ThinkSMART for Nintendo DS is billed as something for adults, but my 12 year old son, Ian, handled it just fine (but he likes chess and is a thinker). They also offer Kid ThinkSMART (their version for younger children 8+)
They claim, “this original brain training program challenges older players thinking skills in an imaginative and creative ways.”
About the ThinkSMART Nintendo DS Game
Offering three levels of difficulty and 6 different training categories including language, memory, mathematics, spatial reasoning, grasp and logic. Within each of those categories are three different and varied types of challenges.
For example, the math are offered number pyramids, calculations and function. The Language Category included analogies and other varied word associations. There is a fun maze one where you try, as quickly as possible, to get the mouse to the cheese.
Everyone loves a good maze, and the timed element creates the challenge whether you are competing against yourself or someone else.
Potential Room for Improvements
The only negative we found was that it didn’t respond smoothly to the stylus in the mouse to the cheese maze challenges or when writing numbers quickly. There needs to be a bit of improvement in that feature to eliminate some frustrating moments as it misreads your movements or slows down your progress.
Challenging and Entertaining For Preteens as Well!
Okay, so this doesn’t necessarily sound like the “hot” game the kids will want instantly, but it does provide a great means for solid junior high, high school and adults to have some challenging fun, but after he got used to the fact that you are holding your DSI differently than normal (so you can view the full challenge on the screen), he got really into it.
ThinkSMART offers both Single card or Multiplayer Modes of play to determine which one of your friends has the highest Think Quotient. He was only mildly interested when he was playing solo, but once it became a competition against mom then he was intensely interested.
Playing Games With Your Children Through Multiplayer Mode
We both really enjoyed the multiplayer mode where we could compete in a sort of mental Marathon which asked us to complete each of the three types of challenges under every subject category.
Our discovery – we think differently! The challenges that he found easier were trickier ones for me and vice versa.
For example, he aced the challenge where you had to say which side of the twisted metal pipe the ball would exit if rolled from its starting place. That particular skill showed that I was twisted as I didn’t get any of those three questions right, but I aced him in the word sayings and other language areas. We both struggled with number pyramids and would have liked a better explanation for that one.
Who Won the Challenge?
In the end, after we each gloated over our little successes along the way, we ended our first Marathon challenge in a tie 82-82. He thought this was terribly unfair. I thought it was pretty great, until I went and told my husband, who responded with, “so you are as smart as a 12 year old.” My only comeback was that since he was homeschooled, I could retort that “he had a great teacher”.
Is ThinkSMART Nintendo Game a Keeper?
I’ve seen my son voluntarily playing ThinkSMART since the review sessions were over, and I confess to wanting to challenge my hubby as I think I might have an edge in the language area with him too, but I also know that he is more gifted in other skills.
Ultimately, ThinkSMART does get you thinking, and learning, in an entertaining way so it lives up to its claim to get you thinking outside the box compared to many mind numbing DS games out there. Tomorrow I know it will be packed as part of a car trip and I will feel like while he is having fun, he is also getting some improved mental fitness.