Brain teasers and Nintendo consoles have long enjoyed a fruitful partnership; the Brain Age series proved that games could give a great mental workout while still being fun. Unfortunately, Test Your Mind doesn't fare as well.
Test Your Mind is a simple title with three single-player modes and one multiplayer mode. The three single-players modes, titled Mind Breeze, Mind Tease and Mind Test are quick, five puzzle quizzes; each of the three modes is supposed to represent an increase in difficulty.
The puzzles are, for the most part, quite simple, however a few clever ones exist as well. The game is at its best when one of its puzzles cleverly misdirects you, as one puzzle involving a circle will for some. For each good puzzle, however, there are more mundane ones - like a simple platforming level or manually setting a clock - that feel rudimentary.
Some make use of the GamePad's touchscreen, while others can be controlled completely with the controller's face buttons. Because of this, Test Your Mind only supports the GamePad; yet it doesn't actually make any special use of the controller's features beyond the touchscreen . The display is mirrored from the TV to the GamePad, with no options to change what's displayed.
Visuals here are barebones but get the job done - the presentation is straightforward and works for the type of content on offer. The Wii U's Pro Controller can be used in the two-player mode, which we'll discuss in a bit.
Test Your Mind's single greatest weakness, perhaps, is its lack of replay value. Across the three tests there are 15 puzzle types in total. Every time you play a test the questions — and their solutions — are the same. If you've played each test once you've seen all the game has to offer; even if the puzzles were more difficult, rote memorization could easily lead you to victory. The puzzles aren't shuffled or switched - they retain the same static order, meaning all you really have to is memorize when to push which buttons.
The remedy to the three test modes' issues would be the competitive two-player mode - at least it would be if it worked, that is. The objective is for each player to input four commands using any combination of their controller's X,Y,A, and B buttons, then memorize and copy their opponent's inputs. In our attempts, however, we could not consistently get the game to reliably read correct inputs accurately. Sometimes inputting the same thing multiple times will yield a desirable result, while at other times you'll repeatedly enter the correct sequence with the game failing to recognize it before time runs out. Quite why this is happening is a mystery to us.
Test Your Mind's puzzles have some potential, but ultimately fall a bit short. Younger children may find some enjoyment in the title, but the majority of Wii U owners aren't going to find much of a challenge. A shallow pool of brain teasers limits replay value, and a broken two-player mode all but ensures players won't return after their first visit.
The Wii U might not have a proper Brain Age title, but Test Your Mind probably won't scratch that itch.