Feature Article

Brain Games

Fun Ways to Lower Your BRAIN AGE in Minutes a Day

Distributed By: Publications International, LTD

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            I love to do puzzles - crosswords, picture puzzles, word search, logic puzzles - stuff that keeps my brain active.  My favorite puzzle books are from Dell, but I decided that I should expand my horizons and try a different publisherís books, so I purchased Volume 1, No. 42 of Brain Games: Fun Ways to Lower Your BRAIN AGE in Minutes a Day for $4.00 at the local grocery store.

            The introduction of the puzzle book promises a cognitive workout for your brain, explaining that using your brain to figure out puzzles not only enhances and quickens your thought processes, but can actually lower your brainís age, possibly warding off debilitating brain diseases like Alzheimerís.  Iíve always believed in this theory, so I started off very pleased with this puzzle book.  Like most puzzle books out there, there are different levels of difficulty.  As you get further on in the book, the puzzles get more challenging.

            Things started off well at first and I enjoyed many of the mind warm-ups, although I was annoyed with some of the puzzles.  Iím not a Sudoku fan and so those puzzles did not appeal to me, but the circle-a-words, crosswords, fitting words, shifting words and Kokuro puzzles were enjoyable.  The Picture This puzzle annoyed me.  I like the grid puzzles Dell offers where you draw a copy of the picture in a particular box, knowing where to place it by the coordinates offered.  The Brain Games version is a copy with a twist - they donít tell you where to draw the pictures in.  You have to guess.  Itís a test of spatial reasoning and logic, but itís also annoying.  If youíre off by one box, you have messed up the whole drawing. 

            Despite those minor annoyances, I was still having some fun.  Then I reached Level 2 and fun went out the window.  There were still some fun crosswords and circle words and there were even a couple of fun brain teasers, but there was more Sudoku and a couple of brain teasers that were actually Sudoku in disguise.  The other brain teasers were okay, but I there were some that I had no interest in.  I started getting bored.

            About halfway through the puzzle book, I put it down.  It began collecting dust as, each time I went to pick it back up again, I decided to leave it where it was.  This had never happened before with a Dell puzzle book before.  If I didnít finish in a couple of days, the book might sit for a week, but I was bound to return to it eventually and finish it off to the best of my ability.  But for some reason, I had no desire to return to Brain Games.

            So, is my brain deficient or too bored with what Brain Games has to offer to finish the puzzle book off?  My opinion is that this puzzle book is trying too hard to be a high end version of the Dell puzzle book.  Unfortunately, for me, it falls way short of the king of puzzle books.  Dell is still my reigning champion for now.


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