My brain is in a general sorry state as it consistently lets me down at Trivial Pursuit and it rarely remembers birthdays or names. I also completely blame if for failing to make me those millions of Rands. But there is help on it’s way in the form of Gameloft’s Brain Challenge for the PS3 which promises to help me turn my cognitive life around by coaching me through a series of mental tests on a daily basis.
The download from the PSN store is about 220MB and the game itself costs R 95.00. Well worth it if it keeps the promise, as according to my initial test I was only using 15 % of my mushy grey matter and probably 16 % if I eat a sandwich.
Brain Challenge will track your daily progress in the categories of logic, math, memory, visual and focus. You are supposed to undergo a battery of tests daily in order to get a long-term improvement of your brain-matter.
Aside from the single-player mode, there is a multi-player/online-option where you can compete against fellow Einsteins. There are also a series of mini-games and stress-tests (in which you have to play a mini-game with the Sixaxis while at the same time solving puzzles)
After each daily test you will get a detailed report of your tests as well as an indication how your brain usage has increased.
Whether Brain Challenge actually improves anything about your brain is an open question. By design, there is a limited number of game types, and once you understand how they work and what it takes to score well, it’s just a matter of practice. So, basically, it’s just like any other game that rewards pattern recognition and trial and error. Does it stimulate your brain and sharpen your thinking? Definitely. But does it do so more than your typical puzzle game? Probably not.
One nice addition to the PS3 version is the addition of trophies (i.e. achieve a certain percentage or a number of A+ grades in tests). The tests themselves are challenging as you race against the clock and are measured against speed and accuracy.
If you want to compare your initial score, enter your results here.