The Amazing Brain Train - First Impressions

posted 20 Jan 2010, 12:42 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 20 Jul 2010, 20:06 ]
WiiWare | Brain Training | Grubby Games / Ninja Bee | 1 Player | 600 Nintendo Points

The Amazing Brain Train has actually been available on the PC for a while now but Ninja Bee has just brought it to the WiiWare platform in hopes of generating even more renewed interest in the title. The game features a total of 15 brain-measuring challenges, as well as three different game modes where players can get in on the action. Quest Mode, for example, has you performing tasks for a series of animals in a main hub world. The requests involve making deliveries, escorting animals to different locations and more. To travel along the train tracks, though, players will need to perform brain challenges to add fuel to their locomotive. Accept a request, perform challenges to get to your destination, and then pursue another request. It's a rinse and repeat formula that can wear a bit thin for some. Test Mode is more standard than the aforementioned mode, as it asks you to complete a series of brain puzzles from a variety of categories. With each passing test, your results will be tallied towards a cumulative score and by the end of it, you'll be graded on your performance. Practice Mode is just a way to play each mini-game on an individual basis without having to go through the other modes. In that way, players who enjoy certain tests can challenge themselves to beat a high-score with the imposed time limit, or forego the time limit entirely and just play for fun.

    Challenges themselves are pretty challenging and some are even fun to plow through. Despite the cartoony look, the game offers a great level of difficulty for young and old gamers alike. The best part is, it's done in such a way that younger audiences won't be overwhelmed with the increasing difficulty. If you start finding the questions to pose little challenge, the game will start to pick up as you answer more and more questions. The questions will soon add additional variables for you to consider which give your brain more work to do. For example, one mini-game will have you keeping track of how many monkeys are hiding behind each of the two bushes. Once you make great progress, the game will transition well into more difficult gameplay by adding in a third bush. Additionally, instead of having just monkeys flying off screen, some will move into another bush in the group making it even harder for you to keep track of everything that's happening. Some mini-games are admittedly less creative and those who have played other brain training games will recognize them off the bat. Still, the tests rarely ever get boring and as mentioned before, the pace does pick up for those that may find some tests to be a bit on the easy side.

    As a PC download the game is priced at $6.99 but here on WiiWare, it's set to only 600 Points. Not only is the game well-priced, but it also approaches the genre in such a way that seems to leave players with a satisfactory experience. Gameloft released their own brain training game on the service quite some time ago for 1,000 Points. Plus, there's also the likes of Nintendo's own Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, another strong contender in the brain training genre. Both of these games feature multiplayer support, something that The Amazing Brain Train lacks. Given that this is on the Wii, the biggest flaw of this PC-based game is even more of a noticeable one. Does that necessarily mean the game isn't worth a purchase? Hardly. Stay tuned for a deeper consideration of The Amazing Brain Train in my review, coming soon to Wiiloveit.