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Brain Challenge 4

For: Mobile

Basic braining

Product: Brain Challenge 4: Breaking Limits | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Mobile | Genre: Brain training | Players: 1 | File size: 2.1MB | Reviewed on: Samsung S8000 other handsets | Version: Europe
Brain Challenge 4: Breaking Limits Mobile, thumbnail 1
We've played a lot of video games in our time, but Brain Challenge 4 is the first to seriously suggest that we change career.

It's a tempting proposition, too. Apparently, our 'emotional quotient' shows that we could make a lot of money by charging for 'psychic services.'

It's not the kind of advice you'd expect from a game that's ostensibly a neurological aid, but Brain Challenge 4 plays a little more fast and loose with the science than many of its peers.

If Dr Kawashima's talk of 'brain ages' had you rolling your eyes in exasperation, then Brain Challenge 4's abundance of bad science might just give you a nosebleed.

Brain drain

Nevertheless, Brain Challenge 4 inherits plenty of DNA from Brain Training and its ilk, offering daily quizzes which chart your progress over time, as well as the option to 'train' by playing any of the 41 mental mini-games that you've unlocked so far.

But instead of dry arithmetic and endless stroop tests, Brain Challenge 4 provides a slightly more colourful collection of challenges with which to improve your brain power.

Of course, all you're actually improving is your proficiency at completing a set of increasingly familiar mini-games, but let's pretend that isn't a fundamental challenge to the genre for now.

The mini-games themselves are diverting enough, consisting of visual puzzles, tests of your reflexes, and, yes, some basic arithmetic. But even the maths is packaged in primary colours, and the game generally opts for vivid visual problems rather than attempting to ape Brain Training's clinical starkness.


Emotional quotient testing is ridiculous in both its inclusion and execution - asking you hypothetical questions about everyday scenarios before informing you that you're a good communicator or a budding psychic - but it's silly and odd enough to win you over.

There are irritations to be found among the frivolity, though, and chief among them is the game's touchscreen implementation. Tightly clustered input options exacerbate matters, and it's frustrating to have your intelligence deemed lacking because of the tool's inadequacies.

What's more, Brain Challenge 4 suffers as a package simply because there's limited lasting appeal in repeatedly solving logic problems. It's a problem that Brain Challenge 4 shares in common with its more earnest genre stablemates, and one that it doesn't - or perhaps can't - really address.
Brain Challenge 4
Reviewer photo
James Nouch | 17 April 2012
Brain Challenge 4 is charmingly daft and offers a decent selection of colourful conundrums, but it's just as short lived as most brain trainers
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