Nintendo's Training games have successfully opened the Nintendo DS up to a whole new market. Brain Training, Maths Training and the other touch generations titles are budget priced 'games' that have been a huge hit for the Japanese company. After two Brain Training titles Nintendo has decided to focus on a new area of training, Sight Training, or Sight Training: Enjoy Exercising and Relaxing Your Eyes, which has just been released on the Nintendo DS. But is the touch generations title a good one or only designed for those who can't actually see what game they are playing?
The first myth we should address is the fact that the game does not actually improve the strength of your eyesight. That's right, just like carrots Sight Training will not improve your eyesight, instead, Sight Training is designed to train five visual abilities. The five abilities addressed include dynamic visual acuity, which is the ability to clearly see moving objects. Momentary vision, which is the ability to take in a large amount of information at once. Eye movement, which we hope is self explanatory, peripheral vision, which is the ability to see a wide area and hand-eye co-ordination, which is the ability to quickly and accurately react.
Much like the other Training games, Sight Training is all about daily training. The first thing to do is create a profile, this is done by doing a quick eye age check (ours were in the 30's, which we didn't think was too bad considering a computer screen is permanently attached to us) and then writing your name using the Nintendo DS' stylus. The game can support four profiles at once, so theoretically the whole family could become involved in training their eyes. After writing your name, confirming the date and time, and completing the eye age check the training can begin, well the next day it can begin.
You can choose to immediately start the daily training, but for the sake of this review we stuck to the recommended use, which is playing the game once a day. Commencing daily training is as simple as tapping the daily training option on the main screen. Before the eye training starts normally, the game will take you through some basic eye facts, such as why people blink when they see a bright light. After the introduction to the training is given, there are several options. The top screen displays a calender, indicating whether you have completed the training for a given day or not, there is a graph option on the bottom screen, as well as a custom training and a recommended training option. The custom training option allows you to complete a more detailed eye age check, or complete sports or core training.
The daily training is worked out according to your eye age. There are several different types of workout and once Sight Training works out a recommendation, you can complete the training in any given order. There are several different exercises in Sight Training and to go through each one would take awhile, but generally they can be divided up into sports and core exercises. Core exercises are things like tapping a certain box or quickly seeing a number and writing down what it was. Sports exercises are sports-themed activities, such as spiking a volleyball or punching (with the stylus...) a boxing glove.
Sight Training is a title that is quite difficult to even classify as a game. While Brain Training and Maths Training were also difficult to classify as games, the puzzles in them were consistently difficult, Sudoku and maths problems can change, the exercises and activities in Sight Training do not. This means that after about ten days of training, most people are likely to just give up because they are so sick of spiking the ball or seeing the numbers flash up. We're sure that those who stick with Sight Training will probably feel rather good about their eyesight, but with less than twenty activities, there is quite a bit of repetition.
So, does it work? We cannot say all of a sudden we were able to see great distances, nor could we drive with our eyes shut going 120 KM's an hour on the West Gate Freeway, but we're pretty sure Sight Training promised neither. Sight Training may or may not have improved the five aspects of focus ability identified earlier in this review, but it did at least make us feel a little more confident about our eyesight, which has surely got to be some kind of accomplishment.
Overall, even though Sight Training is available at a budget price point, it is rather difficult to recommend the game. Even the market who lapped up Brain Training, More Brain Training and Maths Training are likely to tire of this game sooner than the three aforementioned titles, simply because their isn't a lot to do in Sight Training. The exercises become repetitive far too quickly and ultimately, they really just aren't enjoyable.