Have a flimsy smile? New game seeks to help

Japan Facial Exercise
New Nintendo DS game aims to give your smile a workout. But play more than 15 minutes and you may overexert your facial muscles, the company warns. AP Photo/Nintendo Co., HO
/ Source: The Associated Press

Nintendo DS players in Japan can now exercise their facial muscles to have nicer smiles and livelier expressions.

A digital camera that comes with the new "Face Training" game fits into the dual-screen, handheld machine to show live video of the player's own face on the right screen while an animation of a woman's face illustrates exercises on the left screen.

The 16 types of exercises called "facening," designed by beauty expert Fumiko Inudo, take about two to 10 minutes each to complete. Nintendo Co., the Kyoto-based maker of Pokemon and Super Mario games, recommends playing "Face Training" no longer than 15 minutes at a time to avoid overexerting face muscles or getting them "out of balance."

Besides the animation that serves as a model for players, an electronic voice resembling an aerobics instructor guides you to twist your mouth, drop your jaw, wink, glare at the ceiling and perform other moves to tighten flabby cheeks and develop that bright-eyed look.

"Open your mouth slightly, one, two, three, four," the machine says during one exercise.

The game went on sale last week in Japan. Overseas sales plans are still undecided.

The new game is part of Nintendo's efforts to appeal to a wider audience, including women. Nintendo has scored success with its drill-like games, such as "Brain Age."

Nintendo's Wii console, which comes with a motion-sensitive remote control for playing virtual tennis and other games, is also doing well. Nearly 9.3 million units have been sold worldwide since its launch seven months ago.