A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Body and Brain Connection is a collection of active-gaming mini-games, all of which have a mental challenge at their foundation (usually involving math, logic, or memory). The game's aim is to exercise the brain and body together. The games can be a lot of fun, but they're also really challenging. Younger kids may be in over their heads if they try to join in the game. There are also group mini-games, which will, when they're over, define some players as being "smarter" than others, since these are ostensibly "brain games." Be aware that this is a Kinect game, and can only be played on Xbox 360 consoles fitted with a Kinect system.
What's it about?
Body and Brain Connection is another video game, like Brain Age for the Nintendo DS and Big Brain Academy for the Wii, that uses games to test one's mental skills and abilities. The difference here is that, as a Kinect game, it incorporates the player's full body into the action. You have to strike poses you've just seen onscreen, move your arms like the hands of a clock to tell time, raise and lower your arms to form bridges for passing cars, reach out to pop balloons with math answers on them, shift back and forth to catch falling pizzas, and so on. There are solo and multi-player modes.
Is it any good?
With its unexciting title and stodgy look, Body and Brain Connection will probably be an easy Kinect game to overlook, but it would be a shame if that happens, because it's far more entertaining and engaging than it appears on the surface. Admittedly, there are going to be certain people who simply won't enjoy math games (and a number of these mini-games involve doing fast math), but there are a also a slew of quick-reflex action games in which the brain work is a little less obvious -- and those should appeal to almost everyone. The whole package is nicely designed to get you pumped up and eager to try each game again, intent on beating your previous score. Fans of games like Brain Age should really love Body and Brain Connection, but hopefully they won't be the only ones to try it out.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendly competition among family members. How can brothers, sisters, moms, and dads play multi-player games against one another and have fun without creating any tension or frustrations? Use this opportunity to talk about sportsmanship and playing games for the joy of playing, not the joy of winning.
Parents can ask kids which kind of mini-games are their favorites and why. Do they prefer the more physical games? Or do they respond well to games that require more thought-processing?
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Subjects: Math: arithmetic, equations, sequences
- Skills: Health & Fitness: body awareness, movement
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, problem solving, solving puzzles
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Namco Bandai
- Release date: February 8, 2011
- Genre: Mini-games
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
For kids who love thinking and physical gaming
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.