What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Brain Bran is a collection of about 200 puzzles and riddles with some violent references. Many of the puzzles use logic and math, while others focus on wordplay, optical illusions, or trick questions. After reading explanations of the answers, kids can self-select whether they answered correctly to earn points. Several people can create profiles on the same device. The premises of several questions involve death, and there is mention of cannibals, executioners, and guns. Beer, a bar, and smoking cigars are also mentioned. There are no instructions, so kids might need help figuring out how to approach some categories of puzzles -- and then you both might need a hint or two to find the solution!
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- problem solving
- thinking critically
Engagement, Approach, Support
The brainteasers are fun, but your students will rely on you to liven things up, as the production value isn't very high.
All aspects of this entertaining app are reading-intensive. Kids who read critically will learn and grow by reading explanations. Kids who aren't as strong can work in groups or get individual attention.
Kids control when they show their answers, which can teach or reinforce self-monitoring, but if they rush things, they won't learn as much. There's no tutorial, but gameplay is intuitive. You can get hints for trickier puzzles.
What's it about?
BRAIN BRAN is pretty low-tech, but it is filled with logic puzzles and brainteasers for hours of entertainment. Kids choose the type of brainteaser from the category list and then choose a question. Kids will read the questions themselves and self-check their answers, choosing YES or NO to "Did you answer this question correctly?" The app then tracks their score.
Is it any good?
The strength of Brain Bran lies in its large number and variety of puzzles and riddles -- it's a great blend of entertainment with mental stimulation with at least several hours' worth of play. There are a few seemingly similar questions (executioners and kings apparently love making people wear colored hats), but solving them reveals that these puzzles build off one another, rather than being redundant. We could do with more instructions and fewer typos, but overall the app is easy to use, though the puzzles are often hard to solve. The pictures and visual puzzles help liven up the otherwise simple app, and the explanations are thorough, which facilitates learning and improving logic and problem solving skills.
Families can talk about...
Share the questions with each other. Brain Bran would be great fun for dinnertime or road-trip conversation.
Challenge kids to make up their own riddles and brainteasers to share with you. Can they stump you? Then switch and see if you can stump them with your own riddles.