The release of Nintendo’s new game, “Brain-Age,” for the handheld Nintendo DS is another part of their attempt to reach a wider audience in video games sales. The Nintendo Wii was a big first step in this, adding full-bodied physical interaction to an entertainment platform based around primarily thumb movement. “Brain Age” attempts to take this in a different direction, as a video game that focuses on exercising the brain. I have played this new “game” and found it to be entertaining, but nothing life altering.
The game has a good design that gives a nice variety of easy problems and keeps track of your progress. Although the questions themselves are not very challenging, attempting to beat your personal time or that of a friend can keep it interesting. The Sudoku puzzles are also good for warming up your brain, but if you are a student or a teacher they are also just a good way to pass the time. For someone who does not normally challenge his or her brain much throughout the day, this could be a fun way to give your mind a workout. However, it definitely is not the most cost-efficient way to accomplish this simple task.
The game cartridge itself costs about $20, which isn’t too expensive unless you look at the alternatives. Many newspapers hand out free daily editions, often with new and varied puzzles in them including crosswords, sudoku, and cryptograms. Also none of these require additional hardware to use. To actually play the “Brain Age” game you will need to also invest in the Nintendo DS system, which is a hand-held unit currently going for about $130. If you are a big sudoku fan and are thinking about investing in it mainly for that, consider the fact that you are only getting 100 different sudoku puzzles for your $150 investment. If you were to buy books of sudoku puzzles you could get thousands of different puzzles for that price.
The game “Brain Age” offers nothing new to exercise the mind but it does come with an automatic score...