Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training is a revival of Nintendo’s Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!, which launched on the original DS in 2005. The game used a variety of math, logic, and reflex exercises to determine the player’s “brain age”; if your brain is sharp, your brain age could be substantially lower than your actual age. The game’s mascot was a low-poly, floating head of neuroscientist Ryuta Kawashima, who would guide the player through each exercise. Kawashima-san will be returning in the Switch update, which is sure to please longtime fans.
Brain Age utilized the DS’ touch screen and stylus for most gameplay; the player was actually prompted to hold the DS sideways, like an open book, while playing. The Switch version of the game will also use a stylus for some exercises; the official accessory will retail for about $8 when it launches in Japan. Most mini-games will use a combination of a wireless Joy-Con and a stylus or finger. That means Switch Lite owners will have to purchase a separate Joy-Con in order to play some specific exercises. This could rub some gamers the wrong way. One of the benefits of the Switch Lite is that it’s $100 cheaper than a standard Switch. But a Joy-Con costs $50, cutting the cost benefit in half — and that’s without adding in the cost of a Joy-Con charger.
While there have been a handful of studies on the effects of these exercises, their efficacy isn’t thoroughly backed up by science. Regardless, the games are a fun way to keep your math skills sharp, especially for adults who don’t have to do homework anymore. We’ve reached out to Nintendo of America to see if the company had any info on a US release, but the company said it has nothing to announce at this time.
Update, 10/11/19, 4:10PM ET: This post has been updated with details that Nintendo of America has no announcement to make.