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Brain Age is a series of "brain training" video games for Nintendo platforms, based on the research of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima.
The games are:
- Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! (2005)
- Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day! (2005)
- Brain Age Express (2008)
- Brain Age: Concentration Training (2012)
- Dr Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch (2020)
If you go into the equivalent of "Campaign Mode" for either of the first two games, you will be expected to take a test from which Dr. Ryuta Kawashima (represented as a talking head) will determine the mental age of your brain (20 is ideal). For the original Brain Age, it is to quickly say the color that a word is written in, made slightly trickier because the words are the names of the colors they come in, and the words frequently don't match the color. In Brain Age 2, you are to quickly win or lose games of Rock Paper Scissors verbally (why, yes, this game does use the DS mic). There are also alternate tests for when you cannot speak into the mike. Checks on a file after the first one will include two other tests, as well.
There are also a wide variety of training exercises to help improve the agility of your brain. You start with three, and get another one unlocked each time you do a training exercise until you have them all unlocked.
And there are frequently activities for when you sign in.
You can do a quick brain-age check with either of these programs, but if you don't have a regular file, Kawashima will only give you a decade range.
Both games also come with lots of Sudoku games.
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- Bragging Rights Reward: The stamps, after you've unlocked everything. You get one for each day you do a training exercise, and it gets bigger if you do three in a day.
- Easter Egg: Brain Age 2 has a game that is unlabeled until you click on the bar it's under. And saying either "Doctor Ryuta Kawashima" or Brain Age 2 makes the title screen of that game much more interesting.
- Game Breaking Bug: The first Brain Age has a game that is supposed to test how fast you read. But the DS has no way to test if you are reading it before you move on... there's no reading comprehension test. It will kick you out if you go to the next page too quickly (claiming "you were reading too fast I couldn't do the fancy brain measure stuff"), but then some people actually do read that fast... Similarly, the "speed counting" test doesn't have any way to make sure you actually said the numbers (though, again, it tries).
- Minigame Game
- Nintendo Hard: From Brain Age 2, the Hard difficulty of "Sign Finder", in which you are to enter the correct signs into a math problem: on Hard, you have to enter three signs, and the problems get correspondingly interesting for the mathematically inept (it's hard to fill in the sign fast if you have no clue what the answer is).
- Also, "Word Blend", which (after the first round) has you fill in multiple spoken words spoken at the same time into the blanks correctly. You get more than one chance per round, but only the first one counts for the scoring. And since the DS is a portable system, its speaker separation is lousy...
- Devilish Training is supposed to be a collection of hard challenges.
- Shout-Out: One of the phrases in the Syllable counter is "Thank you, Mario, but your princess is in another castle."
- Stop Helping Me!: Dr. Kawashima's advice can come off as incredibly condescending, given time.
Dr. Kawashima (said with a disappointed face): "Hey, are you feeling a little tired?"
Also known as Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training in PAL regions (including Europe).