Archive Reviews

Review: Nintendo DS Lite - Part 2 of 2 - The Games

We were lucky enough to test three games during our time with the Nintendo DS Lite. Brain Age: Train Your Brain In Minutes A Day, Big Brain Academy, and The New Super Mario Bros. If you missed Part 1 of our Nintendo DS Lite review, be sure to check it out.

train your brain

Brain Age: Train Your Brain In Minutes A Day The first game I tested was Brain Age. It is great entertainment for the whole family and all of your friends. It is inspired by the research of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, a Japanese neuroscientist, who studied how to stimulate your brain with mental exercises. Each time you do an activity, your are rated on how old he thinks your brain is. When I first started, my brain age was 65. It had to be wrong.. I am sure of it. My real brain is half that age. But, as I train daily, I have lowered my brain age down to age 30, which isn't too shabby!. My real brain is half that age. But, as I train daily, I have lowered my brain age down to age 30, which isn't too shabby!. It tracks your progress on a chart, and you test your abilities each day. With practice, you really will find yourself feeling mentally sharper. When I first started, there is a mental task that flashes a series of numbers at your briefly. You have to use the touch screen and choose the numbers you saw from highest to lowest. I still can't get past 6 numbers. Yea.. six numbers... my prefrontal cortex is still in not fully stimulated ;-) There are other exercises like the ... test, where it will show the word RED written in Yellow, but you have to say the word.. not the color. It's amazing how our brains process things. It's harder than you think, especially as it becomes faster. The voice recognition is pretty good, but it has trouble understanding me when I say 'Blue'. red vs bluebrain age menusudoku Are you a lefty? No problem, it even lets you flip the orientation of the screens to accomodate your left-handedness. It's little attention to details like this that make this so appealing. While adults are having the most fun from these games, I find it is a very good tool to help my son with his mental reflexes, especially the reading out loud. His reading speed has increased quite a bit. calculationsreading aloud If you consider yourself a non-gamer, and think you would have no interest, I challenge you to play this game for 5 or 10 minutes. You may just leave the store with a Nintendo DS Lite and Brain Age game. Brain Age is the hit of the year, and no Nintendo DS should be without it - it's great fun for Adults and Kid. thinkmac.net rating: 5 out of 5 thinkmac rating 5 Company: Touch Generations / Nintendo Product: Brain Age Price: $19.99 USD Big Brain Academy: big brain academy This is the second game from Nintendo, challenging you to increase your brain size. I found this one more challenging, because the tasks take longer to process. There are 5 categories you work on: thinking, memorization, computation, analysis, and identification. Sounds tough, eh? big brain main menu Some of the games are pretty simplistic, but I have been playing on the easy level. For example, on one of the games, it will show you an amount, say 7 items. On the bottom screen, it will show 6 pictures, each with different amounts of items in them. You have to choose the correct pictures that add up to the amount on the top screen. Sounds easy, but it's not. You are racing against the clock to identify as many of these as you can. Your brain size depends on it! big brain 1big brain 2big brain shapesbig brain more shapes Big Brain Academy isn't quite as addictive as Brain Age, but it's much more difficult in my opinion. The playability of these games is great. You can pick up the DS Lite and play for a few minutes and you are done. Especially if you are an adult, it's fantastic to be able to pop it open, play 5 minutes put the machine to sleep. big brainbig brains If you have multiple Nintendo DS' you can compete against up to 7 of your friends, even if they don't have Big Brain Academy. It's a lot of fun to challenge your friends and family to see who has the biggest brain. I would practice first though..it's a little disconcerting to have your kid making fun of your brain size.. ;-) On our day to day activities, most people don't challenge themselves, and I beleive this is why these games are so popular among adults. It feels good to know you can memorize, calculate, and count faster than your kids. It's addictive! Once you are done with Brain Age, you will definitely want to pick up the Big Brain Academy and take your mind to the next level. thinkmac.net rating: 4 out of 5 thinkmac rating Company: Touch Generations / Nintendo Product: Big Brain Academy Price: $19.99 USD New Super Mario Bros. New Super Mario Bros Mario is synonymous with Nintendo. Probably the most recognizable name in video game history (besides Pac Man). Well, Mario is back in true form, making his way through tropical islands, volcanoes, snow, water and more, all to save the Princess. New Super Mario Bros The New Super Mario Bros. is challenging and it's an incredible roller coaster of a game to play and pass the time. It's typical Mario style gaming with a few twists. Now you can get some special power ups to turn into a mini-Mario or a giant Mario! The giant Mario is the most fun because you grow almost 3 inches tall and blast through everything that you touch. Since it is a native DS game, it takes full advantage of the dual screens. Your map is usually on the bottom screen, but occasionally the action moves down to the lower screen, and the whole process is seamless and quite impressive. giant mariomario levelmario Not only do you have the adventure you can play, but you can play mini-games and a one on one Mario VS Luigi battle with other friends that have a Nintendo DS. In fact, I think the mini-games are almost worth the price of the game itself. The games are divided into four categories: Action, Puzzles, Table, and Variety - totaling 18 games. Each one takes full advantage of all of the DS' capabilities, such as the mic and the touch screen. One of my favorites is blowing gently into the mic to make Mario float through the air without hitting any of the obstacles. Like Poker? There is even a Picture Poker mini game. With all of this content, it is quite a value, and will provide hours upon hours of fun. My whole family has been playing this game almost every day for a month, and we still haven't made it through world 7. There is no blood, gore, or mature content. This is refreshing, since most of the popular games today aim to throw in the junk we don't want our kids exposed to. Kudos to Nintendo for keeping this good fun for the whole family.