Loved Brain Age? Here comes a game to improve your Eye Age!
Flash Focus is intended for those who don’t mind dedicating a few minutes of their daily lives to improve themselves. The game is a follow-up to the universally successful Brain Age, which also takes a few minutes of your day to enhance brain activity. Flash Focus will try and enrich your visual abilities. It’s certainly not magical, but it might be beneficial for some. Whether it’s true or not, the game is fun and interesting; why wouldn’t we play it daily and see what happens? I don’t see how an eye workout could hurt…
When you first start playing, the game explains its intentions of helping you improve your eye abilities in a variety of categories that are often more developed in sports professionals. We are talking about Hand-Eye Coordination (HEC), Peripheral Vision, Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA), Momentary Vision, and Eye Movement. HEC helps you react in situations by interpreting what you just saw. Peripheral Vision has to do with your ability to see what’s around you, while focused on something else. People with good DVA can easily keep track of moving objects. Momentary vision pertains to your memory as well, as it’s the ability to tell what you saw in just a minimum period of time. Eye Movement is the eye’s ability to rapidly shift focus between things. It sounds like a science lesson, but once you get into the actual activities of this game you’ll understand how these simple practices might help your eyes rejuvenate.
Flash Focus contains ten core training activities and seven sports-related ones. They’re not all available right from the beginning, but you’ll gain access to them as soon as you practice a few times. After just a series of activities, the game can determine how acute your vision is and calculate your approximate Eye Age. You’ll usually start with a higher Eye Age than your actual age. By practicing daily you will find improvements, which may or may not translate into your daily life. The game will recommend you practice different activities depending on your eye weaknesses. It even creates graphs that will help you understand the way you perceive things. You can also choose to do a custom training and just select the activities you want to practice that day. If you do an Eye Age Check about three times a week, you will see a quite accurate chart that reflects your improvements.
The Core Training games are all typical practices you might have done in the past. There’s one where you follow three moving boxes and have to find the coin within one of them. Another one consists of identifying the numbers that quickly flash on the screen and disappear. Others will have you identify symbols or rapidly tap the blocks that show up and move around. The sports-based activities look bit more complex, but are equally uncomplicated, fun, and engaging. You’ll be trying to score homeruns in baseball by tapping the ball at the right time, sliding the racket with the stylus to play table tennis, punching your trainer and dodging his attacks in boxing, etc.
The game’s controls are quite simple and absolutely precise. There’s no reason to complain about this title, as everything is easy to achieve and ultimately relies on your eye skills and hand-eye-coordination. Each minigame is controlled by either tapping the screen with the stylus or dragging it across. If you’re used to playing DS games, you know there’s no mystery to that. In fact, it’s not much different from using pen and paper…
One interesting touch is the eye-relaxation exercises provided. After you play the game for a while, you’re advised to do those simple exercises and relax. In fact, it’s advised that you only play the game for a few minutes each day in order to obtain best results. The eye-relaxation exercises will have you move your head in a circle motion, and later keep your head still and look up for a few seconds, then down, then right, and then left, etc. That way you’ll loosen up and rest your eyes, after having focused on the screen for quite a while. It’s something we should all do after using the computer for a long period of time. Why don’t we do it? It’s tough to say…
Just like the Brain Age series, the game design is not very complicated or in-depth. Everything is clean and straight-forward. Your own signature is used to create your profile. You’ll even see it attached to your high scores. The characters that randomly show up on the screen are very cute. They’re just simple 8-bit looking guys wearing a baseball hat, a diamond-pattern sweater, or punching gloves, to name a few. They introduce the player to the new activity, while text scrolls across the screen with explanations. The graphics vary within the games; the sports activities have a more realistic look, whereas the Core Training activities are more simplified and consist of just blocks, letters, and numbers. Everything is fitting for this simple title; like Nintendo has already proved in the past, games are not always about graphics. especially games like this.
In-game tunes are catchy and enjoyable, like music to your ears, if I may say so. Some of the game’s sound effects are reminiscent of old-school pastimes from the Atari 2600 or the NES. I really enjoyed the overall presentation of the title and think the chosen sound clips make it that much better. Also, this is a game that might be appealing for people that haven’t played video games for years. These sound choices might bring these people closer to their treasured memories and make the game more attractive to them.
Even though Flash Focus is neither a masterpiece nor a highly anticipated title, it may draw some good sales. The game is cheap, innovative, interesting, and well designed. Also, there’s already a huge fan base for brain training titles that might find Flash Focus appealing as well. The game offers a way to get away from your daily things and just focus on yourself for a few minutes while having fun. This title may not be attractive for those looking for an actual gaming experience, but we all know everything fits in today’s video game world.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.6 Graphics
Nothing to worry about for this kind of game, but they’re nice and simple. 5.0 Control
There’s really nothing wrong about them. Everything is controlled by tapping the touch screen or drawing on it. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is catchy and sound effects evoke old-school gaming. 3.8
It’s an interesting idea. Those who play Brain Age daily can now add this to their daily routine. The game is not time-consuming and it could be helpful!
3.6 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.