Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training has been very successful on the Nintendo DS and has been adapted for the Xbox 360 as a Kinect title, with the addition of body exercises.

Up to four players can compete in more than 20 different activities with three levels of difficulty and face maths, logic, reflex, memory and physical challenges. All activities use the Kinect motion sensor and require movement of the limbs to solve puzzle.

The idea is to follow your personal programme and keep your ‘brain age’ as low as possible, by completing tasks in the shortest time possible. The game is designed to stimulate the mind and body by completing fast-paced games, which can be played in either single or multiplayer modes. Correct answers are given by using arms and legs. For example, if you are given four balloons with random numbers, you have to pop them in ascending order using your limbs.

Other activities require you to make a bridge with your hands to direct colour coded cars on the right platform, punching and kicking balloons once you solve the maths problem, and using both hands to keep Pacman away from the ghosts.

Compared with the Nintendo DS, I found the game didn’t translate very well on Kinect. On first attempt, challenges were confusing, which resulted in a high brain age on day one. Sometimes balloons popped while I stood still, and sometimes movements didn’t register as smoothly as other Kinect titles. When your arms fall back into place, you may end up hitting an object on screen, which results in selecting an incorrect answer and can get frustrating. Some issues may be caused by lack of space.

Once you complete games, you are graded and if you get a ‘C’ or ‘D’, it can be a bit demotivating, which takes away the fun element. More so if you get an ‘F’.

Kinect games shouldn’t make you feel like a loser.

It should focus more on letting the player know they’ve accomplished something. Dr Kawashima’s commentary reaches a mocking level when you perform badly.

If you played the Nintendo version, don’t expect the same experience on Dr Kawashima’s Body and Brain Exercise for the Kinect. The game gets repetitive and won’t make you smart, but will motivate you to better your time each day to reach the lowest brain age as possible.


Good: Challenging.
Bad: Display of failure is discouraging; games can get repetitive; sensitive to slight movements.
Rating: 5/10
Price: RRP R399
Contact: Megarom – 011 361 4800

Originally posted on My Digital Life.