bit-gamer.net

Games I Own: The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain

Posted on 16th Feb 2009 at 15:09 by Joe Martin with 11 comments

Joe Martin
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.

11 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
raGe82 16th February 2009, 18:17 Quote
Hmm. For me it was Deus Ex - I wasn't to good at English, I would even say it was even a bit worse ;-) But it was first game I really wanted to understand, so I grabbed a dictionary.

I must admit - it was a big step in learning foreign language, something more than grammar or simple stories about nothing ;) Now, tell me that games make people stupid :P
CardJoe 16th February 2009, 20:01 Quote
Wow - learning English from playing Deus Ex? That's impressive.
DougEdey 16th February 2009, 20:09 Quote
Interesting fact: A lot of French people still used this to learn English in 2005.

I remember martello towers, also a game which taught me to learn the time in french, Notre Dame or something, had to get the time right so Quasimodo would climb the tower, infact, I still have them!
Jamie 16th February 2009, 23:09 Quote
My first memories of Sierra were Mixed-Up Fairy Tales. A game that I can remember playing for hours on end when I was only 8.
delriogw 17th February 2009, 06:48 Quote
i'm intrigued joe, what did you learn from deus ex?
delriogw 17th February 2009, 06:51 Quote
oh and i remember a copy of encarta that came with a pc back in the 90's. it had this game on it, it involved you traveling through a maze/castle thing, and every room you entered you had to answer a question - the idea being it was something you could find the answer to in the encarta software. it was very cleverly done, beautifully presented, and taught me um... i can't remember

but yeh - t'was fun
Bauul 17th February 2009, 10:17 Quote
Ah Martello Towers and Granny's Garden were NOTHING on The Lost Frog. I swear it was designed secretly by Mensa, some of the puzzles in it were simply evil.
CardJoe 17th February 2009, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by delriogw
oh and i remember a copy of encarta that came with a pc back in the 90's. it had this game on it, it involved you traveling through a maze/castle thing, and every room you entered you had to answer a question - the idea being it was something you could find the answer to in the encarta software. it was very cleverly done, beautifully presented, and taught me um... i can't remember

but yeh - t'was fun

Mindquest I think it was. That and an army simulation game we had on the school library computers filled many of my lunch times.

Martello Towers meanwhile remains unconquered for me - I went back at it with a BBC emulator a few years ago and still couldn't get past the mystic rose puzzle.

As for 'What did I learn from Deus Ex?'...that's another blog post altogether.
Bungle 17th February 2009, 12:07 Quote
Whilst at primary school we we're lucky enough to have use of a BBC Micro. One of the games on there was "Kingdom".
A simple turn based strategy game whereby you have to keep your village alive by making sure you kept 3 things in check
1) you had enough people in the village to defend attacks from thieves (represented by a "T" moving around on the screen):D
2) Enough people to man the dyke which was prone to flooding and destroying crops.
3) Farmers to harvest the crops.

My first introduction to strategy gaming. It would be many years before I owned a system (Commodore 64), but I think that first encounter, sparked my curiousity into computer gaming and I've never looked back since.:D


(why don't they make games like "revenge of the mutant lamas" anymore):'(:)
Creech 17th February 2009, 13:15 Quote
I had completely forgotten about The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain until you posted this. My goodness, I must have played all the way through at least 15 times. I still remember all the elements, greek letters, and sign language letters from Pentode.
raGe82 17th February 2009, 22:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Wow - learning English from playing Deus Ex? That's impressive.

Yup! :P It's not that Deus Ex was full of good examples but it was more like an impulse to try to understand what are they talking about ;) Now I just hate to play localised games...
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums
MSI 970 Gaming Review

MSI 970 Gaming Review

21st August 2014