You can never be too clever, can you?
Even if you’ve got your brain age down to the level of a child prodigy with Dr Kawashima, there’ll always be the feeling that you have room for improvement. Fear not! You might be in luck with Dual Brain Vol. 2, an eShop title from D-O Corporation. Just a month after the first volume, there are six more brainteasers in this latest package for you to get stuck into.
Tot up the numbers in each of the colours and record them at the bottom. Quick!
Of course, this is the sort of game that was heralded back in the era of the DS as one to ‘bridge the gap’ between the world of video games and the uninitiated non-gamers. A big factor in making the Brain Training series such a great set of games was the way it made use of the functionality that the DS offered. You can see where this is going. Perhaps inexplicably, this is a brain exercising game which doesn’t make use of the Switch’s touch screen at all, despite its activities seeming pretty much ideal for it.
All of the games are presented in a Tetris 99-like HUD, with a central rectangle featuring the action, boxes to the left giving you the controller inputs you need and the boxes on the right recording stats, like showing your high score, current score and the time limit. You can also keep an eye on a timer at the foot of the screen which can offer you extra seconds if you tap the R button when the timer hits a danger zone.
Big or Small, the first game, is a very simplified game of The Price is Right – you’re shown a number on the screen, and then the next number, and you must recall if the second number is higher or lower than the first, before hitting up or down on the directional buttons to cast your answer. You’re up against the clock, of course, and any time-pressured mistakes are punishable by a time penalty. Tap Counter is game two. You’re shown dots in three colours with numbers on, and you must total up the numbers on each colour. Quick Eye is the next offering, showing a conveyor belt of letters and numbers and having you cycle across a grid to select the matching one. Reflex shows all of your controller buttons on a grid, highlighting one in red and again prompting you to press the right button as quickly as you can.
Maximum Number, the fifth game, displays four different sums and asks players to select the highest solution of the four, while the final game, Color Running, has a row of tiles of three different colours and requires players to select the button to match the colour until the row is finished. This is arguably the most moreish of the games owing to its highly simplistic nature, but the highlight of the game is undoubtedly the leaderboard, which tracks your total cumulated points across all of the games against other players across the world. Each of the six games gets its own league table, as well as an overall table which will prompt you into coming back again and again in search of a flawless run. At the time of writing, this reviewer was top of the overall table, as well as of four individual games. That’s pretty badass.
This one might be even trickier. Pick the sum which has the highest solution.
However, with a small number of games, and a lack of touch-screen controls, there’s not a lot of varied puzzling here. For those reasons, it’s difficult to recommend this over the vastly superior Brain Training.
Dual Brain Vol. 2: Reflex £11.99
Dual Brains Vol 2: Reflex offers frantic puzzling and competitive online-leaderboard-based action. There are only six activities, mind you – so chances are that once you’ve mounted an assault on the leaderboard, you won’t be sticking with the game for long afterwards.