in order to get myself ready for the 3DS interation of the brain age series, i finished going through the 30 days required to unlock all the modes in brain age express: arts & letters on DSi. similar to how brain age 2 was a much slower and more boring experience than the original, this entry was much less engaging than its enjoyable companion brain age express: math. like that “express” title, this game isn’t just a subset of previous entries in the series, and includes 3 brand-new exercises, all of which include harder modes. i enjoyed two of the three new exercises (the exception being “meet and greet” in which you memorize names and cartoon faces), but of the 3 returning exercises the only one i really liked was “word scramble”, in which you have to unscramble a group of letters to form words. the “themes” were still enjoyable, and the challenge mode (10 levels unlocked when you achieve a brain age of 20) wasn’t too frustrating for the most part (see below for the list of challenges if you’re interested). the main exception there was the “3-back” photo recall challenge. this was one of the new exercises, in which you have to remember photographs while being presented with a constant stream of new photos, some of which are flipped horizontally. this type of brain training has actually formed one of the cores of the 3DS’s “concentration training”, so it’s been interesting to move from this experience to that one.
all in all this wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the other brain age express title, and concentration training has actually rendered both of them obsolete in most cases since it looks like the new exercises have been incorporated into that game. i was a bit leery of the challenges that i’d have to work through for the 3DS game, but so far i’m really enjoying it. more on that before too long.
- 0: symbol match, < 35 seconds
- 1: word memory, memorize 20
- 2: word attack, < 1 min 20 seconds
- 3: photo recall (2-back), < 1 minute
- 4: meet and greet challenge mode (face, first and last name, occupation for all 8), all correct
- 5: word scramble challenge mode (i think they use the ones you’ve previously missed), < 3 minutes
- 6: connect maze, < 35 sec
- 7: dr. mario challenge mode, clear
- 8: piano player, get perfect on march from aida
- 9: photo recall challenge mode (3 back), < 1 min 40 seconds