dogbox's More Brain Training from Dr. Kawashima: How Old Is Your Brain? (Nintendo DS) review

Does What You'd Expect, Not Much Else

It’s no secret that Brain Age is a huge franchise for Nintendo DS, shipping over a million units since its release. One can then assume it’s no surprise that a sequel, Brain Age 2, is now available, also on Nintendo’s handheld. What’s here is exactly the same idea as the first game, just with some new methods. You’ll still be encouraged to do some deceptively simple math and word games daily to increase your brain activity, and there’s still the same problems that stuck out in the original game. If you’re looking for some different and perhaps more advanced brain training minigames, this fits the bill nicely at twenty dollars.

Brain Age 2 has eleven training methods which range from filling in the missing mathematical operator from an equation to keeping track of a runner’s place in a sprint as he alternately passes his opponents and falls behind. Virtually all the games are grounded in either math or memory, as these are the fastest ways to warm up the brain – says the game, anyway.

Once you complete one training game in a day, you’ll be asked to stamp a calendar, one of the many ways Brain Age 2 charts your progress and commitment to its training regimen. Accumulating stamps will open up more of the eleven games until you’ve got them all. As per the name of the game, you can also check your ‘brain age’ once a day. It’s a scale that the game originated, and it basically assigns a number that judges how quickly and accurately you do the three exercises it randomly chooses for you. Eighty is the worst possible score you can get, and twenty is the best.

Just as in the original, the biggest problem with Brain Age 2 is that your scores don’t mean a thing outside of the actual game. It also doesn’t tell you specifically how it arrived at your brain age score, which is a bit annoying if you really get into the game on a daily basis and are looking for a little more meat. A more specific breakdown of your brain age – or even just an IQ Test or something more standardized – would have been appreciated.

Making up for this though, are the over fifty Sudoku puzzles available from the menu. It has beginner, intermediate, and expert level boards for you to play, although if you’re looking to learn the difficult crossword-looking numbers game, be prepared to do some online reading; Brain Age 2 barely even explains what Sudoku is, much less how to play it.

Brain Age 2 is an improvement over the first game in that its tests feel more challenging and is thus more satisfying when you see your daily brain age counts inching toward twenty. It also makes good use of the DS and its touch screen (and microphone) inputs. However, where it really, truly counts for this series – a more focused and appreciable measure of how you’re improving – you’ll find that this game comes up a bit short. In all, it’s not a bad way to spend twenty bucks by any means, and if you manage to stick with it for a week or two, you may find a good waking-up routine to get your brain active on a scheduled basis. Just don’t expect any sweeping improvements.


Other reviews for More Brain Training from Dr. Kawashima: How Old Is Your Brain? (Nintendo DS)

    Much more of the same - take this as you will. 0

    This is the second brain training title from Dr. Kawashima and as you slot in the cartridge and load it up, you'll think you're playing the wrong game. Why? It looks and sounds like the old game, right down to some of the things Dr. Kawashima says. The only thing that is different in this second Brain Training game is the actual training games and the Sudoku puzzles. Is this a bad thing? Not at all - fans of the first game will love this game too; however there is nothing much here to appeal to ...

    0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

    Brain Age 2 Bores Me. 0

    Brain Age (and Brain Age 2): It was 5 minutes of drunken Brain Age at Butter in San Francisco that convinced me to buy a DS. I was excited because after years of sucking at video games, here was a game I could be good at! Doing simple math problems as fast as possible! Brilliant! I played Brain Age for a long time until I got bored of the games. Some of them frustrated me (memorizing lists of words) and some just got too easy (3 people leave the house, 2 people go in the house, 5 people up the c...

    0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.