Puzzler Mind Gym 3D

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Puzzler Mind Gym 3D Game Poster Image
Collection of mental challenges is hard but rewarding.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn a variety of critical thinking skills, including tips on how to solve math problems quickly and accurately, how to hone spatial reasoning skills, and how to figure out puzzles that seem daunting at first but can soon become second nature. Puzzler Mind Gym 3D makes solving logic and math puzzles fun by placing the brain teasers inside a game setting.

Positive Messages

This game is a perfect example of a video game that can be fun and exciting without needing any sort of violence or edgy content. This game is essentially a large interactive test, and yet it's still an enjoyable, and at times even thrilling, experience. Players will realize that learning and expanding their mind can be fun.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The only character in the game is a neuroscientist character who appears to encourages players with well wishes and congratulations when they achieve a high score. You are really the star of this game as you tackle the many puzzles it provides.

Ease of Play

Players are challenged to beat a set of mental exercises. Some of them are blatantly easy but are designed to test how fast players can process information and respond. Some of the challenges, though, are downright difficult and even the most seasoned gamer may get stumped. The whole point of this game is to be tough, especially at first, but the goal is that players will slowly improve and get better scores as they continue to play.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one of the mini-games, players may be presented with the following fact: "Alcohol dulls the frontal lobes -- which is why people's emotions can sometimes get out of control after they've had a few alcoholic drinks."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Puzzler Mind Gym 3D is a collection of mini-games that test players' in a variety of mental challenges. Whether it's counting the number of cubes in a large formation or quickly adding up equations, players will get a brain-busting workout no matter how long they play. The game also contains numerous tips about how to succeed in each challenge as well as general facts and pieces of trivia. One of the lines in the game gives encyclopedic information about alcohol. This game is best played by kids and adults who enjoy a mental challenge.

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What's it about?

PUZZLER MIND GYM 3D was developed with the help of a neuroscientist who studied how to make a video game that could be an effective tool for stimulating the brain. It accomplishes this by presenting players will all sorts of challenges and exercises in rapid-fire succession. The goal is to for players to continue to play the game on a regular basis and watch as they improve every day.

Is it any good?

Puzzler Mind Gym 3D strives to be a mental workout, and it delivers that in spades. Players will find themselves scratching their heads at some of the more challenging puzzles, and feel their hearts racing as they try to power through the exercises in rapid succession. The exercises are presented in multiple ways -- players can either take a preset regimen of exercises, or go through each one at their leisure. One area of frustration is that some of the mini-games have controls or answer screens that make it somewhat difficult to answer the challenge with lightning-fast precision, which is what this game requires. Nevertheless, it's a fun and enjoyable way for players to liven up their brains and see how smart they really are.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the positive aspects of playing video games. What makes this game different than others?

  • What exercises are your favorites and which ones are your least favorites?

  • Are you improving each time you play through an exercise?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Subjects: Math: counting, geometry, patterns
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals, work to achieve goals
    Emotional Development: moving beyond obstacles, persevering
    Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles, thinking critically
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: UbiSoft
  • Release date: September 13, 2011
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief

For kids who love strategy and thinking games

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