Nintendo brings observation training stateside.
At the E3 Business and Media Summit in California this month, Nintendo revealed it was adding yet another game to the Touch Generations lineup here in the US. Known as Miru Chikara wo Jissen de Kitaeru: DS Mejikara Training (Observation Training) in Japan, Nintendo of America has renamed the title, calling it Flash Focus: Vision Training in Minutes a Day.
The premise of Flash Focus is quite simple, the game utilizes the same concept as Brain Training in that it uses a battery of routine exercises to maintain and even enhance the accuracy of your hand-eye coordination and visual acuity. This game, jointly developed with Namco Bandai, will be home to a number of tests that range in difficulty. A playable demo was available at E3 which featured two playable modes, Quick Play, and Training. In the final game two more modes will be available, Daily Training and Download play.
Going through the Quick Play mode reveals a test called Eye Age Check, a test not unlike what you'd expect to see when staring into some complex armature at your optometrist's. The exercise involves a series of symbols that test eye movement, testing your ability to shift focus from one thing to another on the fly. The letter C appears on both the bottom and top screens three times in an increasingly rapid pace, rotated in random directions. It's up to the player to spot each C before it disappears and then enter the short sequence via an easy-to-understand on-screen display. There are only a few letters, so a good memory really isn't needed for this exercise. You just have to keep track of the two screens, mentally documenting each time the C shows up. The game then calculates your "eye age" based on an ideal age of 20, and gives you the good (or bad) news via a pixelated character.
The Training mode of the E3 demo gave players a taste of the first of many sports based tests within the game: Baseball. In this exercise, a pitcher throws a ball at an on screen target and the player is asked to simply tap said target at the right moment. It looks to be a bit tricky as it requires not only visual acuity (ability to follow objects and judge their distance), but hand-eye coordination as well. The more accurate you are, the more points you get. Hit it at the right time and the game rewards you with a Home Run.
The retail version of the game will include a more diversified set of different mini games, including counting, tapping blocks and numbers as they appear, as well as a test that requires the player to read a number and then quickly enter it via a keypad after it disappears. There are also a few other sports-themed tests to help you practice your hand-eye-coordination, such as a sparring trainer, ping pong, basketball, volleyball, soccer and American football.
Flash Focus takes after other Touch Generation games with audio and visuals, having a very minimalist appearance. The game is set to ship to retail outlets in the US on October 15th of this year.