Left Brain Right Brain Review
Left Brain Right Brain box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Japan Art Media 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Majesco 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 4, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In addition to the exercise mode, there are a few meager offerings which attempt to round out the title. Balance check lets you check your ambidexterity as you go while L vs. R places your hands in a maze race. First you'll play with your good hand and record ghost data; then you'll play with your off hand and race against the ghost data. L vs. R only contains the maze game which hardly warrants being given its own separate mode.

Left Brain Right Brain screenshot

A visual graph for recorded data is available, but it only tracks your overall score in each difficulty level. The inability to record and chart your progress from day-to-day or over a longer period of time - a popular feature found in other similar training games - seems like a substantial design flaw. This takes away much of the incentive to come back and keep playing the same batch of basic games over and over again. A DS download feature lets you give friends an opportunity to test their ambidexterity or compete against you for higher scores in one of three multi-player games.

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Much like the mini-games themselves, the visuals are nothing to write home about. The point of the package is clearly not about wowing players with top-notch graphics, but it doesn't hurt to have a little flair here and there. The only character in the game is your host: a hastily scribbled hand with legs, eyes, and a mouth. He's actually pretty cute. When he's not providing simplistic play instruction, the little guy alternates between cheering you on with little dances if you do well and freaking out and balling into a grumpy clenched fist if you mess up.

Left Brain, Right Brain is an interesting training game idea that unfortunately suffers from a lack of depth and an occasional feeling of pointlessness. Initially, it's fun to try testing out your hands' abilities, but within an hour or so most players will have already completed the bulk of the 15 mini-games and exhausted any other features. The gameplay gets stale quickly without the ability to track data over time or unlock additional content. If you count yourself a lover of training games, there is some benefit to be gained by putting up the $20 for a little hand training. Whether or not you'll actually come out the other end with a substantially greater level of ambidexterity is anybody's guess, but you're likely to have some fleeting entertainment in the process.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Use the touch screen in 15 different mini-games based on speed, accuracy, association, recognition, memory, and strategy. Games include: connect the dots, pop the balloons, feel the music, hit the monsters, touch the green square, save the world, open the safe, trace the shape, navigate the maze, and many more.
  • Book-style play has you flipping the DS over and around to develop your hand-eye coordination with both left and right hand.
  • Master four single player game modes: hand exercises, balance check, left hand vs. right hand, and ambidexterity check.
  • Challenge a friend to two-player mini-game tests via DS download play.
  • Practice any activity with over five difficulty levels to prepare for ambidexterity tests.
  • Monitor personal progress and assess improvement with development percentages for each hand that appear after play.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    2.2
    Graphics
    One of the most basic presentations on the DS you'll find. Usually this works fine for a training game, but in this case it's visually below par even when compared to other titles in the genre.
    3.5
    Control
    The stylus controls are tight. Working with your weak hand takes some getting used-to.
    3.3
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The audio doesn't do much to enhance the experience, but it doesn't particularly detract either.
    3.0

    Play Value
    It's interesting to begin with, but falls flat a bit prematurely.

    3.3
    Overall Rating - Fair
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
    Left Brain Right Brain screenshot - click to enlarge Left Brain Right Brain screenshot - click to enlarge Left Brain Right Brain screenshot - click to enlarge Left Brain Right Brain screenshot - click to enlarge

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