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 product uses 6000 of the Brain Quest grade-specific questions within its learning games. Parents looking for games with educational content for kids will be excited to discover this Nintendo DS game. It does a good job of representing culturally diverse characters within its games.
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What's it about?
BRAIN QUEST: GRADES 3 & 4 uses 6000 of the questions typically found in Brain Quest flashcards and workbooks as the basis for this Nintendo DS gameplay. Kids can explore the questions in three different modes: Quest, Brain, and Multiplayer. In each, they can select questions from the following six academic subjects: math, science, English, geography, history, and a catch-all category called \"Grab Bag.\" When questions are answered correctly, kids earn points to acquire stickers for use in an art designing area. There is also a robust Sudoku Mode offering 4 x 4, 6 x 6, and 9 x 9 Sudoku Puzzles.
In the Quest Mode, kids are transported to a wildlife park where they help park rangers in six different wilderness areas, which correspond to the six academic subject areas. The Brain Mode allows kids to jump right in and start answering questions delivered in rounds of 5 questions each. And in Multiplayer Modes, kids can play cooperatively or competitively with a friend using just one Nintendo DS and one game cartridge.
Is it any good?
What makes this educational game so much fun to explore is that the presentation of the questions is polished, varied, and interesting. The questions show up in the following formats: multiple choice, select an image, matching, sorting, fill-in-the-blank, word builder (add a letter to the beginning of a word to change into another word), and crossout (cross out a letter in a misspelled word). Kids answer all these questions by using the DS stylus and its touch-sensitive screen; and as they succeed, the game celebrates and awards them accolades. Plus while they are playing, they will hear uplifting funky music which contributes to the feeling that learning can be fun.
Brain Quest cards have always been popular with families, particularly when traveling. But those cards are always more fun when played with others. With this videogame version, playing by yourself becomes more entertaining, especially when playing in the Story Mode. But, don't expect a deep storyline or face-paced gameplay because at its heart, this is still flashcards, just with a techie appeal.
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