Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters

Common Sense Media says

DSi-only download game focuses on language and drawing.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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

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.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

What kids can learn

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

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters is packed with exercises for both the thinking and the creating. The subtle enhancements offered by the new DSi hardware make this a worthwhile download.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn language skills like reading, word and letter recognition, spelling, speaking, and writing. Kids are encouraged to play a little each day to improve their "brain age" and unlock new challenges.

Support

Dr. Kawashima guides players through the game with instructions and helpful tips. Intermediate reading and motor skills are required for most exercises.

What kids can learn

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

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Platforms:Nintendo DSi
Price:$8
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:August 20, 2009
Genre:Puzzle
ESRB rating:NR for (Nintendo DSi)

This review of Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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Parent Written byBoyzMum April 14, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

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 brother with it and helping him along. However, the other day I overheard him reading aloud one of the stories provided for reading evaluations, and the story was describing the scene of a hanging execution in detail. Fortunately, I was there and able to stop him from reading the rest of it to his little brother, but the story itself was most unexpected.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byrethink8remake9 April 2, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Perfect for tweens and older people

Makes you think,learn and get good influensues from the guide.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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