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Game Review: Brain Age (Nintendo DS) - The Zotmeister

solving the puzzle of life one entry at a time

Apr. 17th, 2006

09:33 pm - Game Review: Brain Age (Nintendo DS)

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An example of the Stroop test:
Black
"Red."
[checkmark]
Red
"Yellow."
[checkmark]
Blue
"Blue."
Try Again
"D'OH! Black. You got me."
[checkmark]
Yellow
"Blue. No really, I'm right this time."
[checkmark]

An example of the Stroop test according to Brain Age on the Nintendo DS:
Black
"Yellow."
[checkmark]
Blue
"Red."
[checkmark]
Yellow
"Black."
[checkmark]
Red
"Blue."
Try Again
"Blue."
Try Again
"Blue!"
Try Again
"Bah-looo."
Try Again
"BLUE!"
Try Again
"What the fuck is wrong with you? Blue."
Try Again
"BLUE!"
Try Again
"BAAH-LOOO!"
Try Again
[sticks out tongue] "BLUHHHHH!"
[checkmark]
Black
"FUCK you."
Try Again
"Red..."
Your Brain Age is 80, the worst possible
"Like Hell it is."

The game says the test works best for native English speakers. I completely disagree. I think the test only works for Dracula. I tried the test multiple times, and the bloody thing just doesn't understand how the word 'blue' is supposed to be pronounced, and didn't always care for fake attempts, either. It's only one syllable, not three, you retarded game. You should know - one of your training games is to count syllables!

This torment is how the game starts, or least how it starts if you tell it you can speak when it asks. Note that it doesn't ask if you're among the estimated 4.2% of the world population that's colorblind...

So the alternative is some quick arithmetic. No problem, right?

An example of quick arithmetic:
2×2=
4
2×2=4 [checkmark]
11-6=
5
11-6=5 [checkmark]
3×0=
3
3×0=3 [crossout]
"Shit! I need to slow down."
16÷4=
4
16÷4=4 [checkmark]

An example of quick arithmetic according to Brain Age on the DS:
7+4=
11
7+4=11 [checkmark]
6×6=
36 [the loop of the '6' isn't quite connected]
6×6=3 [sits there for a second]
[I connect the '6']
6×6=??
(What did it do, forget what a '3' is?) [erase] 36
6×6=36 [checkmark]
2×9=
18
2×9=12 [crossout]
"What?!"
7+3=
[turns DS off] "I'm DONE with this."

Seems the game's eye is just as weak as its ear.

Now look. '8' is unmistakable. It is topologically unique among the base-10 digits. I can assure you that the '8' I drew was a standard '8'; it was properly oriented and connected, consisting of two enclosed areas, one above the other, meeting at a single point - just like this one: '8'. But does this game understand this? Not a chance. Not only did it read the number wrong, but it marked my answer as incorrect and moved on without permitting me to tell the teacher otherwise. And it presumes to tell ME my brain is functioning poorly?

I gave both tests multiple trials. None were graded fairly by the game, always due to it being unable to interpret my input, something a kindergartener could have done. How did I come to hate this game in under five minutes? Not just dislike, but truly hate? Easy - it's the user interface, stupid!

Zotmeister Seal of Approval: DENIED... which is an especial shame given that there's a hundred Nikoli-born Sudoku in there. Which reminds me - Puzzle Japan is shutting down at the end of June. This is a truly sad day indeed. In short, spend four bucks and get a month of Nikoli rather than spend five times as much and lose your sanity. No amount of potential instruction is worth that.

Puzzle 29 is constructed and should be published tomorrow, and should prove better brain exercise than trying to wrestle with Brain Age input. - ZM

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