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Big Brain Academy - Nintendo DS

by Nintendo of America
Nintendo DS
 Everyone
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.09
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Game Information

  • Platform:   Nintendo DS
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone Everyone
  • Media: Video Game
  • Item Quantity: 1

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Product Details


Product Description

Big Brain Academy is a modern-day stress reliever that improves your thinking skills. These 15 activities test your brain powers and improve your thinking abilities in areas like logic, memory, math and analysis. Free your mind by working through a number of simple but deep problems. There are five different types of challenges, appropriate for all ages and challenging for all skill levels.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Basic Jan. 11 2009
By Shelby TOP 500 REVIEWER
Fun: 1.0 out of 5 stars   
I thought this would be a nice challenge, stimulating as the previous commenter had hoped, but unfortunately, for anyone with an education beyond high school, perhaps even grade 7, this is not appropriate. Might be good for grade school age children, folks learning a second language or people in an adult literacy program.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An okay game, but kind of evil too Oct. 17 2009
Fun: 2.0 out of 5 stars   
Okay, I don't understand the grade system at all. It almost seems impossible to get higher than C+. Also, some of these games can be unfair, for example, the dog biscuit one. It's fine until they introduce the moving blue blocks. You can easily go to the exact position it tells you to and the blocks move in a way that ensures you're not gonna get that bone. That's pure evil. Also, after a while, yeah, it does get repetative as you'll find yourself playing the same games constantly. It's good for kids, but it's almost insulting to one's intellect, especially with the grade system.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, fun workout of basic brain skills March 7 2009
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
This game provides a good, fun workout for a variety of basic brain skills. It includes a collection of 15 different mini-games and an integrated test mode. The mini-games are spread across 5 different brain skill categories, titled Think, Memorize, Analyze, Compute, and Identify. It is easy for anyone to pick up and play, yet it can still provide plenty of challenge at the top end. The game keeps track of your performance and tells you which skill categories are your strengths or weaknesses.

A lot more information about this game is available at the official game website, listed below. You should check it out to see if this games will be a good addition to your collection, but don't underestimate the "cartoony" graphics of the games! They are still challenging, especially at the higher difficulty levels. (I have a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering, and I still find several of the mini-games to be fairly difficult.)

[...]

Overall, I really enjoy this game and find that it provides plenty of challenging fun for my whole family.

Note for Wii owners: This game is similar to the Wii title, but the mini-games are different. I have both, and there is no duplication that I've noticed.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Décevant Nov. 27 2007
By Lorelou
Fun: 1.0 out of 5 stars   
Après avoir acheté Brain Age 2, celui-ci est vraiment pour les enfants et non pour les adultes. Interface décevante, jeux non stimulant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  147 reviews
481 of 494 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Potential but Not Enough Games June 16 2006
By Lisa Shea - Published on Amazon.com
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Big Brain Academy for the Nintendo DS is a lot like Brain Age. It's a collection of puzzles designed to test and stimulate your intellect.

While we enjoy Brain Age, it has numerous issues. You only get 'scored' on each game once a day. The number of games is REALLY limited and many of them can get maxed out within weeks of playing. How much fun is it to get straight 5s on Head Count hard, with no chance of ever improving? I was really happy, then, when Big Brain Academy came along. While it still doesn't have nearly as many games in it as it should have, at least it has a wider selection.

In Big Brain Academy, you're not fighting for a low brain age (which I always found to be an EXTREMELY questionable goal). Insead, you're working towards a "big" brain which is much better. There are puzzles split up into five areas - thinking, memorizing, analyzing, computing and identifying. Each area has 3 games, with multiple difficulty levels. So that's 15 games total. You're already far ahead of Brain Age with that quantity, plus the difficulty levels too.

You can practice as much as you want, aiming for a gold medal in each game at each difficulty level. As you go, you fill up a 'brain graph' - a pentagon that shows which areas you're best at. When you're ready, you do the actual test.

The test randomly chooses a game from each of the 5 areas and sets you at them. It's on a timer, so you do as well as you can within that time limit. At the end, your total brain weight is calculated. This isn't of course "real" - it is more a general scale to show how well you're doing. It also gives you a "type" of brain you have based on what you did well in. Someone who does really well in computing is called a "calculator" - while someone who's great at memorizing and thinking is a "museum curator".

The puzzles are simple but fun. They're the type of puzzles that young kids would enjoy but that adults would find entertaining as well. Traditional things such as memory games, box counting, shape recognition and more are the norm here.

Just like Brain Age, this game shares the problem of INCESSANT CHATTER from the "helper". You have to go paging through numerous completely meaningless messages to get through some areas. They really need to get a handle on that for future releases.

I'm still baffled why they can't have 6 games per area, instead of 3. At least this is a huge step up from Brain Age in that area, but still, there should really be far more games included in the set. It would really help to make this an excellent game, instead of a fun game that has a limited lifetime of enjoyability.
174 of 180 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Addiction for Your Mind June 10 2006
By S. Rhodes - Published on Amazon.com
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Big Brain Academy is pretty much an add on to Brain Age. Brain Age was a fantastic and addictive puzzle game. This one is also full of great addiction. While it isn't nearly as good as Brain Age, it does have its moments.

There are only fifteen games in Big Brain Academy. They are divided into five categories with three games each. Two of them are math based, while there is one that challenges you in identifying, another in analyzing, and one more in memory. These games are simple to play and over time become addicting. There are only three modes, however. A practice mode where you'll probably start that allows you to play all the games. It'll save your high score at the end, as well.

There's a test mode, which is probably the best of the lot. In test mode you'll be tested on what you know. The game keeps track of how well you're doing. One game from each category is chosen at random, and you'll have to go through and solve the puzzles. At the end you're given a letter grade, and told what kind of brain you have.

Finally, there's a multiplayer. Up to eight people can play at a time and only one person has to have the game. The others just bring their DS and they go in and play. Here you can compete in any game you choose. It's a race to see who can finish first basically, and whoever does finish first gets the most points and wins. Multiplayer is a treat, but the game is already good enough without it.

The only thing that really keeps Big Brain Academy down is thet there's not enough of it to go around. There aren't enough games and there aren't enough game modes. It's fun and addictive, but there's not enough in the package. However, despite this, it's still worth the reasonable twenty dollar price tag.
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brain Workout Oct. 25 2006
By Sky - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Thinking. Analyzing. Solving Problems. Logic. These are just some of the skills that Big brain Academy will help you develop (or re-develop).

No, it's not Resident Evil or Splinter Cell. But it is as fun and addictive; it's certainly as challenging if not more challenging, and it's a nice pallet cleanser from the plethora of pure entertainment value games that my kids and I play.

Big Brain Academy is a bit advanced at times for my grade schoolers, but the parts that they do get really help them develop the skills that they are concurrently working on in school.

There's a daily practice area that gives your skills a workout. And there's a test area that challenges you to quickly and accurately work through various tasks, then provides you with a grade based on how well you did on the test.

Kids reading this will NO vote me to death for saying this, but this is a great game for parents to get for their kids. It's one of the only ones (Brain Age is the other) that I never take away from my own kids when they've misbehaved or simply just had too much video gaming. They never complain.

Addictive fun. Buy it.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brain teasing is still fun June 21 2006
By C. Bakehorn - Published on Amazon.com
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
So quickly after their last brain-based hit, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!, Nintendo and NST have followed up with the colorful Big Brain Academy. The questions at hand are numerous: what's with all of these brain games? Is Big Brain as entertaining, addictive, and noticeably effective as Brain Age? Is it really worth another $20 to test the brain again?

Big Brain Academy's focus drives away from simply the responsitivity and reactivity of the brain and also focuses on categories like memory, the ability to compute, analyze, and think quickly. There are numerous mini-games availible to test your brain's "size," and the trick here is to come out with the biggest, fattest brain possible.

The mini-games in Big Brain Academy are favorable when compared to those in Brain Age. They're a little trickier. For example, one of them called "Coin-parison" asks you to compare two different amounts of coin and select which of the two is more valuable. Of course, you're expected to select one of the two amounts in a matter of seconds, so the game asks a lot of your mind and forces you to think extremely quickly for optimal results. Another example is the game "Flash Memory," where you're forced to very quickly memorize a sequence of numbers and symbols and then duplicate them with an on-screen calculator. I'd say that the learning curve is a little higher here than it was with Brain Age, but only slightly.

I discovered that Big Brain Academy not only tests your brain, but also your eyesight. Games like "Flash Memory" and "Shadow Shift," which forces you to identify a character based on its shadow, really test how well you can see what is going on on-screen and interpret it.

Big Brain Academy, for the most part, is accurate. After practicing with several of the mini-games, I took my first Big Brain Test and came out with excellent analyzation and memorization skills, but I lacked in computing and thinking quickly. This is pretty accurate to my real-life self, as well as my grade of a B-, which was my high school average.

Visually, Big Brain Academy is a prettier, more colorful, and more engaging game than Brain Age. There still isn't much animation, and there is nothing exciting going on on-screen, but it all beats the Times font and gray backgrounds of Brain Age. The music and sound effects are quirky and sound a lot less like something that you'd expect from a brain game.

Big Brain Academy is a much better game than Brain Age. There are more mini-games, each testing a specific area of mental activity. The addictive quality remains. The presentation isn't as serious, and looks and sounds much better. Really, the only thing that Big Brain Academy doesn't have when stacked against Brain Age is the abundance of sudoku puzzles. Still, Big Brain Academy is worth your $20, and testing your brain has never been as much fun.
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Brain Academy for Seniors Nov. 10 2006
By Judy - Published on Amazon.com
Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Like others, I find the constant "chatter" and steps to get a chance to repeat a practice session annoying. That's the downside.

The upside is that this game draws on more skills than Brain Age. There are some tasks that remain daunting, even after much practice. We do not all have the same abilities, and this game will be more fun for those not oriented to math/logic than Brain Age.

For seniors, the time constraints keep one from excelling. My best overall score is a C+. But, I do recommend it for a change of pace from other games and as a means of encouraging young friends who can beat me at my own game.
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