Southpaws rejoice, a sequel has been published to further prove your heavy handed dominance. Left Brain Right Brain 2 is an arcade style of game that tests and trains your dexterity pitting your left hand versus your right hand. Similar in operation to games like Flash Focus and the Brain Age series, Left Brain Right Brain 2 works to improve skills on the non-dominant hand of the player to make him or her ambidextrous.
I enjoyed the many arcade style games Left Brain Right Brain 2 had to offer, this version having more games than its predecessor. Another improvement in the sequel is the graphics and interface. The original offered games and tests displaying block style mazes on a white background or a whack-a-mole style of game with critters popping out of black holes on a white screen. This version is far more robust. The mazes are navigated in rich graphical backgrounds, and the games offer the same. Though the backgrounds are still images while the arcade is played it is still a vast improvement from the original. It also makes the game a bit more challenging for the eye to catch and then respond with the stylus to touch the appropriate place in game play.
So you think you are already ambidextrous? This game offers a dexterity check to see pitting a set of three games from one hand to the other. When I first tried this mode I was unfamiliar with the games, which are easy and quick to catch on. So it pits three random games against your dominant hand, and then the screen flips to test the same three on your non-dominant hand. I found that often, my non-dominant hand would master the tests over my dominant hand. I was left unsure if this was because ‘leftie’ was able to get a preview of the test as ‘rightie’ was taking it, or if it meant that the right side of my brain was better than the left side. Since the right side of our bodies are controlled by the left side of our brain and vice-versa. Are we confused yet? At least I can still tell which way is up. Aside from attempting to diagnose any condition afflicting my ability to accurately punch a stylus on the screen, I was genuinely engaged and had fun with these exercises. I’ll admit I felt awkward taking the stylus in my left hand being right-handed myself. But that is the nature of Left Brain Right Brain 2.
In the game’s exercises, Left Brain Right Brain 2 offers five levels of increasing difficulty. All tests and games are timed exercises of accuracy and speed, usually involving hitting so many snow-men, colored jewels, UFO’s etc, or navigating a maze, through a traffic jam. There is no shortage of mini-games and platforms. Albeit, there only appears to be 2-3 different styles of arcade games involved. All of which are performed with the stylus. One point I did not like, is often when navigating the menus or initiating tests I had to hit the interface buttons at least twice in many instances. I know it was not a defect on my NDS as I tried it out on another one as well.
Next I tried the “L vs R” mode. I was not impressed with this part of the game. You move a dog through the dark dungeon to the end. It is a quick maze where you have to negotiate without being hit by a bouncing fireball. It was fun the first time you do it, where you try it with one hand and then the next, it shows your ghost image to beat. But that is it, no other mazes or skills of increasing difficulty. I was left wanting more.
Sounds and accompanying music is typical of the mini-games pitting speed and accuracy. Designed to get your heart racing as you punch and dive your stylus through many and varied exercises.
This game does offer a multi-player mode where the second player is not required to purchase the game. One person in game play will select the mode “DS Download Play” and the opponent from his or her sign screen will select “DS Download Play” and each player will choose which hand they wish to engage before entering game play.
I rated this game a 6 out of 10. Mainly for its improvements over the original Left Brain Right Brain, the increased number of arcade style games, and innovation of incorporating screen flips to challenge your weaker side. I did not feel this game was designed or intended for long extended periods of play. I give, much to the credit of the genre of games such as Flash Focus and the Brain Age series, though very specific in its approach. We all know these people who love and play these games on a regular basis. Just like we should exercise daily this game feels you should improve the dexterity of your non-dominant hand as well. That is the sense left from playing and evaluating Left Brain Right Brain 2. So if you’re ever in the mood to work out your non-dominant hand, then it is worth the effort and you may be surprised how ambidextrous you truly are.
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