Chances are you’re a little tired of training your brain by now. Hand-eye coordination and reflexes can all be trained by many action games, and math you can practice at the grocery store. Shouldn’t it be time to either pick up a book or just enjoy your leisure? Not quite yet, says Gameloft, who recently released their sequel to last year’s Brain Challenge, appropriately titled Brain Challenge 2: Think Again!
The Daily Test for general training features activities in five disciplines: logic, math, memory, visual, and focus, as well as the Stress test, which doesn’t so much measure your stress level as increase it with chaotic activities that sometimes even throw two minigames together. Brain Challenge 2 also features a Visual Test, which seems like just a specific cocktail of the same minigames designed to gauge how lively your eyes are feeling that day.
Speaking of cocktails of the same minigames, we doubt that all of these are holdovers from the first edition, but despite the significant graphical upgrade (and to widescreen, too) you will definitely recognize many activities. There’s the one where you have to figure out which object is heavier based on a couple of tipping scales, the fill-in-the-blank math problems, the memory game where you have to choose which tile goes missing after a row of them pass under an obstacle, the task of choosing the ball that bounces the highest, and so on. No matter how cute the improved digital professors are, if they are teaching the same classes, things could get pretty stale.
Wait, there’s no gun in this game?
Luckily the content that is there, if you are new to the series, is readily available. It didn’t seem like you had to attain any specific score to have a new set of minute-long diversion each day. Not that those don’t loop eventually, but having the game roll itself out for you whether you are playing before or after your morning coffee is pretty nice.
Controls were responsive and easy, whether picking lanes for racecars in a bonus game or choosing the animal who isn’t standing in the forest clearing. The sound effects and music are thankfully unnecessary, so you can mute them as you like.
Sadly, there is one major flaw in the accessibility of this design: you can’t stop a Daily Test in the middle. The app doesn’t save your progress at all unless you fully complete all five challenges, so if you only have a minute, you have to make sure you choose a single play from the training menu or you will have to start over again later. This is unfortunate, given how natural it is to pop open apps for a few seconds and then switch to something new, or, you know, get back to that board meeting. We’d love to see the ability to pause your minigame, close the app, and come back later to the exact same second, but it’s not there in the slightest.
If you’re not sick of the brain training genre yet, Brain Challenge 2: Think Again! may provide that spark you need to get your grey matter working in technicolor. However, it’s still a lot of minigames we’ve seen before, so be careful, because your money is a terrible thing to waste.