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The Time Warp of Dr. Brain is the fourth installment of the educational game series Dr. Brain by Sierra Entertainment. The game's structure is similar to its predecessor, The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain: the player must complete several puzzles which appeal to a specific part of the brain; however, this game also adds a time-period based theme to each puzzle and the game's theme overall is time travel.
The beginning scene of the game comically reveals the storyline behind solving the puzzles: Dr. Brain had used a "transportation device" to travel back in time by one week to find his lost car keys. In an accident, he travelled to an alternate dimension; the only way out of this strange area is to solve all the puzzles successfully. The theme of the game is time travel; therefore, the games are loosely based on space and time.
Like the previous titles, The Time Warp of Dr. Brain is a simple point-and-click. The objective of the game is to successfully complete a set of 10 puzzles. Throughout the game, Dr. Brain poses as an advisor to the player, constantly passing witty comments and suggestions. There are three difficulty levels: novice, expert, and genius, with each level containing its own set of predetermined puzzles. Each level has a set of 20 sub-games. Each game can be completed at the player's choosing, and the difficulty levels can be alternated between at any time; completion of each puzzle is based on the score accrued. A total of approximately 12000 points is needed to finish one of the games, with a win in novice, expert, and genius levels granting 250, 1000, and 2250 points, respectively.
At the start of the game is a mini-game similar to the video-game Space Invaders. This serves as the main menu of the game. The player must shoot the appropriate spaceship to choose options.
Most of the puzzle sets require logical thinking and planning, while others require dexterity, and some require a mixture of the two. The puzzle sets include the following:
- Primordial Soup – Dr. Brain takes the form of a green single-celled organism, and his aim is to defeat the single yellow-celled organism. There are many objects in the primordial soup to aid or hinder both cells, such as catalysts for mitosis and viral spores. The game takes place in 990,000,000 BC.
- Spelunking – Dr. Brain takes the form of a prehistoric lungfish which must be guided through an underwater cavern. The caves feature predators which will attack the lungfish, though all fish, predator and lungfish, are invincible. The fish's only threat to survival is air: it requires replenishment of air through oxygen bubbles from the cavern floors or it will drown. The puzzle takes place in 200,000,000 BC.
- Lizards and Eggs – Dr. Brain is a mother lizard attempting to hatch her eggs warm by placing them on geologic hot spots to warm them. The eggs will rot if they are allowed to grow too cold. The game takes place in 60,000,000 BC.
- Beaver Dam – Dr. Brain is a beaver attempting to build a dam across the river with the sticks that float downstream, while maneuvering logs away that can potentially damage the dam. It takes place in 2,000,000 BC.
- Caveman Rock – Dr. Brain is a bass guitarist caveman with a full rock band. In this game, one listens to a recording of a song, and attempts to assemble it with sound bytes of each player's parts. It takes place in 1,000,000 BC.
- Monkey-See-Monkey-Do – Dr. Brain attempts to defeat a very intelligent monkey by creating as many three- to five-letter words as possible. The game takes place in 10,000 BC. The Genius and Expert levels require knowledge of letters in American Sign Language in order to be completed; the game booklet comes with a section in the back which teaches those letters.
- Alchemy – Dr. Brain is a young alchemist attempting to take one chemical and turn it into another chemical. This is accomplished with a machine with several slots; the machine accepts the chemical and alters several aspects via a pre-determined equation. Exceeding the range of any one aspect will turn the chemical into sludge. The game takes place in 1400 AD.
- Gridlock – Dr. Brain and several other cars must navigate through a city on the planet Mars, attempting to get to their destinations without crashing into opposing traffic or duplicating paths. This is done by programming intersections before allowing the vehicles to begin moving. The game's name is a term for a traffic snarl and takes place in 5,000 AD.
- Spaceshop – Dr. Brain must build a space station using a provided 3-D blueprint. The space station is composed of several individual pieces; each piece can be rotated along all three axes to be connected to the structure. The game takes place in 10,000 AD.
- Brainwaves – Dr. Brain is a holographic brain which dispenses clues to the player in order to solve logic puzzles. Other brains provide additional input. The game takes place in 100,000 AD.
After completing all 10 puzzles, Dr. Brain is seen passing the starting screen in his time travelling machine, and returning home through a space-time rift.