Giant Bomb Review

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Brain Age Express: Math Review

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  • DSI

Brain Age Express: Math is a decent collection of math-themed minigames, but it's a little too pricey to recommend.

Duhhhh... seven?
Brain Age Express: Math is a selection of math-oriented minigames taken from the DS releases of Brain Age and Brain Age 2. For me, a lot of the appeal of Brain Age was that it had different types of games in it, designed to "stimulate different parts of the brain" or whatever vaguely scientific mumbo-jumbo it spits at you. Forget about the weird pseudo-science, the cool part about all that is that the game offered variety. Combining a bunch of math minigames into one collection, then, becomes a bit less attractive, especially when this DSiWare downloadable release is selling for nearly half the price of a full Brain Age game for DS.

The bulk of Brain Age Express is devoted to the basic math minigames found in the previous Brain Age releases. You'll find such hits as "Calculations X 20" and "Calculations X 100" in the training section. There are eight training games in all, giving you plenty of opportunities to add numbers together, subtract them from one another, and other, somewhat more complicated tasks. You can also do a "brain age check," which uses your score on three random tests to generate a number used to measure, well, how quickly and accurately you can accomplish these math-based tasks. Not that it was ever full-on science, but when you reduce the core Brain Age concept to only include your math prowess, it becomes an even more abstract concept.

In addition to the math stuff, there is also a themes section that uses the DSi's built-in camera. It'll ask you to make faces that match specific moods or activities, like singing a karaoke song, looking like you've done something evil, and so on. The themes section also has you draw various things, like a panda, or Beethoven. There's also an audio theme where you record lines from a brief western script. The main idea is to have a bunch of friends also do the themes, giving you a look at how different people approach the different tasks. If you're playing alone, it's sort of a waste.

But in the end, it's the price that serves as Brain Age Express: Math's biggest enemy. At 800 points, this slice of Brain Age is nearly half of the retail price of Brain Age or Brain Age 2, both of which would be a more valuable purchase than this downloadable edition.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
15 Comments
Posted by Scorched

hey, math is fun!

Posted by FLStyle
  Wow, Jeff is pumping the reviews out like a bad invisible m-a-c-h-i-n-e.
Online
Posted by Coltonio7

Math, kinda bad!?

NO WAY!!!

Posted by DeavonW

Whats wit the DS flood? Jeff must be burning through his new DS catalog

Posted by AndrewB

The "DS flood" is the promised reviews of all DSi-ware. Since it just came out in the States, wouldn't it be nice to know which DSi games might be worth your purchase?

As to Brain Age Express, why couldn't they have just released the whole of Brain Age for download? The file sizes of those games are minuscule, anyway. They could have upped the price just a little, if they felt it necessary (I think $8 is about what the Brain Age games are worth, anyway... got mine free from the lost and found of a hotel) and sold either separately or as a pack with both games. Then they wouldn't have even had to do the work of cutting out the math sections of those games.

Posted by Soulless

I would personally give this game a low score just because it's math. xP

Posted by RHCPfan24

Go Jeff! You are on a roll!

Posted by Death_Burnout

Glasses Glasses!

Posted by mrfluke

gerstmanns on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrreeeeee

Posted by Irishjohn

Great, tight review.  I hope DSiWare finds its feet more quickly than WiiWare did.... wait, did WiiWare find its feet?

Posted by Media_Master

Brain age 2 has that.

Posted by LordAndrew

If I wanted to do math I'd buy the full version of Brain Age, or go to school.

Posted by MeatSim

meh, I hate math.

Posted by FlipperDesert

Well, this sounds like a waste of money, but at least I'm compelled to play Brain Training (the franchise's name in the UK) again now.

Posted by Ruzlok

What this reviewer didn't realize is that Brain Age: Express Math gives you ALL of the math-related games in both Brain Age 1 and Brain Age 2. That is half the mini games in both games. Buy the 'Brain Age: Arts and Literature' DSiWare game and you get the rest of the mini games in both BA1 and BA2. So for about 1600 points (or the cost of one of those games) you can get the mini games in both BA1 and BA2. That is worth it, imo. Plus, you don't have to switch out cartridges for this minutes-a-day game.