Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 58
  2. Negative: 1 out of 58
Buy On
  1. What impressed us most was the possibility that a player just might get hooked on Conrad or Bronte and this little handheld game might actually spark someone to put down the electronic gadget for a while and pick up a literary classic.
  2. The game is such a blast because you only have about ten minutes each day to prove that you really are as quick and sharp as you were the day before.
  3. Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? is unique, compelling and in the long run, ultimately rewarding. The end result is a game that whilst graphically inept, deserves to be scooping up awards at the end of the year regardless.
  4. Whether it works or not, you'll have fun playing it; lots of fun; and that, more than anything, is why you should buy it.
  5. Be careful should you choose to pick this up, it has a nasty habit of making addicts out of your family members that normally don’t care for games.
  6. A simple idea brilliantly executed. Perfect for newcomers to gaming.
  7. However, if you're looking for another fix of Nintendo's knack for genius game design - with the added benefit of potential brain flexing thrown in - you owe it to yourself to check this out.
  8. Brain Age isn’t really a game and it’s gimmick will eventually wear thin. But it’s also an excellent piece of software for those that like a good puzzle game.
  9. Even so, the mini-games are excellent and really do provide a quick, painless focus for the mind.
  10. 87
    Prof. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain is an intriguing 'program'. This is not a game for Mensa geniuses, but is ideal for those of a general intelligence.
  11. 85
    Crosses the border between being a game and a unique application. In both respects, it somehow succeeds and is an amusing way to keep those brain waves going.
  12. The polygonal, disembodied head of Ryuta Kawashima acts as your personal coach, and his quips are actually pretty amusing. Challenges are stripped down to just include what's necessary, and there's not much to fault, in that sense.
  13. Number one in Japan for 46 weeks and counting. That's got to mean something.
  14. For DS owners that haven’t played Brain Age yet, it may be hard to understand what the hype is about. Let me give you a word of advice – take your DS to one of those demo download kiosks Nintendo has in game stores, or find a friend with a copy of the game and download a demo from them. Only after trying it will you have an idea just how fun this title is.
  15. netjak
    It's interesting to watch your progress after a couple of weeks of daily play. Who knew that math could be this much fun?
  16. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    I just wish the game offered a wider array of activities...simple arithmetic has only so much staying power. [Jun 2006, p.120]
  17. Game Informer
    It might sound dry, and there are some issues with the voice and handwriting recognition(it frequently struggles to detect that you've said "blue"), but you'll be surprised how addicted you will become. [Jun 2006, p.119]
  18. I know it sounds like work, but this is way more fun than flossing. It's like playing a bunch of puzzle-based mini-games.
  19. For $20, you get some fun minigames to play that will track your progress along with 100 Sudoku puzzles.
  20. I'm not sure whether my brain's actually benefiting from this special treatment, but I do know that Brain Age is fun to mess around with for several minutes a day.
  21. 80
    It's not a game, and because you're never taught anything new, it's not really even "edutainment" -- Brain Age is a tool, one that sharpens your mind not just for playing real games, but living real life as well.
  22. Brain Age is truly a pseudo game. It’s Wario Ware meets Tamagotchi meets further education. If you want to give your brain a workout and get a fun number puzzle game to boot then picking up Brain Age is a no brainer.
  23. The fact that you can only test for your age once a day gives you incentive to keep trying, and with the floating head of Professor Kawashima offering suggestions, there's a sense of a persisting, updating world every time you play.
  24. 80
    But like a gym membership, it's completely up to the player whether a group of mind exercises is considered "fun." At the very least, Nintendo's wrapped everything into a fulfilling package to make these tasks as enjoyable and replayable as possible.
  25. Edge Magazine
    The fact that it’s just mental arithmetic simply doesn’t matter: all it makes you realise is that most games are mental arithmetic one way or another. [May 2006, p.95]
  26. Yet another odd and unique one from Nintendo. Not for everyone, but it does your brain some good.
  27. Play Magazine
    Effective or not, this is a uniquely engaging piece of interactive software--and it's 20 bucks. [Jun 2006]
  28. It’s pretty amazing that one can actually see how much they are improving over time if they play the game regularly.
  29. Games Master UK
    Genuinely strengthens your mind, and does it well. That's it, really. [June 2006, p.66]
  30. NGC Magazine UK
    Like nothing you've ever played before and, for that reason, a great talking point in the pub. Plus, it's good for you. [June 2006, p.40]
  31. AceGamez
    If you're looking for something different and stimulating, something that could even, perhaps, improve your thought process, Brain Training achieves that very well and does exactly what it sets out to do.
  32. With your brain getting older by the minute, Nintendo lets you reverse the flow and makes it younger. Fun exercises to stimulate the mind while on the go.
  33. An extremely unique product that has since spawned off countless imitators on the Nintendo DS and even some on the PSP. At its budget price, it’s a great way to use a few minutes a day.
  34. It is ideal for those looking to further develop their mental alertness, or wanting to take a break from gaming-overdose, or simply anyone who feels like a quick, productive coffee break.
  35. Don’t expect it to raise your IQ, but do expect it to kick off a long, long line in copycat titles.
  36. I enjoy playing the game daily since it keeps a chart of my progress. Does the game make me any smarter? I doubt it, but the bottom line is I’m having fun.
  37. The handwriting and voice recognition are great features, except when they fail; it takes practice to retrain your writing and pronunciation to Brain Age's expectations, and in the meantime, your DS just thinks you're stupid.
  38. Now that I've gotten my brain age down to a respectable number, I'm waiting for Nintendo to come out with "Body Age."
  39. If you’re searching for a hearty, unique puzzler for your DS, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day may just be a perfect match.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#40 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 58
  2. Negative: 7 out of 58
  1. Sep 1, 2020
    Dr Kawashima`s Brain Training is more than a game. Its puzzles are challenging and motivating. Especially if you`re a fan of Sudoku, you willDr Kawashima`s Brain Training is more than a game. Its puzzles are challenging and motivating. Especially if you`re a fan of Sudoku, you will have a lot of fun. Very addictive! Full Review »
  2. XV_
    Jul 20, 2019
    Brain Age is entertaining at the very beginning, I was really into doing my brain age check (3 random exercises that put your brain to theBrain Age is entertaining at the very beginning, I was really into doing my brain age check (3 random exercises that put your brain to the test and depending on your skill it gives you a score), you can see results even the second day of your check, and that's kind of promising, the thing is that current studies say that still there's no real evidence that you gain something by playing this kind of games so lets you get that aside.

    Gameplay wise, the puzzles are fun at least when you start the game but they became repetitive really quickly, also I don't know if it was just me or my 3DS but I had a hard time when it came to registering my voice or writing letters, so at least a third of the puzzles malfunctioned on my "playthrough".

    It's hard to recommend Brain Age, its a game for quick plays and time passing, it starts fun but ends like a chore, kind of.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 6, 2017
    this game makes me feel dumb :(this game makes me feel dumb :( ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Full Review »