So, here it is. The last day of my one week Brain Age Challenge. There’s been some interesting results, for sure.
I’ve had a Brain Age of 68 for three days running. That’s absurd. I’ve also had some great times and have seen some genuine progress while playing certain games, which is wholly satisfying.
I’ve found a fun pastime to sit and play Sudoku in my downtime and have even managed to get the IR Camera to sort of work for me. More on that in a moment!
Thanks for sticking with us until now if you have. Let’s find out what my Final Brain Age is, shall we?
So, I mentioned yesterday I have a new strategy to try. I’m going to do some Training to begin with, then step away from the game for a few hours and come back to do my Brain Age test. I’m interested to see if that has any effect.
My training went really well today, with me setting a lot of new records. On the Orchestral game, for instance, I got 95 points with only 4 wrong notes this time. Last time, it was 17!
I also set a new record of 49.86 on Dual Task and clocked in a 1 min 31.98 on Calculations x25.
I went back to reciting in Reading Aloud and also did my most syllables per second at 6.6, with a 35.91 seconds readthrough first time and a 33.13 seconds when I did it again.
By doing 7 consecutive stamps, I also unlocked a new game – Photographic Memory – where you are presented a picture and have to memorise it, touching the correct image among several choices. This can get tricky as images are often reversed or there are slight changes between them, but it’s not too bad on the whole. I finished up on 1 min 52.24, but did make 8 mistakes which added a full 40 seconds. Eek!
The big story, though, is I finally got the IR Camera in my Right JoyCon to work as intended. It actually worked perfectly this time on the Finger Calculation game as I found a comfortable, favourable position, and I smashed all previous times at 49.66 seconds.
When it works, the game flows exactly as it should and can be a lot of fun and satisfying, but you really do have to find that sweet spot, otherwise it just falls apart. Undoubtedly, though, this is the first time I’ve felt comfortable and been able to enjoy the game as intended. Great stuff!
Final Brain Age Test
I took about a three hour break from the game between training and evaluating my brain age. Part of me was interested to see whether separation from the games would help, but also how training helps me in doing other activities, such as work and play.
Also, it’s about the only strategy I hadn’t tried and I was running out of ideas!
But I digress. I started on Highest Number and guess what? Beat my previous best by around 5 seconds, clocking it down to 39.79 seconds. If nothing else, it’s good to see I’m making continual progress on games like these and there is clear improvement.
This time, it followed it up with Speed Counting from 1 to 120, and I managed my fastest time again at 43.31 seconds. Two very favourable games for me, but how will this end?
With the Continuous Countdown, apparently. This surprised me, as I was half expecting to have to deal with the Word or Number grids, but I’m happy and I gave this one a good go, managing to, yet again, beat my best score and bring it down to 1 min 3.75 seconds.
As we’ve seen before, beating previous times doesn’t matter too much, but doing it all three games, I was quietly confident this might be alright. Turns out, I got my lowest brain age yet of 48, +12 of my age. It’s still not ideal, but it’s far and away my best performance yet.
The game had my processing speed as that of a 21 year old and Self Control of a 43 year old. Scarily, though, my Short Term Memory remains in the 80 bracket. That is something relatively consistent about all these tests and clearly an area for me to work on. It’s easily the test which holds me back the most.
One could argue I had a favourable set of games to get my best score, I certainly wouldn’t dispute that, but I’m pleased this week event got a semi happy ending. I’m actually planning to continue to play this daily – perhaps I’ll do odd articles from time to time to let you know how I’m doing, but right now, I’ll take a Brain Age of 48. That’s a big jump from 68!
Final Brain Training Analysis
Spending a week with Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training on Switch has mostly been fun. I’ve definitely had plenty of frustrations and there are certainly criticisms to be made. The game is really bad at picking up my writing, the IR Camera certainly threw up its share of problems, and it definitely seems to have a reliance on certain numbers/patterns over others.
And yet, I keep going back because I am determined to do better and have been willing to accept some faults as my own. I’ve noticed continued improvements on certain games – my own speed at performing arithmetic and memorising certain things especially – and having adapted my way of doing things, I’ve noticed the game responding better to my actions.
Plus, the Stylus is really great. I’m actually going to give it a try in Mario Maker 2 to see how that fares. Good timing, really, as we’re planning to start doing our weekly Mario Maker 2 level runthroughs again!
Am I fully convinced these games are going to actually make my brain healthier? That remains to be seen and not really something you can fully assess in a week, but even if I end up using it as a glorified daily Sudoku puzzle, that in of itself would be enough for me.
It’s not the best form of Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, but if you’ve never tried these games before or you feel like you want to improve your cognitive activity while playing games, this is seriously addictive and can be a lot of fun when it isn’t being obstructive.
Current Brain Age – 48