The Amazing Brain Train – Game Full Version
Back in 2008, indie developer Grubby Games created a collection of cute, quirky mini-games for the PC designed to amuse as well as stimulate your brain. It went on to be chosen as a 2008 PAX 10 winner, and though it did not capture the Audience Choice Award as well, it obviously turned enough heads for an eventual console release to be considered. Teaming up with fellow indie developer NinjaBee, Grubby Games made its WiiWare debut with The Amazing Brain Train!. In this game, you’re introduced to Professor Fizzwizzle, your engineer on this little train ride, and the train itself is fuelled by the power of your brain. As demonstrated by the game constantly displaying your results in units of measurement as well as plain old points, the general idea here is to go as far as you can with what fuel your brainmeats can work up. How far will the Amazing Brain Train be able to take you?
Control-wise, this is standard point-and-click fare. Create up to eight separate profiles at the title screen by clicking the ‘Change User’ button. Once you’ve got yours named and ready to go, choose between the three different modes: Quest, Test, and Practice. Quest Mode presents you with a map featuring a set of train tracks littered with 17 different animals. Each animal has a circular border around them, and when their borders turn red, those animals are available to present you with quests. When you’ve decided to take up a quest, the game will present you with one of the available minigames to play at random (initially there are ten, with the other five unlockable via playing minigames in any mode). You can’t choose which individual minigame you’d like to play in Quest Mode, though you can click ‘Cancel’ and then hit the ‘Travel!’ button again in hopes you’ll be given a different minigame to play.
The minigames each fall into one of five categories – Planning, Spatial, Numbers, Memory, and Search. Everyone has their favourite type of brain game, whether it be mazes, number-crunching, or fitting shapes together to make larger shapes, so there will be some you’ll like here and some you won’t. In each one you’ll help the Professor or one of his animal friends to do something by solving a series of ever-more-challenging puzzles. You may have to remember how many monkeys ran into a set of bushes, help the Professor to score home runs or untangle the leashes binding a pack of dogs together. Whatever you wind up doing, each minigame will have you thinking critically. There is no option to choose your difficulty level in this game, nor does it seem to adapt to the player’s skill level, so be prepared to have every minigame start out easy and then gradually become more difficult.
Taking cues from other gaming genres in an attempt to keep you hooked, The Amazing Brain Train! is a mildly interesting collection of minigames at best. With its adorable theme, repetitive nature, and simple-to-understand challenges, this game is aimed squarely at kids – the silly quests and easy-to-attain trophies will not be enough to keep adults interested for long. As is common among titles promising to needle your noodle, though this game features 15 different types of puzzle to play, you’ll only really enjoy a handful of them: the rest will be a chore to get through. At 600 points, however, it’s cheaper than any other option out on the market at the moment, and you’ll probably get as much play out of this as you would any other brain-training game.