The Professor's Brain Trainer: Memory Review (DS)

Trends in gaming are something of a norm; when one has a great idea that does well; it makes sense to try to milk it for all it's worth! In a sense, the current 'brain games' phenomenon is nothing new - there have always been puzzle games in one format or another. On the other hand, success for Sudoku and certain other brain 'teaser' game types has definitely gathered pace of late. Off the back of this, Nintendo especially have looked to puzzle games as a bastion of attraction for gamers of all ages and skill level; to a lesser extent others have followed.

The latest two DS games to board the 'brain game' ship are the brain children (groan – Ed) of 505 Games; Professor's Brain Trainer: Memory and Professor's Brain Trainer: Logic. We put Memory through its paces and discover if it's one to remember ... or forget.

Pick a card, any card! Your quest will take you all around the strange world…in strange ships

Noticeable straight away is the presentation of the title, very much fitting into the 'Universal - Suitable for all' pigeon hole. Cute n' fluffy enough for kids, but not a branded children’s game either. The question of what age group it's the most suited to is easily answered next though - none. We recommend forgetting age and just thinking 'awake & learn' factor. This isn't so much a fun rampage as it is a learning/training experience. You have to concentrate all the way through every mini game and though it's possible to play without the sound featuring, that's about the only aspect of the game you can afford to ignore.

Popping on and off of the game during travel or other disturbances is practically possible, but not enjoyable. Imagine playing Brain Training on the DS and you won't be far away from the degrees of fun, reward, focus and difficulty offered in this Memory game.

Visual, numerical and sorting tests are all thrown at you Your spatial memory is even thrown to the lions

As the title suggests, the game is all about testing, training and improving your literal memory, as a player. Unlike the previous DS brain training titles, it doesn’t offer a diverse array of exercises, and focuses solely on memory training and testing. If you don't enjoy having your memory poked or tested, frustration will ensue rather quickly. If you want to improve in that area though, this may well be an excellent way to do so; certainly much more fun than memory training from a book in the eyes of many gaming audiences, we’re sure!

The controls are intuitive immediately and easy to pick up. Everything is explained to you and there's nothing challenging in the control system at all. Graphically and sound wise, you get a universal approach as with the presentation; it's enough, it's cute, but nothing to write home about. The game allows you to practice each test at four levels of difficulty, which relate to the four continents within the game's story that you'll visit, challenging monsters to retrieve your friend's memory disc which has gone missing.

You only have 75 more to go Spot the snap card!

All in all, it's fairly challenging and will help you train and assert your memory ability, but be warned - there's a repetitiveness and simplicity here which some may find too much. Not as striking or varied as Brain Training, this is an effective DS title to collect if you want more of the same in the memory department. As for varied brain training and fun puzzlers, Dr Kawashima's Brain Training is still the King of the ‘brain game’ roost.

Top Game Moment:
Reaching the end of a long, hard run of memory challenges with 100 per cent accuracy!

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