The third installment in Sierra
's "Dr. Brain
" computer game series. It was released in 1995 and is intended for players aged twelve and up.
The game's plot centers around a science experiment gone horribly wrong. In an attempt to learn more about the human mind's ability to acquire knowledge and solve puzzles, Dr. Brain accidentally switched his brain with that of his lab rat, Ratbone. With the help of the doctor's niece, Elaina, the player works to restore Dr. Brain's brain to its former level through a series of puzzles.
Some of the brain's divisions are loosely based on of Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
The Regions of Dr. Brain's Brain:Music Region: A piece of music is played and the player must fix the corresponding score so that the measures are in the proper order. Depending on the level of difficulty, the measures may also be distorted images of the correct measure and may require the player to flip them horizontally and/or vertically.
3D Construction: The player is presented with a structure made of blocks and must create a replica in order to proceed. The puzzle often involves rotating the original in order to recreate it.
Word Surge: Several letters are strung on a grid. It is up to the player to rearrange them into the words that are listed. The more advanced levels feature larger grids and longer words.
Motor Programming: A mock computer program has been designed to allow a sprite of Dr. Brain to retrieve 'brain sprites'. It's up to the player to program the sprite of Dr. Brain to successfully retrieve the brains, taking factors including barriers and monsters into account.
Neural Maze: The player must navigate a series of tunnels. There are often multiple levels of tunnels and the player faces obstacles such as dead ends.
Pentode: The user chooses a series that involves a list, such as Roman numerals, the Greek alphabet, the elements and sign language. Ratbone calls out random names and letters and the player must line up their symbols on a chart. When two or more of the same symbol are placed next to each other, they disappear and the player moves closer to clearing the level.
Synaptic cleft: The puzzle physically takes place inside Dr. Brain's brain. The player must use the mouse to guide neurons from one side of the screen to the other. Once a certain number of neurons have reached the other side of the screen, a new round begins. More difficult stages of the puzzle involve obstacles and an increase in the speed of the neurons.
File Sorting: Ratbone (doing his best Rod Serling impression) gives the player random objects to file into a series of filing cabinets, and later asks them to retrieve them. In more advanced levels, the drawers in the cabinet switch places at random points during the game.
Train of Thought: The player must arrange railroad tracks so as to get the ball Ratbone specifies to the train station.
Once these areas have been restored, the player can attempt to complete 'Dreamland', the game's final level. It incorporates many of the skills involved in earlier puzzles but mostly motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The player must force a marble into a hole but the terrain doesn't obey normal laws of gravity and, as always, there are obstacles to make things challenging.
Levels of DifficultyNovice: The easiest level of game play. A puzzle completed in the novice level restores five percent of that brain area.
Expert: Slightly more difficult than novice; it's assumed that the player has had some experience with the puzzles by this point. A puzzle completed in the expert level restores ten percent of the brain area.
Genius: The most difficult area in the game. It is generally only recommended for players who have mastered the expert level. A puzzle completed in the genius leve restores fifteen percent of the brain area.
There are three levels of game play in The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain. The player may change them at any point during the game, even while in the middle of a puzzle.
Once the Dreamland level has been completed, Dr. Brain's brain is restored to its normal state and the game is over. This doesn't mean that a player has to start again in order to continue playing; the game offers 'unlimited play'. Even after a section is complete it can still be played and it continues to offer new puzzles.
At any point during a puzzle, the player may "ask" Elaina for a hint by clicking on her picture in the corner of the screen. Receiving a hint from Elaina decreases the value of the puzzle by one percent, meaning that more puzzles will be needed to complete the level.
The game also has an automatic save feature that relies on the user's sign in name to return them to their previous games.