Brain Challenge is a new game that’s been released for iPods. In the spirit of Nintendo’s Brain Age, it has 20 mini-games in 5 categories: Visual, Memory, Logic, Math, and Focus. It will provide feedback via stats and graphs. Apparently there’s also a Creative Mode for “exploring your brain’s artistic side.”
Unfortunately it is not available for the iPhone or iPod Touch. It will work for 5th generation iPods, iPod Classics, and 3rd generation iPod Nanos — none of which I have, so sadly no hands-on review.
You can get it from the iTunes store for . The reviews are mixed, but most of the negative ones seem to be coming from people who haven’t tried it. For example reviewer OMG This is Totally writes: “Y would you spend that much to help ur [sic] brain? I mean we go or went to school isn’t that enough?”
Personally, I think that five dollars would be a bargain price for a set of effective brain exercises. However, current research is out on whether games like Brain Challenge or Brain Age actually work. A recent New York Times op-ed ends with:
So instead of spending money on computer games or puzzles to improve your brain’s health, invest in a gym membership. Or just turn off the computer and go for a brisk walk.
Whereas a recent piece in the LA Times provides a undecided view citing both positive and negative experts. It also profiles the up and coming mental fitness industry.
As far as I can tell, the only safe conclusion is that the games are fun — and probably better than watching TV.
David Pescovitz will be examining Mental Fitness at ETech.