Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Every Body Has a Brain: The Game

Every Body Has a Brain: The Game

Fall 2011 Software
Ages: 4 - 6 yrs.
Publisher: Morphonix LLC
Price: $19.95
Review:

This off-beat indie piece of edutainment software is as peculiar as I’ve seen in the genre in years.

Described as an interactive musical brain game "that awakens children, ages four to six to the growing power of their brains," this game claims to help children gain a new sense of wonder and appreciation for what’s inside their noggins.

So, I have to ask, do kids that age have any sense whatsoever that they have an electrically-active jello gob inside their skulls that somehow manages to be the greatest mystery of all times? Well, if they don’t, this weird game may introduce them to that bizarre science.

Don’t be deterred by the disk’s slow load time. We tried loading it three times before realizing it was still loading from the first attempt. The early 1990s two-dimensional animation (like a piggy girl with a pink dress and an owl with an electric guitar and a raccoon with a wrench) shouldn’t stop you from playing either. If you can manage to stay with it, the game becomes kind of cool in that sort of mental-case style you might expect from a brain game.

There are activities, as all learning software must have, even this against-the-grain brain game. Storyline here is that there’s something amiss in barely-animated character Phoebe’s brain and we need to help straighten it out. Never mind that. We dive into various locations in Phoebe’s brain and play mini-games with educational lessons embedded.

First, it’s the Cerebral Cortex, overseen by the owl with the electric guitar. Honestly, as peculiar as all this is, this segment has the most free-form fun and mind-aerobic activities. At increasingly more intricate levels, players get to compose an orchestral composition using numerous instrumental sounds including violins, drums, tubas, and guitars. The further you go into this Cortex gaming, the more amazing it gets.

Skip the songs sections and go over to the Hippocampus area of the brain. The hippo hostess leads the way, inviting you to play several activities relating to remembering things.

The Brain Stem Area is fun enough but doesn’t compete with the cerebellum zone where it’s all about ridiculous mazes. The bonus level challenges you to solve a maze in the dark with a flashlight spot leading the way. Those are the kinds of skills related to the cerebellum--and you’re reminded of that every step of the way.

You get the idea. This game is not your average 2011 kid’s games for preschoolers. And maybe that’s what makes it so fascinating. If you’re willing to push the envelope with something off-the-wall for your little ones’ education, this is a no-brainer.

Don Oldenburg   ©2011 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Morphonix LLC
http://www.morphonix.com

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