In a rare moment when I find myself with time to play games, I usually pick up my Nintendo DS and get a quick fix in with various games I have in my library. Included among them are Super Princess Peach, Brain Age, Animal Crossing: Wild World, and my newest acquisition, Trauma Center: Under the Knife.
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Five Minutes a Day! is the first stateside release of the Touch Generation brain training games Nintendo is pushing. This one is quite entertaining. The only criticism I have of it is that it really lives up to its name. I have no desire to sink more than 5 minutes a day into it. I play the few brain training games they have, that include doing simple mathematics, testing memory, and counting syllables. After that, I take the Brain Age test. I’ve gotten to the point where I pretty regularly score around 20, unless I try my hand at the voice recognition training games. It has a really hard time recognizing me saying blue, so my age really takes a hit as a result. Otherwise, it makes me feel smart. Interestingly enough, my son does really well at the color game. He’s 3 1/2 and can’t read yet. The game requires you to say the color of the word, not read the word. So, if the word is red but its color is blue, you say blue. He knows his colors very well — so you can imagine he doesn’t have to stress his brain much to do well at the one and he loves it. Brain Age is worth a pick-up, it is a bargain price of $20, so go get it.
Super Princess Peach is quite the enjoyable little platformer. I don’t feel that it does quite enough with the stylus, as its main use is selecting Peach’s emotions, and sometimes I found controlling this to be a little less than accurate. However, the platformer itself is solid and I really enjoyed the twist of Peach saving Mario. Girl Power! On a serious note, this is a great game and worth playing for anyone who likes platformers.
On the other hand Animal Crossing: Wild World is not my cup of tea. I found the gameplay generally boring. I’m not a Sims kind of girl (although I found Urbz for the DS to be very engaging) and Animal Crossing I think really appeals to that side. There is no story mode, no objectives. I’m sure there’s plenty to do for the achiever personality, but I had a hard time keeping my eyes open long enough to find out what. Our reviewer, Gamermom, wrote an in-depth review of Animal Crossing and really liked it, so be sure to check that out if you are wavering. If you like the idea of an open world with no villains and no objectives, it might be for you.
Finally, Trauma Center: Under the Knife epitomizes the potential of the Nintendo DS. In this fun little game, players are the surgeon and have to slice patients open and repair their injuries. Everything plays out with the stylus and is such addictive fun. I wish there was more to the game. It is not that it is short, it is just that once you’ve mastered each level, there’s nothing else to do. This is the game that the DS was made for, though, and if you own a DS, go get this game immediately and add it to your library.