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 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.
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?
- 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
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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.