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    KrepNatas's GameLog for Brain Age:Train your Brain in Minutes a Day! (DS)

    Friday 8 February, 2008

    There are definitely some key factors that increase or decrease the enjoyment of Brain Age 2. Some of the more notable ones today involved how you play the game with other people. While I have not had a chance to play the true multiplayer on Brain Age (it allows for people on multiple DS systems to play head to head on many of the games) I have been playing on a friend's DS. Brain Age keeps track of three different people on a single DS and keeps ranking as well as publicly displaying people's "brain age." This adds a bit of a competitive element to the game, which I enjoyed when I first started.

    That being said, today I quickly realized how much of a difference owning the game vs. playing your friend's makes. A game that I could beat my friend's score at four days ago I can now not come close to. This is common in most games, but the major reward structure in Brain Age revolves around you competing against yourself, and you competing against your friends' scores. A few of the games also have a limited maximum score and once you've attained it there is little motivation to ever play that minigame again. In specific, one game involves you keeping track of what place a runner is in as other runnings pass or are passed by him. There are 5 rounds and each round you are either correct or incorrect, meaning you can not do better than 5.

    If I owned a DS I imagine the competitive element would be much more entertaining, but, as it stands, practice makes for a much better score than I can get.

    The design of the game is very simple and clean, which is attractive at first as it seems professional and adds credibility to the assumed claim that the game is helping your brain. However, the same cleanliness of the game makes it start to feel like work after a while. There is very little visually pleasing elements to the game. The lack of a creative element makes it seem much more regimented than I, at least, like my games to be.

    Another interesting design choice was the emphasis on competition. Every time you train it shows you a graph of your previous scores and comments on your 'progress.' It also will show you the other players scores so you can see how you measure up. This adds a level of challenge to the game that makes it more entertaining than simply training would be.

    Another small but interesting element is it occasionally has one player make sketches in response to prompts and then will ask the other players what they think the drawings are of. There may be other interactions that I haven't seen as well.


    Very interesting. Not having played the game my self, I think if you've analyzed it quite well. -Trevor(grader)

    Tuesday 12 February, 2008 by Tdprater
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