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Brain Age: Concentration Training - Day 4: Devil World 

by Tyler Ohlew - February 7, 2013, 6:54 am PST
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Can Dr. Kawashima make a Mensa out of me?

Here I am, returning to Dr. Kawashima's machine of mental discipline. I suffer from Kawashima Syndrome; it's similar to Stockholm syndrome, just a whole lot math-ier. Confidence in my intellect is at an all-time low. Should I even be allowed to drive? Next time I let a TV show distract me, am I going to forget how to breath?

So I return here, hoping Dr. Kawashima can shine a light in the dark. After his initial greeting, Dr. K dons his horns and we're off to the races.

Before I forget, it's worth nothing that "evil" Kawashima is no different from the normal one. I assumed he was going to be rude, calling me fat if I goofed on one of his quizzes. Nope, it's regular Kawashima with a different coat of paint.

Wanting to keep things fresh and avoid the shame in another poor round of Devilish Calculations, I went forward with Devilish Shapes. Here, the top screen displays a simple, black and white image. Shortly thereafter it disappears, and you are to remember which it was from a lineup of three on the bottom screen. What's so devilish about that? Well, just like Calculations, you have to pick the answer to the previous question, with the right option being pushed further and further back as you progress.

Initially I thought, "Hey, it's not math. I'm not figuring something out, I'm just tapping a picture! Cakewalk, bro!"

It wasn't long after that I realized how wrong I was. These images are simple, black and white drawings. Squiggly lines, blobs, stuff like that. But remembering which ink blot was which two questions back can become a real pain. Oftentimes, I found myself answering correctly, and in my hurried state I'd forget to look at the current image, meaning I couldn't recall it later on. It can get pretty messy unless you concentrate. Hey, look at that! Concentration training, I get it!

With my five minutes of Devilish Shapes gone and done, I went back to the Supplemental Training portion of the game. Here, I found an exercise called By The Numbers. Yes, I'm dealing with numbers yet again, but this game has an interesting premise. A number appears on the top screen, along with a particular rule. In my initial playthrough, that rule asked if the number is divisible by six or has a two in it. All I have to do is answer yes or no on the touch screen, and I move onto the next number and answer the same question. So if I get 36 for example, I select yes, and were it 25 I would answer no.

The tricky part is operating under pressure. You're provided a set amount of questions, and your "score" comes from how quickly you can get through it all. While it was easy enough to determine if a number is a product of six, I was constantly forgetting to look for the number two. While 21 is not a product of six, a two is in plain sight. But I'd still manage to incorrectly answer "no." It managed to earn me some major penalties.

Luckily for me, there's always tomorrow.

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