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Game Review: Gameloft’s Brain Challenge

September 18, 2006 in Mobile Phone Software

So it isn’t often I get to do software reviews around here. However, after fooling around with one of Gameloft’s newest games – Brain Challenge – I’m itching to do more of ‘em. Besides, you can only preview so many Bluetooth headsets.

Gameloft's Brain Challenge

A review of Gameloft’s Brain Challenge.

Brain Age for the Nintendo DS (made by Nintendo, and NOT Gameloft) is one of the hottest, best-selling games for that platform. What is it? It’s basically a game that “stimulates brain cells” by forcing you to play thinking type mini-games/puzzles. Since you’re supposed to exercise your brain daily, playing Brain Age (and the copycats) is supposed to slow down the rate at which your brain goes bye-bye. You won’t necessarily be smarter, but you might be doing your brain a big favor.

Since these new brain games has been proven to be successful, every game company wants a piece of the action. Enter Gameloft.

Now Gameloft is also one of the most highly-respected mobile software/game companies in the world. You may or may not know that their games are always pretty high quality stuff that generally pushes the limits of cell phone games.

Similar to Brain Age, Brain Challenge is a mobile game that you should play daily to exercise those brain “muscles.” The game tests four main categories of thinking: Logic, Math, Memory, and Visual. The “Daily Brain Test” option gives you one random mini-game from each category, and then charts your progress. One problem – you can only have a maximum of one user account. So no, your friends can’t play unless you want them to screw up your hard-earning scores.

The Mini Games

There’s a good variety with the mini-games, but for the most part they’re fairly easy to learn. The instructions are a little confusing the first time around, but after trying and failing you’ll figure it out.

For example, the Balanced mini-game (left image) shows several objects on two scales, and then has you select the heaviest. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, it’s not – the game doesn’t exactly play fair. Sometimes they’ll show you an object that appears to be weighing down the scale, even if it’s a feather – just to throw you off. Sneaky.

Other miini-games are almost unnecessary – one math game will have you doing elementary addition and subtraction. Not quite sure how that really stimulates those brainwaves.

The games each last about 20 seconds. (they’re all timed).

One of my biggest issues with this game is the load time. Or should I say lag time. Initial loading of the game is a good 10 seconds on my N71, and that’s just to display the main screen! Each mini-game takes about 5-7 seconds to load, which for a cell phone application is quite long.

My second gripe is that it’s buggy. While the graphics, interface, and general quality of the game is typical Gameloft, someone was definitely sleeping in Quality Control while Brain Challenge was being released. Lots of crashes and “Unhandled Exceptions” make the game very annoying, very quickly. It’s rather frustrating to have the game die out like that, especially after you’ve finish everal exercises and you’re waiting for your updated Brain Chart.

Unfortunately, I don’t any more phones to test out the game with, so it *COULD* just be my phone that’s the problem. However, other Gameloft applications (namely Lumines) work perfectly fine.

If you can get past the quirks and bugs, the game is definitely a great addition to your mobile phone software collection.

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Tags

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rvo
7/27/2007
4:34 pm

fantastic game. highly recommended. havent experiences any crashes or bugs on my nokia 6233.

Anonymous
7/16/2007
9:28 pm

This game ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Renato Ferraz
4/13/2007
9:36 pm

It crashes on my Nokia N73 all the time. It basically renders the game unplayable. This is very disapointing, particularly considering (as you mentioned) how good Gameloft games usually are.

Reply to Renato Ferraz


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