Brain Assist

You know what the Nintendo DS really needs? It really needs more brain training games. Lesser mortals like you and I may have thought that Brain Training, More Brain Training, Big Brain Academy and their ilk pretty much filled this market, but SEGA knows better. SEGA knows that these games merely created a gaping chasm of longing in the souls of every DS owner, begging to be filled with cheaply turned out knock-offs.

Moreover, the DS doesn't just need any old brain training games. Oh no. What the DS really wants - and if you own a DS, then in some twisted little corner of your soul you obviously want this too - is a brain training game which dispenses with the pleasant, muted graphic design of Nintendo's high-budget titles. Instead, the visual experience should be as if a dying tramp has consumed the contents of Jackson Pollock's paint cupboard and is vomiting it furiously into your face.

Presumably satisfied that they'd got the colour scheme right (the "lurid and nauseating" section of the palette, with as many colours as possible on each screen - if that means a different shade of neon puke for each letter of a word, so be it), the developers turned their eye to the all-important content.


We can only assume, however, that there wasn't much time left in the schedule after they'd finished picking horrible colours and drawing really appalling graphics, so content had to get the boot. There are ten mini-games in here, ranging from the speechlessly insulting ("are these two pictures different?" questions which might as well be showing you side by side images of the Empire State Building and a dog's arse) to the downright ludicrous, such as a game in which numbers fly past so quickly you can't consciously register them, and then you have to try to remember them. Surprisingly, you often do, which suggests that the human brain is a wonderful thing, but then you recall that the people who made this game presumably used human brains to do so, and start to have second thoughts.

Essentially, you can probably see every scrap of content this game has to offer within two or three hours - but we don't recommend doing so, since your eyes will be hanging out over your cheekbones and steaming like a pair of overdone boiled eggs by that stage. There's simply no reason at all to touch this game. It's one of the most horrible-looking things we've ever seen, the mini-games are uniformly awful, and the whole thing comes off feeling like an obnoxious ten-year-old child was asked to design a Brain Age clone in half an hour.

On the plus side, there is single-card download play for wireless "fun" with up to four players. On the down side, if we really want to tell up to four friends that we despise them and never wish to suffer their company ever again, we can think of more direct ways to do so.


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