to locate your thinking caps, morons, it's Big Brain
9, 2006 - The
follow up to Brain Age is called Big Brain Academy.
It literally puts your brain to the test and lets
you know just how stupid you really are. Okay, that
may be a little harsh but for those of us that have
to reach for the calculator to figure out how much
15% of the total cost of a meal is, this game can
be a little intimidating.
Big Brain Academy was not created to belittle your
or my intelligence. It was designed to enhance it.
Its kind of like an IQ test that you can study
for. There is a whole whack of mini-games that will
challenge you in different mental disciplines, with
the exception of hand/eye coordination which is exercised
every time you play a videogame. Im sure Nintendo
assumes that youre getting enough of a workout
in that area.
Brain Academy is actually fun, even the math, once
you get used to it. This game may seem like homework
to some of the teenage gamers but most of the mature
gamers will likely find it refreshing once
they get over the initial fear of having to complete
such tasks within a time limit. It may take a week
or so before some of this stuff comes back to you
- but it does. Its amazing what we forget over
time. It just goes to prove that we do possess these
talents, we just have to exercise them properly to
bring them to the forefront of our consciouness.
Age, which was released earlier this spring, tests
your mental mettle and determines your relative brain
age. The older your brain age, such as that of a 65-year-old,
the more work you need. Big Brain Academy gives you
a score based on how heavy your brain is. The bigger
and heavier your brain, the better. It means that
its jam packed with information and if
its not it soon will be.
are five main intellectual categories: Think; Identify;
Compute; Memorize, and Analyze. You can begin in Practice
mode and choose any category that you want. The Test
mode will put you through a series of randomly chosen
puzzles and will give you a score based on the results.
It will show you which areas you are the strongest
and which areas need work like math, if youre
like most idiots. Armed with this information you
can go back to the Practice mode and work on the areas
where you are a little weak. In no time at all youll
be receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for your work in
subatomic particles by proving various quantum physics
postulate and thats just on the first
there are three difficulty settings. So if youre
feeling a little cocky, increasing the difficulty
to the next stage ought to take you down a few pegs.
Things do get intense, as you will be required to
process the information and arrive at a correct answer
in a much shorter time period. It really puts the
tend to think of these exercises as mini-puzzles.
They are relatively short and dont give you
a spare second for you mind to wander; perfect for
the attention deficit crowd. In one particular puzzle
you will be shown a series of coins in two different
windows. You must add up the coins in each window
and determine which side is the most valuable. When
the number of coins in each window increases to more
than five, you can get flustered pretty easily.
another game you will be shown a black silhouette
composed of various shapes. You will have to determine
what real-life objects comprise those shapes from
the selection shown on the bottom screen. In one of
the math puzzles you will have to perform arithmetic
functions with numbers that are written in text as
opposed to their corresponding number symbol. In yet
another game you will be shown a series of animals
standing on different weigh scales. You might see
that in one image the cat is heavier than the dog.
In the next image you will see that the dog is heavier
than the parrot which ultimately means that the cat
is the heaviest animal. This may sound simple but
when mixed multiples of animals are introduced on
each side of the scale things can get heady.
to eight players can take part in the multiplayer
Verses mode. You only need one copy of the game but
each player will need a DS system. The puzzles are
chosen at random and the first player to complete
the challenge accrues the points. The first player
to amass a brain weight of 300 grams is the winner.
stylus is used to select answers and navigate the
menu system. Its nothing that couldnt
be done with a normal controller but its more
convenient and precise. You can choose the correct
answer immediately without having to scroll through
choices or manipulate a cursor. The menu system is
easy to access and while it may lack visual pizzazz,
its clean, simple and easy enough on the eyes.
Overall the presentation is lacking but this is a
budget-priced game and it accomplishes what it sets
out to do. I dont feel the need to spend another
15 bucks for upgraded graphics, sound and a story
mode. I may not be very intelligent but at least Im
Your Brain: Big Brain Academy is a series of minigames
(called Activities) that are designed to exercise
your brain and increase mental acuity. You can weigh
your brain in Test mode, earn medals for individual
activities in Practice mode, or play against friends
and family in Versus mode.
Score Thyself: Big Brain Academy's Test mode will
quiz you in five areas: thinking, memorization,
computation, analysis and identification. After
you take the test, it will tell you the weight of
your brain and areas of strength or weakness-and
it will identify a brain type that is similar to
yours. Once you have your score, you can keep playing
the game to exercise your mind in areas where it
Madness: Big Brain Academy features a riotous multiplayer
mode in which up to eight people can play with a
single Game Card. Players will compete in Activities
to see who has the biggest brain, and the results
will be displayed for all to see! A demo Test game
can also be sent to another DS. (Both downloadable
modes are local wireless only, not on the Nintendo