Developer: NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.
Price: $3.99 Download on the App Store
I just finished working out with Brain Exercise with Dr. Kawashima and I think I might have overdone it because my head hurts.
If you want to stay mentally sharp, you need to work your brain as though it were a muscle. Brain Exercise, from Namco Networks America, gives you a series of tasks – searching for patterns, solving arithmetic problems, finding the most-oft used number in a grid, recalling memory puzzlers and so on. Many of the tasks are similar to those in an IQ test although the main purpose of Brain Exercise is to, well, stem the loss of precious brain cells.
Without getting too much into the fine points of anatomy, Brain Exercise with Dr. Kawashima flexes your brain's lobes. The temporal lobe, for example, governs shape perception and the parietal lobe governs spatial perception.
Brain Exercise has three modes: Brain Training, Brain Age and Quick Play. Each mode also has easy to hard levels and you must also race against the clock. There are different levels in each of the three modes and you'll need to successfully complete each level before unlocking the next one.
The best way to start is with the Quick Play mode, which consists of short exercises, just to get the feel for what you need to do to sharpen your wits.
The idea is that if you exercise daily, your brain gets “younger,” and the Brain Age mode is the way you chart your progress. At the moment, my brain is equivalent to that of a 37-year old, which is pretty good considering that my kids think I'm already senile. A 20 is supposed to be tops.
If you're any good at Brain Exercise with Dr. Kawashima, or your ego can stand it, you can download scores and play against two to four players on the same device.
I don't care much for games that seem more like work than play, but Brain Exercise with Dr. Kawashima is lots of fun. It's the kind of problem solving you'll keep coming back to just to see if you're holding your own against the tides of age.