know, when you get to this point, it's time to pack it in.
would have thought that my videogame obsession of the moment would
be this? A Sudoku program, one that was hastily thrown together
for the American version of Brain Age? Yet, it turns out to be yet
another essential puzzler in the Nintendo DS library.
every way, Brain Age Sudoku is functional, straight to the point,
and stripped to the bone. The graphics could have come from the
Atari Lynx - and the vertical arrangement is a real nostalgia trip
for anyone who played Gauntlet 3 and Klax. Music is non-existant.
The game itself is pure abstraction. And it's magnificent in every
wouldn't change the look of this game for anything. Give me a clear
field with numbers I can read, and let me draw and scribble and
zoom in and out at will. There are already two more Sudoku cartridges
available for the DS, including one from Nintendo. But you can keep
those sloppy, inferior versions. This is the one you want to stay
with. It's a classic example of the essential value of game design.
puzzles are categorized into easy, medium, and hard, and I was surprised
to discover that each level becomes steadily more challenging. It's
a long, slow climb up a hill. So the final easy boards are about
as tough to solve as the early medium ones.
Nintendo only included 100 boards is a mystery to me. Perhaps they
didn't expect Brain Age Sudoku to be more than a stopgap, an extra
bonus to sweeten the pot for the Americans. But it's essential to
the larger Brain Age scheme, because it really calls upon those
skills you hone for 15 minutes every day. Where else can you go
after you've sharpened your mind on math drills? Heck, I can't believe
a game composed of short math and reading drills would be so fun.
It's almost like the Einstein's version of Wario Ware.
and by the way, I've already achieved the perfect brain age of "20."
I win! Whoo-hoo! Take that, you stupid microphone! It's blue, blue!
Blue, you freakin' morons!!
Nintendo should take advantage of the excellent Sudoku program for
the American version of Brain Age 2. Give us a random puzzle generator
(how many minutes would that take to write?). Heck, give us a couple
thousand puzzles. Offer downloadable boards over wi-fi. And keep
the vertical viewpoint. It's essential.
fact, somebody get off their lazy ass and bring back Gauntlet and
Yes, I know I should be writing more about Brain Age proper, instead
of the Sudoku program. But, hey, it's my website and my review,
so that means I get to pretty much to whatever the hell I want.
Rest assured, Brain Age is a terrific little program, and it deserves
to be part of your DS library.
repeat: Brain Age is really good. Now get off my back; I'm in the
middle of a really hard Sudoku puzzle, and this thing is giving
me crazy, tripped-out nightmares. Like peering into the mind of
God as he's contemplating the universe.
need a stiff drink.