A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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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?
- Platforms: Nintendo DSi
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading, spelling
Math: patterns, sequences
Arts: drawing, music, photography
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: memorization, solving puzzles
Self-Direction: goal-setting, identifying strengths and weaknesses, self-assessment
Communication: listening, multiple forms of expression, speaking
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Health & Fitness: fine motor skills
- Price: $8
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: August 20, 2009
- Genre: Puzzle
- ESRB rating: NR
For kids who love thinking games
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