Another bit of fluff while I continue to slowly make my way through some longer games. I picked up Personal Trainer: Math (released in EU with the unwieldy title Professor Kageyama's Maths Training: The Hundred Cell Calculation Method) more out of being a Nintendo completist than any real interest in improving my math skills. I was interested in seeing if it would provide anything like the surprisingly addictive and fun gameplay of the Brain Age games. The short answer is, nope.

The game is structured so that you have daily training and practice exercises. The daily training consists of three exercises that are set according to your level, and the game doesn't have any sort of pretest to determine what level you should start off on. You're also required to perform well enough at the same level for 5 days before progressing to the next level. Given that there are 40 exercises, this means that it would take at least 70 days to get the highest ranking (assuming that daily exercises don't repeat and that they don't introduce many exercises unavailable in the practice exercises). I can't imagine anyone wanting to devote so much time to this game, except for zealous parents who really want to drill their kids in math. The math exercises are actually not completely mindless, and I found I had to flex brain muscles I'd forgotten I had in some exercises like three digit addition and three digit subtraction.

The game features the "Hundred Cell Calculation Method" developed by some guy named Kageyama that probably has been proven to improve math skills, but I can't say how effective it is. I'm guessing the game is good for your brain the same way that the Brain Training games are, but the whole presentation is much less inviting and it's easy to get the highest medal ranking in all the exercises. Unlike the Brain Training games, which are marketed as being fun for all ages, this game seems much more geared towards people who actually want to improve their math skills. In that sense it does exactly what it says on the tin, and it's hard to fault it for not being much fun as a game. It wasn't a complete waste of time to play it, but I'm glad I can cross it off my list. I guess since I've played this and Personal Trainer: Walking that Personal Trainer: Cooking is up next, haha.

Become a Human Calculator with these Personal Trainer: Math links:
- Page at nintendo.com
- Entry on Wikipedia
- Review at IGN