No matter what your age, if you have difficulty remembering things, this game may be the answer. It give your brain a daily workout and is fun at the same time. It doesn't get much better than that!

Last year Nintendo debuted Brain Age, a game to play on their handheld Nintendo DS. This year's entry in this adult game-play arena is Brain Age 2. The premise of these games is that you can keep your brain active and young by stimulating the prefrontal cortex of your brain. You do this by using simple word and mathematical problems. Dr. Kawashima of Japan is the renowned neurologist who developed the games.

Everything that was good about Brain Age was retained in Brain Age 2, including the laughing, goading image of Professor Kawashima who walks you through each exercise. As in the previous version, you start with a Brain Age check and you can check your Brain Age at any time to see how you are progressing. While the brain exercises in Brain Age seemed a bit like work, those in Brain Age 2 seem lighter and more fun.

The DS touch screen is used extensively in Brain Age 2. Often you can simply write the answer with the stylus on the touch pad. The letter recognition is surprisingly good. The sound and microphone is also used making this game quite interactive.

When you start Brain Age 2 you have only three training exercises available, but as you work at the game, you can unlock 17 different exercises. All are unique. You are sure to find some easy and some very difficult. I am very good at the Change Maker game where you are asked to calculate the difference between the bill total and the amount tendered. However, I found the Word Blend game extremely difficult. In Word Blend you listen to 2 or 3 speakers say words simultaneously, and then you write down each word.

Of the 17 games my favorite is the Piano Player game. Red arrows move across the music staff and you have to hit the right keys on the keyboard to play the song. Both the staff and the keys have letters for non-musicians. Background music enhances your play and you can really enjoy creating music in this way.

You are scored on each game so if you are at all competitive, you will find yourself going back to the games you have difficulty with just to improve your score. You will find yourself going back to some games just because you like them. So all in all, you can get a good brain workout. Be sure to play everyday and Dr. Kawashima will also dish out some praise.

This game is addictive and fun. If you and your honey each have a Nintendo DS, you can compete against each other through the Nintendo's wireless connection. Although you need two Nintendos, you only have to purchase one game to play together.

If you don't have either Brain Age game yet, I recommend Brain Age 2 over the original Brain Age. It's more fun!


Date of Review: 9-26-2007

Retail Price: $19.99

For: The Nintendo DS or DS Lite