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Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day Game Poster Image
Get sharp with this fun, smart game for families.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about math and reading in this highly accessible brain exercising game. It gives players opportunity to practice skills ranging from addition and subtraction to precision speed reading. Other areas of the brain receive a workout as well, with some activities forcing players to quickly distinguish between the color and meaning of text words ("red "spelled in blue letters) or getting them to count syllables. Brain Age's claim that it can actually rejuvenate the brain is a bit dodgy, but it's certainly a good math/memory workout.

Positive Messages

Because this software appeals to both kids and adults, it's a fun way for families to play together.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The doctor who leads players through the game is encouraging and supportive as players work their way through each activity.

Ease of Play

Tasks are fairly simple, but carrying them out quickly to score better can prove challenging. Also, the game can prove frustrating when it doesn't properly recognize your writing.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational game asks players to do math problems, read out loud, count syllables in passages, and memorize numbers and their location on the screen. Since math calculations are tested, kids need to know their multiplication and division facts before playing. Some of the mental games rely on voice and handwriting recognition technology, which don't always work correctly. This software appeals to both kids and adults, making it a fun way for families to play together.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycapstick April 9, 2008

Pros and Cons

I haven't read any of the other reviews yet, so I may end up repeating... Overall, the game is just so-so to me. Worth the $20 I suppose but I did expect... Continue reading
Parent of a 7, 9, 11, and 12 year old Written bytweedledee621 October 10, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written bysamta88 April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

What's it about?

BRAIN AGE challenges players with a variety of Mini games that provide a mental workout. Some of the activities include doing math problems, reading out loud, counting syllables in passages, and memorizing numbers and their location on the screen. The game keeps score of each Mini game and uses that data to show players whether their \"brain age\" is improving. The software keeps track of whether players play every day, slowly reveals its content over days of playing, and rewards each day's playing with a sticker on a calendar.

Is it any good?

Family members, or up to 16 friends, can wirelessly compete in a game of 30 math calculations to see who can solve them the fastest. This competition requires additional Nintendo DS units but only one software cartridge. Players write their answers on the DS's touch screen. Our testers found that the handwriting recognition software was good but not great.

Brain Age makes mental workouts easy because it takes just a few minutes a day. And having Sudoku puzzles to play during down times is extra motivation to stick your Nintendo DS into your backpack, purse, or briefcase every day. Overall, this software appeals to both kids and adults, making it a fun way for families to play together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether playing mental games makes your brain smarter. Are you learning to use your mind better or simply mastering the games presented?

  • Also, families may want to discuss Professor Kawashima's theory that doing short mental exercises every day keeps brains sharp. Is this game something you need to do every day?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, letter or word recognition, vocabulary
    Math: arithmetic, patterns, sequences
  • Skills: Self-Direction: goal-setting, identifying strengths and weaknesses, work to achieve goals
    Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, logic, memorization
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: April 23, 2006
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E

For kids who love puzzles and thinking games

Our editors recommend

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