Mensa Academy:Nintendo 3DS – Review

Being as I was an avid player of Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training on the original DS, I was really happy to get the opportunity to try out Mensa Academy on the 3DS.

Mensa Academy is different to brain training in that rather than give you your Brain Age which in real terms doesn’t actually mean anything. Mensa Academy gives you your actual IQ Score by you taking actual Mensa IQ test questions.

Older but definitely not wiser, I wasn’t sure if the old noggin was still up to it, but I was intrigued to give it a go anyway.

First up this is definitely not a kids game, the first few levels of each of the categories are ok but after lulling me into a false sense of security it quickly ramped up the difficulty level.

There are 3 modes of play

  • Play – Get straight into the action and work through 20 increasingly difficult levels of each discipline
  • Coach – Once unlocked in play mode you can hone your skills on specific mini games
  • Test – The time has come for the Mensa IQ Test – 15 Minutes to complete 30 random questions

Within the game there are 5 different disciplines you must master

  • Language
  • Numeracy
  • Logic
  • Visual
  • Memory

Within each discipline there are different mini-games to master – Language,Numeracy and Logic have 7, Visual and Memory have 3. You need to pass with at least the minimum score to move onto the next level, with the maximum you can attain being 3 stars. There are 20 levels of difficulty for each of the 5 disciplines, so this is not some throwaway game, you’ll be playing this for months or if your me years!

Me being Me I thought that after completing a few of the levels in each of the disciplines I’d try out the Mensa Test. How hard could it be? Well rock hard to be honest, I was pitiful at it and after the first few questions I knew I was totally out of my depth and could feel myself drowning quickly. So it’s back to the Play Mode for me, I need to get lots more stars before I feel brave enough to tackle the IQ Test again.

The graphics in the mini games are interesting, and the music is quite funky. It’s a definite improvement on all of the other brain training and clone games I’ve played, but in my opinion the 3D is totally redundant. Just switch it off, it’s useless.

Although I do like the game, the dodgy movement tracking puts me off quite a bit. To answer the questions you need to move a hovering cursor over to the correct answer and then click. This sounds simple, but is frustratingly hard. Initially I didn’t use the stylus and was just moving the cursor with my finger, this did not work at all. The cursor seemed to always stop on the answer I didn’t want it too, or just trying to initially move it registered as a click and again I was a dunce.

I later switched to the stylus, which even though a 10000 times better, I still found frustrating to move and occasionally clicked on the wrong answer.

All in all it’s a good little game which taxes your brain and hopefully will make me think that little bit quicker next time I’m struggling to remember another parents name in the playground. It has it’s faults, but if you can look past the sometimes unforgiving input system there’s fun to be had.

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