Hot Brain Review
Hot Brain box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Midway 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Midway 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 18, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Hot Brain Wants to Melt Your Mind
by Cole Smith

July 3, 2007 - School's out for summer. So why would you want to play a game that puts you right back into exam mode? Well, I suppose if you were out of school as long as I've been, you'd like to see just how much of the gray matter has gone sour.

Hot Brain screenshot

Hot Brain literally puts your brain to the test. It's the latest in the IQ-game craze initiated by hits such as Brain Academy and Brain Age. Hot Brain isn't much different than these DS favorites, but that's not a bad thing. It uses different puzzles and techniques to heat your brain up.

If you're into this intellectual-testing style of gameplay, you'll enjoy Hot Brain. It's fun, challenging, and addicting. I should also mention "humbling." I don't know about you, but sometimes I prefer to think I'm smart than have some game tell me otherwise. At least you get a chance to practice.

Hot Brain doesn't contain any extra content such as sudoku puzzles, so you'll probably only play this game for a few minutes a day.


I have a secret. I once scored a "genius" rating on an IQ test in high school. It was for a psychology experiment. First, we did the test cold. Then we studied the results and spent a few days improving our skills in the various test areas. As I've always thought, it's not the answers that are difficult, it's understanding the question. Once you are familiar with what the test is asking you to do, answering the questions becomes a lot easier. We took the test again, same format but with different questions, and everybody improved immeasurably. I got the same results with Hot Brain. The first few exams brought me to my knees. But after a few hours cooling down period, I went back to the game and began kicking the little processor's butt. It may be late, but I'm not about to go sleep with some machine calling me a retard.

Hot Brain screenshot

If there's one thing I wasn't fond of with this game it's the fact that it has a storyline. Why does a game like this need a lame premise? Just answer the questions and take your lumps. Fortunately, it didn't totally suck. It features the voice talent of Fred Williard, one of my favorite second bananas. He was the Ed McMahon to Martin Mull's Johnny on the fictional talkshow, Fernwood Tonight. It was decades before the Larry Sanders Show. What? You've never heard of the Larry Sanders Show? My God, I am old.

Doctor Warmer shows you around the Hot Brain Institute. It's a crazy old lab setting with a zany, scientific backdrop. The good doctor takes you to the five different intellectual staging areas to gauge your results. Along the way he provides some almost funny, inane banter as only Fred Williard can. It's too bad the writing isn't up to his standards.

The five categories that you'll be tested in include reasoning, math, language, concentration, and memory. I have never gotten along with anyone that was good at math. I guess they're just weird. You'll be exposed to images, number sequences, sounds, colors, and button configurations. Each test is a puzzle. It's like a series of mini-games. For instance, during the memory test you'll stare at a scene. Later, you'll be asked to identify what objects were in that scene. In the language category you will be asked to identify a word that's spelled incorrectly. For the math test, numbers will have to be placed in a specific sequence. In other tests you'll be asked to fill in the missing object in a particular sequence. There are rhythm games, Simon-style games, and connect-the-dot style games.

Hot Brain screenshot

Intelligence is rated by temperature. The hotter your brain is, the smarter you are. In other words, if your performance is great, you'll have a high brain temperature since you'll be really pumping the blood through your intelligence organ. A lower score results in "cold" and "icy" labels, which is more politically correct than using terms such as "moron" and "retard," but they essentially mean the same thing.

Screenshots / Images
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