Among Gameloft’s various HD ports is Brain Challenge, one of their most successful titles. This is a collection of brain training exercises that claim to keep your mind sharp. Since we aren’t doctors, we can’t vouch for how legitimate this claim is, but Brain Challenge HD is still quite fun.
The brain test is meant to be played once a day and consists of one 90-second micro-game from each of five categories: logic, math, memory, visual, and focus. Once you complete each game, your brain tracker will update. At any time, you can go back and check your progression with in-depth charts and statistics. A brain meter will also fill up depending on how well you perform. Note that you can play as many tests as you want at one time, so you aren’t limited to one a day.
A true fat cat.
There is also a stress test that consists of three micro-games from the categories of authority, multitask, and physical. These games are tweaked versions of those found in the main game to add an extra level of challenge. For example, you may need to keep mice away from cheese while solving equations, or focus on removing blocks in a particular order while fire blazes around the edges of the screen.
If you are struggling with a micro-game or flat-out dominating it, the difficulty level will adjust accordingly. Some games end up becoming insanely difficult, so this feature alleviates a lot of the stress.
At any time you can go into practice mode to improve at any micro-game. However, Brain Challenge often unlocks random games you have yet to come across while locking those you have, so it’s often useless. We’d have liked the system to unlock a game for practice after you come across it in the brain test for the first time.
Someone didn’t get their coffee.
One of Brain Challenge HD’s strongest points are the bonus games and toys you can unlock. A few examples of these are Sudoku and a box puzzle where you tilt the device to manipulate boxes through a maze and connect them together. The downside to this and other tilt-based games is that you need to turn the entire iPad, and the responsiveness isn’t too great. This may have been more viable on the iPhone, but for such a large device it feels shoddy.
Brain Challenge HD isn’t a game you’ll want to sit down and play for hours, but its great to pick up for 10 minutes a day as part of your daily iPad routine. The sense of satisfaction you’ll earn from improving your performance is very fulfilling, even if you don’t actually get a mental boost from it.