Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters Game Poster Image
DSi-only download game focuses on language and drawing.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn language skills like reading, word and letter recognition, spelling, speaking, and writing. Mini-games require kids to draw and take photographs using the built-in camera, read musical notation to play songs on a virtual piano, recognize patterns, memorize words and pictures, and even read out loud excerpts from classic literature like Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities." Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters is packed with exercises for both the thinking and the creating.

Positive Messages

Communicates the ideas that education is good, and that exercising one's brain is as important as exercising one's body.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Scholar Dr. Ryuta Kawashima is a positive role model who guides players through the game with instructions and helpful tips. He sets an example that being smart and playing intellectually challenging games is a positive thing.

Ease of Play

Intermediate reading and motor skills are required for most exercises.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this brain-teaser game is a download-only release only available on the Nintendo DSi. The game re-uses puzzles from the first two Brain Age games, omitting numbers-based puzzles and focusing instead on language. Some puzzles have been adapted to take advantage of the DSi camera. More than one player can create a profile on the same device; if so, players' scores and pictures can be compared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBoyzMum April 14, 2013

Literature involved was a bit surprising for use with kids.

Most of this game is really good, involving math and other skills for improving the brain. My 9 year old really likes it, and enjoys setting up his younger bro... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byrethink8remake9 April 2, 2010

Perfect for tweens and older people

Makes you think,learn and get good influensues from the guide.

What's it about?

BRAIN AGE EXPRESS: ARTS & LETTERS is the second bite-sized Brain Age game to be made available exclusively as a download for the Nintendo DSi. Like its predecessors, the game is based on the brain-training exercises of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima (who also serves as the game's digital guide and narrator), but while Brain Age Express: Math contained challenges based on numbers and arithmetic, Arts & Letters focuses on language, letters, spelling, and art. Many of the puzzles will be familiar from Brain Age and Brain Age 2 for the Nintendo DS, such as reading text out loud, and rearranging scrambled letters to form words. Other exercises have been spiced up by the DSi's special abilities. In Photo Recall, for example, where players have to pick the correct photo from a group, they can incorporate photos that they've taken with the DSi camera and stored on the device.

Is it any good?

Players familiar with any of the previous Brain Age games will experience a strong sense of déjà vu with Brain Age: Express, but while some of the exercises are exactly the same, the subtle enhancements offered by the new DSi hardware (a more accurate and responsive stylus; camera integration) make this a worthwhile download. This is a great compliment to Brain Age Express: Math that lets more artistically-inclined players flex that area of the brain, with exercises that focus on spelling, color, drawing, and creativity. At 800 Nintendo DSi points (about $8) the price is right, too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which exercises were their favorite and why. Do you like games that incorporate the DSi camera?

  • Do you like this version of Brain Age that only focuses on language instead of math, or do you think it would be better if there was a blend of exercises like in the first two Brain Age games?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thinking games

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