recognition is reasonably good and the games range from easy to challenging. All of the activities require quick thinking and you are encouraged to play often. A "brain age check" lets you know if your response times are improving (which they surely are if you play often enough). The booklet includes a simple explanation of how the brain works, as well as descriptions for all of the games. Stand-alone Sudoku puzzles are also included with varying levels of difficulty.
I really enjoy this game and my kids like to play it whenever they can get it away from me. Brain Age 2 is available now with new challenges and it is on my wishlist for Christmas.
Posted by Ripley on November 21, 2007