My copy of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day for the Nintendo DS arrived yesterday. The DS has been a little neglected of late, as Lana and myself both got bored of looking after out pet Nintendogs. The poor little mutts are probably flee infested by now. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they have run away!
The premise of Brain Age is to stimulate your brain into action through a series of activities such as simple arithmetic, reading out loud and other cognitive tests. It starts out with a Stroop test from which it works out your "Brain Age", the ideal age being 20. Mine came out at 60, and Lana at 52. Each day you can then attempt a series of short activities, the number and variety of which increase the more you play. At first there are a couple of arithmetic tasks, a reading task which counts the syllables/second you can speak and a memory task.
Over time it charts your performance at each task. You can also retake the Stroop test to recalculate your brain age. Up to four people can record their results and compare against each other. Lana was quite chuffed that she was faster and more accurate at the mental arithmetic tests than me!
The UK version of the game also includes 100 Sudoku puzzles (you can download more via the Nintendo Wifi connection in games shops) and the interface the game presents for solving these is really quite nifty. Overall it's the kind of game that Nintendo are excellent at producing, and which proves that the DS is really capable of providing a rich and fun experience despite its relative lack of power compared to the Playstation Portable.
Now, I must resist buying a DS Lite… The fact that it still only supports WEP and not WPA will probably be enough to put me off.