The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain

Developer/Publisher:  Sierra
Year Released:  1995

Review by Rosemary Young (December, 1995)
lmbrain.jpgThis game is the third in line in Sierra's Dr Brain titles, a series of puzzle games designed especially for younger players. I haven't seen the first two (The Castle of Dr Brain and the Island of Dr Brain) and, I must confess, I don't want to. I just haven't got the time! Despite being aimed more at children this title is quite addictive. I have spent so long tinkering with the various puzzles, it would be an utter catastrophe to get my hands on any more.

Seemingly, the eccentric Dr Brain is up to his antics again. He unwisely tried to implant some of his brain cells into his rat, Rathbone's, brain -- and something went wildly amiss. His mind is now well and truly scrambled, and with the help of his niece, Dr Elaina, you must work out the puzzles and get Dr Brain's brain back together again.

Sounds, simple, doesn't it? Just a kids game. Well don't jump to conclusions. The commentary is certainly written for the young, and it is marketed for the age group 12 and up, but many 'bigger' kids are likely to get just as much fun out of it as the smaller ones.

Lots of choice
After the short introductory sequence when Dr Brain conducts his fatal experiment you are delivered to a menu screen (the doctor's lab) where you can choose your puzzle type. Just select one of the 'brain areas' represented on the large brain that appears on the video screen and you'll be transported to the puzzles where the fun begins.

There are 10 sections (puzzle groups) of brain to unscramble, each comprising 20 puzzles, and for each group there are three levels of difficulty. So, rest assured, this title won't be over and done with within a day! or even a week if my progress is anything to go by.

Even the easy or Novice levels of some of the puzzles are quite tricky, the Expert level adds a layer of complexity and the Genius level might well have your brain spinning. These difficulty levels are accessed when you arrive at the puzzle, and you can chop and change as much as you like, you don't need to stay with your choice if the going gets too tough. As you complete each puzzle your score increases till you reach the maximum points for that particular brain area and when the whole range is completed you are rewarded with a cartoon.

Automatic save
There are no restrictions on how you complete the puzzles. Not only can you sample from different difficulty levels, but also you can change from one puzzle group to the next. The program automatically records your progress so that when you return to any particular area you will continue from where you left off. If you get well and truly stuck hints are available -- but your score will go down commensurately.

The puzzles themselves range from word games to mazes to memory tests and tests requiring spatial orientation. Another that particularly captured me was recognising musical sequences. I have no musical training whatsoever so it took me quite some time to even get through the lower difficulty level, but it was still a lot of fun.

As mentioned this title is recommended for children aged 12 and up and it surely will keep them entertained. Unfortunately Dr Elaina's introduction to the various puzzles is not always overly easy to follow so, when in doubt, trial and error is the best method to get started. Still, it is not too difficult to 'suss' out what's what, and I am sure most young puzzle lovers will be enthralled in no time. I was!

I would recommend The Lost mind of Dr Brain for anyone who loves puzzles though it is, of course, best suited to children. rating:  

Copyright © Rosemary Young 1995. All rights reserved.