Brain Genius Deluxe for Android: Simple, Entertaining, Buggy

Brain Genius Deluxe, a brain training game by Glu Mobile, is available free from the Android Market.When I first spotted Brain Genius, I figured it would be a fun way to while away some extra minutes and maybe beef up my brain cells a bit.

This game is developed by Glu Mobile, which is one of the more prolific developers for the Android platform as well as for other mobile platforms. Glu makes several games for Android, in various genres.

Brain Workout

Brain Genius bills itself as a way to “train your brain,” and it does require a bit of a commitment. It tracks performance and unlocks new games as you progress.

When you first use the game, you’re prompted to create a profile. Each time you return, you can choose that same profile. It tracks your performance in graph format, showing your scores in each of four categories: Observation, memory, calculation and reasoning. Each category contains a handful of games, and not all are available to the “junior” user, which is the level at which everyone starts out.

You can choose to do a series of “daily exercises” or just one. The game remembers top scores and awards medals for performance.

Some Drawbacks

It lived up to my expectations as far as being a way to kill a little time and use your brain simultaneously. However, it does have its bugs and annoyances.

One commenter pointed out that the daily exercises freezes the phone when it completes; I experienced the same bug. I went through all of the exercises, then my phone froze on the final screen and I had to reboot the phone in order to get the game to be responsive again. That’s something that shouldn’t happen with an experienced developer.

The music is something I could live without. It’s just annoying.

Gaming the Ratings?

Something I noticed while on the comment page of the Market listinig was a comment from “Glu Mobile” with a four-star rating and just the letter “A” in the comment field. You’d think that after the Belkin incident, tech companies would have learned a lesson about gaming their ratings. Apparently not. That’s disappointing, and it cost this game a star in my rating.

For a free game, Brain Genius does perform admirably. It requires a little more commitment than I’m willing to give a casual game. It’s something that probably would appeal to children more than adults, and the bugs need to be worked out.

Bonus Reviews

There are a couple of apps on the Android Market that aren’t really complex enough to warrant a full review, but I think they’re worth mentioning.

ToggleBlu and ToggleWiFi, both developed by Andrew Schwimmer, are shining examples of what Android apps ought to be. They’re simple and elegant, and they serve their purpose wonderfully.

Each app is simply an icon that turns the desired function on or off. I’ve placed both in the prime real estate of my main screen, and I use them both daily. One touch, and they turn the function on; another touch and they turn it off. That’s it.

They’re so simple, it’s silly — but they’re two of the best Android apps in existence. ‘Nuff said.

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