Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day

Common Sense Media says

Get sharp with this fun, smart game for families.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Positive role models

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
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • vocabulary

Math

  • arithmetic
  • patterns
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • logic
  • memorization

Self-Direction

  • goal-setting
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • work to achieve goals

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Brain Age provides a fun way for families to play together. The mental workouts take just a few minutes a day and the Sudoku puzzles provide extra motivation to play, but the voice and handwriting recognition doesn't always work.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn about math and reading in this highly accessible game. None of the tests are particularly hard, but players need to work quickly in order to score well. The software rewards each day's playing with a sticker on a calendar.

Support

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 and slowly reveals its content over days of playing.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition
  • vocabulary

Math

  • arithmetic
  • patterns
  • sequences

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • decision-making
  • logic
  • memorization

Self-Direction

  • goal-setting
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • work to achieve goals

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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
Price:$19.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:April 23, 2006
Genre:Puzzle
ESRB rating:E for (Nintendo DS)

This review of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day 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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bysamta88 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Adult Written bycapstick April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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 more. Pros: Ability to save up to four personal data files so the whole family can track their progress. It also remembers things like birthdays and responds to things such as time of day or time of year ("Good morning, the days sure are getting hotter aren't they?"). The challenges themselves are fairly entertaining. And while occasionally it won't recognize things I write, 99% of the time it does. When it doesn't, it is because I was rushing or being sloppy. Cons: Not enough to do! New activities are "unlocked" very infrequently, and from what I can tell, there aren't that many to unlock anyway. So you are basically stuck with the same 5 or so activities every day. And it will only actually record your results for each activity once per day. You can practice as many times as you want, but it doesn't count for anything except practice. Also, my 8 year old daughter has a somewhat hard time with some of the math and other challenges. Another con is that the tips and tricks and other phrases that are shown to you are repeated very often. I wish there were more variety all around.

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