The Amazing Brain Train is a great example of a family-friendly game that teaches children something along the way. Those of you that spend your weekend playing Halo 3 and Uncharted 2 don’t need to read any further – Brain Train is not for you unless you have a little one running around. Playing through The Amazing Brain Train brought back fond memories of playing Treasure Mountain and Math Blaster on my grade school PC, and that’s a good thing. The Amazing Brain Train manages to be both entertaining and fun for its target audience.
The Amazing Brain Train does its best to hold kids’ attention by stitching the various minigames together with a whimsical quest mode where the player is tasked with solving puzzles to help animals. The story is mostly fluff, but it serves its purpose well enough – do well at the provided puzzles, help the animals, and earn fuel for your train to move on to the next area. Puzzles range from sliding block puzzles to memory exercises to light redirection. There are about a dozen puzzle types, but each time a puzzle type is played the setup will be slightly different – the obstacles in the light redirection puzzle will be placed differently, or a different number of monkeys will jump into the leftmost bush (memory puzzle).
Graphically, The Amazing Brain Train looks like a Saturday morning cartoon. The visuals are simple, but that serves to make objects easy to identify for younger players. A lack of widescreen support is a little surprising, but everything that you need to see is presented to you.
Wahoo has also incorporated one of my favorite features from the Xbox 360, PS3, and Steam platforms – achievements. Achievements work very well here as they serve as goals for kids to attain. The Amazing Brain Train is a great precursor to games like Nintendo’s own Brain Age, but it presents an upgrade from the Leapster platform creating a good stepping stone from the simple to the more complex. And it’s always nice to point a child at a game that will flex the brain instead of the trigger finger.
Pros: teaches and entertains simultaneously
Cons: no widescreen support
Plays Like: Brain Age, Treasure Mountain