Professor's Brain Trainer: Logic (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew
After the overwhelming success of Nintendo's Brain Age it was only a matter of time before the market was flooded with similar titles. Big Brain Academy followed only months after and now we have Brain Trainer: Logic, which is one of two offerings from 505 Games, the other being Memory. It wasn't just the DS with this obsession with the grey matter work out either; most other platforms, from the PSP to the Home PC also got their own versions. Clearly the original is to be applauded for taking the plunge into uncharted waters but can the various 'runners up' bring anything new to the table? Let's hope so.
After you've bypassed the rather weak storyline it's on to the actual challenges, of which there are five and while this is subtitled 'Logic' it's actually more about observation. The first challenge is a simple matching pictures game, which is hardly challenging and probably not the best way to exercise your brain. Much better is the Shape Recognition, which requires that you match one of four pixilated boxes to the main box although this really isn't as simple as it sounds because of the subtle differences between the various images. Addition simply involves adding the total as pictured on a group of playing cards, which again is reasonably challenging but only against a clock. Remembering Sequence is not perhaps what you'd imagine, it challenges you to recall which icon was first or even third. Obviously this gets considerably more complicated as the sequence reaches seven or more but you are unlikely to reach that stage. Finally there is the rather bland Moving Dots, which is self-explanatory, and where you must count, you guessed it, moving dots.
You get twenty questions in each section although you generally only require 15 correct answers to 'pass' it. It's then transferred into a ranking but unlike Brain Age or Big Brain Academy it doesn't actually track your progress making the 'trainer' part of the title somewhat redundant.
As you'd expect this is all touch screen so get yourself down to the 'Dual Screen Use' section now.
Visually the developers have taken their inspiration from the various Wario Ware games featuring strange characters and forced perspective landscapes. This all works reasonably well but it's not nearly as pleasing as we've become used to on the DS. On the plus side there has at least been some thought given to the interface, which is both clean and remarkably intuitive.
This is not really a section where you want much happening in a title of this nature and, fortunately, there isn't a great deal to report and outside of some intro music and a few sparse sound effects it's really very quiet in this section. At least it's not irritating eh?
Unlike some of the more complicated DS titles there's little in the way of dragging, rubbing and absolutely no use of the microphone. This is all about simply selecting and, as a result, works very well it's just a shame it's all not a little more progressive.
The Professor's Brain Trainer isn't a terrible game; it's just that, in a well-supported genre, there are far better examples out there already. Its biggest problem is that it appears to have overlooked or completely missed the very reason why both Big Brain Academy and the original Brain Age were such great games in the first place: they give your brain a workout. Instead, what you have here is a very average storyline with a mere five 'logic' sections to work through which never change. Because of this you are unlikely to actually complete the game at all and as a result unless you stumble over this in the bargain bin you're advised to opt for its superior predecessors.
Pro: Easy to Navigate.
Con: Not Much Variety and Not Very Taxing.
Final score: 4.9