Games I Own: The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain

Written by Joe Martin

February 16, 2009 | 15:09

Tags: #deus-ex #educational #games-i-own

Companies: #sierra

The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain is a game I should be ashamed of owning, but I’m not. You know why? Because it’s an enshrinement to my life as a gamer and it’s damned fun, that’s why.

Produced by Sierra Entertainment back in 1994, this was one of the games which came with my family's first PC. It was one of the dividing lines that marked my move from an Amiga user to PC gamer.

Apparently the third game in the series, the story revolves around the titular Dr. Brain, who manages to swap his brain with his lab rat. It’s up to you, at the direction of his rather useless niece, to restore the good Doctor’s intelligence – done mainly be solving strings of puzzles in one of ten different areas of his brain.
Games I Own: The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain

The puzzles themselves cover a fairly broad spectrum of logic and reasoning, but my favourite was the File Sorting section. These puzzles were fairly simple memory puzzles with imaginary inventions of the Doctors getting filed away in his mental vault, all of which had to be recalled when prompted. What made me enjoy this level as a pre-teen was the Twilight Zone inspired black and white visuals and the long, overdrawn ramblings of your helper, Rathbone.

Other areas of the game weren’t so good though – music has never been my strong point, so pin-pointing the missing notes in The Music Region was pretty tough. It was made all the less fun by the whiny harpsichords and Rathbone’s transmutation into a Mozart-alike too.

Games I Own: The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain

In a way, The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain was a precursor to many types of casual games, with each of the ten areas of the Doctor’s brain representing something PopCap could easily make millions out of. That’s probably why I liked it at the time too – it was simple, to the point and I could pick it up and drop it whenever I wanted. I learned a lot from that game and enjoyed it too.

It seems to be an on-going theme in my life that the games I enjoy the most are the ones I learn something from. Granny’s Garden and Martello Towers on the BBC Microcomputer were early examples, but Deus Ex is an extension of that idea too.

Are there any games you think you’ve learned valuable skills or life-lessons from? I’m interested to know, so drop your thoughts in the comments.

Random Fact: The computer that Dr. Brain came with was an IBM with 512MB of hard drive space. It also came with Encarta, Incoming, Tomb Raider 2, Flight Unlimited 2 and Strategy Games of the World.

Number of Times Completed: Twice, once purely for nostalgia.

Joe, Out.
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