Junior Brain Trainer 2 (Nintendo DS) Review

By 18.10.2010

Review for Junior Brain Trainer 2 on Nintendo DS

Ever since the launch of Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training on Nintendo DS, it seems that training peoples’ brains has never been so important, judging by the countless clones and similar titles on the system. Sanuk Games’ Junior Brain Trainer 2 aims at a younger audience in 6 to 11 year-olds, to help them along with their school studies to achieve success in the classroom.

Upon start up, you are greeted by a cutesy little squirrel that introduces you to the software, and from there you'll have to go through a number of options, entering your name, date of birth and also selecting between two gameplay types. The first is Progressive Mode, better suited to younger players, as players will start at the easier exercises and work their way up to the harder ones. The other option is Pot Luck Mode, which is designed for older players, since the exercises are chosen at random, although upon trying each mode it more or less came up similar or the same exercises for both.

Players must complete five tasks each day to unlock new activities, which range from games and quizzes to reading and writing activities. At first, this may seem like a nice idea, which provides a nice incentive for the player to come back to play more. Unfortunately, it means there won’t be much to do on the game during the first week or two of play. With nothing unlocked from the start of the game, Junior Brain Trainer 2 starts to become a bit dull in its early stages and doesn’t make for a good first impression.

Screenshot for Junior Brain Trainer 2 on Nintendo DS

The central mode, which features various different maths and English problems to solve in order to discover new tasks, has some problems, however. Some instructions are vague, and if a person has been taught a different way of solving something, such as in the maths puzzles, then confusion may crop up. This regular occurrence could have been avoided by using the squirrel as a guide to help with any exercises that stopped players in their tracks. Another problem is in the size of the elements on the screen. Since everything is so small, you have to be precise with the touch-screen. An example is during an exercise where you have to drag numbers in the right places of a maths sum. This also carries over to other modes, and it may have benefited from larger graphics.

Once you have unlocked some of the new activities, you’ll be treated to some variations of some classics, like Hangman and Snake, as well as new games. Whilst these do provide some more fun, they often feel very basic and have the aesthetics of free Flash games; in fact, you can get better versions on the Internet. They are not aided by the same music playing again and again, which grates on the ears after a time. The same can be said about the rest of the software’s music; the same two pieces of music keep turning up, but thankfully the developers have included a mute option on the main menu.

Screenshot for Junior Brain Trainer 2 on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Junior Brain Trainer 2 is fairly average compared to the mountain of other brain training games out there. The game features some nice ideas but they fall short, and a number of things could have been improved to create a better play experience.

Developer

Sanuk

Publisher

Avanquest

Genre

Educational

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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