Can a game aimed at teaching you actually work?

User Rating: 8.1 | Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! DS
Brain Training seems to do the oppoite of most games.
Video games in general fill your brain with colour, noise and basically a sensory overload which is all done in an attempt to please you.
Brain Training does something very different, it aims at masaging your brain and prepare it for the day ahead.

Basically, you partake in a series of mental challenges in the hope of beating your previous score. All the challenges require you to use the DS's unique functions, such as the touch screen and mic.

The first unique aspect of the game is the way it makes you hold the DS. You hold it side on, and the side you hold it depends on which hand you use to write.

Here are a few examples of the challenges:

Simple calculations on the one screen must be answered on the other screen. The sums are easy but the challenge comes in answering them as quickly as possible.

Another challenge is a reading one. You must read the "Colour" of the word and not the word itself. So the word RED will appear in the coulout Yelow and you must say "Yellow".

There are numerous challenges following in the same vein. All are simple in design but mastering them does become a challenge.

As the subtitle suggests, this game also measures your "Brain Age". By giving you three random challenges you can test the age of your brain. The best age is 20 years old and the worst I have seen is 66 so I guess 70 is the worst.

In addition to the training the game also features are very well excecuted game of Soduko. There are plenty of challenges to be had in the game and the interface is brilliant.
Infact, Soduko might be the best part of the game.

The Soduko follows the normal format. The touch screen shows a zoomed in grid where you write the answer while the second screen shows the whole grid.
You can write either one big answer or nine smaller possible answers if you want to narrow down your choices.

After all this positivitey there are some bad points.

The variety is one major drawback. The puzzles arean't that varied and there aren't that many to keep you interested for a long time.

Also, the handwriting recognition can be very dubious at times. How many times I wrote G and got C I have lost count, lets just say it leaves something to be desired.
Still, once you get the hang of the writing it gets easier.

Also, the game has a horrible feature that makes you answer stupid questions the first time you play the games.
It asks you to draw ridiculous pictures, like countries, cars, trains etc. Then it compares your pitiful attampt with a real artists impression.

This just slows the game down and the fact that it is designed to play in quick bursts is defeated by this weird feature.

On the whole, Brain Training is a great game for those looking for something different. I find it really useful in the mornings, I have a quick 10-15 minuite go in a hope it prepares my brain for the day ahead.