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REVIEW

DR. KAWASHIMA'S BODY AND BRAIN EXERCISES

Pile of Kinect games in your living room plus one. Subtract the wild excesses of Dance Central, but multiply educational merit, and add in family-skewed entertainment. What's the answer? (Clue is in the title.)

First off, that game title is misinformation. You're getting no more exercise from Dr.Kawashima's regime than you do from motioning your way through the Xbox 360 Dashboard.

No way in hell does this game gush the same fountain of sweat that Dance Central does, or make you throw quite so many random shapes with wilful abandon as Kinect Sports. So if you're looking for a two for one bundle you'll be sadly bereft. Better to listen to a Stephen Hawking conference while working out to Ubisoft's Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.

But! Kawashima is not without merit. It will make you feel dimwitted, and a little slow off the bat. This is a very good thing. As long as you get over that initial bout of embarrassed anger that comes with you needing to think surprisingly hard on simple mathematics, and stick with the program, it will sharpen dulled mental skills.

Dr. Kawashima's Body and Brain Exercises
"White flag down, red flag up!" This is about as physical demanding as you'll get.

The main bulk of Body and Brain Exercises comes in the form a daily calendar planner, suggesting three or four tests per day to keep you (mentally) fit. you can play these games as many times as you want, and increase the difficulty, if you so desire, to speed up the estimated response time.

The tests are a mix of simple mathematical equations, memory games and multi-tasking requirements all answered by moving your hands or feet over the correct box or boxes. The tests of memory for example, flash the numbers 1 through 9 on the screen in the form of green coins, which are then flipped over. You're tasked with flipping them back in the correct order. It's harder than you think. Like we said though, that's a good thing.

Dr. Kawashima's Body and Brain ExercisesDr. Kawashima's Body and Brain Exercises
Hold your hands in tight, less you accidentally touch the wrong image.

There's no measure of how your body is doing with this workout, but you're unlikely to get tennis elbow. You throw the occasional balled fist here and there, and kick out with your left or right foot, but this game is definitely orientated towards families. You won't become an Olympian after playing it, and it won't make a quivering wreck of you while playing it.

The game's best suited to sticking to a daily regime proposed by the calendar, maybe half an hour each day, so you can chart your results. But it's not a title you'll be breaking out for prolonged sessions, and not one that'll make it into your Kinect Party night.

However, if you're a gamer with a family, this is a good way of getting some use out of your Kinect unit whilst sharpening the rusty mental faculties, and there's options for multiplayer and party-style modes as well, if you want the siblings to join in but keep that monitoring of your improving mental age to yourself.

While being fully aware at how horribly cliche this is, it does make maths fun - and at the very least is a prime example to pull out of the bag to counter someone's "all games are horrific and violent" argument.

Dr. Kawashima's Body and Brain ExercisesDr. Kawashima's Body and Brain ExercisesDr. Kawashima's Body and Brain Exercises
There's enough numerical based games to embarrass yourself in front of friends.
06 Gamereactor UK
6 / 10
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