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482 of 495 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Potential but Not Enough Games
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...
Published on June 16, 2006 by Lisa Shea

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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Brain Academy for Seniors
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...
Published on November 10, 2006 by Judy


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482 of 495 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Potential but Not Enough Games, June 16, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
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.
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175 of 181 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Addiction for Your Mind, June 10, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
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.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brain Workout, October 25, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
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.
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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 (Bloomington, IN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
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.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Brain Academy for Seniors, November 10, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
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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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain Blaster, August 5, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
I am an adult disabled with Cerebral Palsy since birth. I like Big Brain Academy because the tests and practice rounds are balanced-not to simple or complex. As a child in grade school, I remember taking yearly skill assesment tests which exactly mirror the ones found in Big Brain Academy.

I remember becoming frustrated with these tests because mentally I could easily compute the answers, but my eyes and brain had difficulty processing certain shapes or patterns quick enough to get a good test score in the short time alloted. In the month since purchasing this game, my mental acuity, hand speed, and sight recognition have greatly improved. I recommend this game for kids to strengthen basic skills, all the way up to seniors to help their sight, recognition, and memory.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fun, quick mental workout, June 22, 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
In this game you solve puzzles as fast as you can. There are 15 different types of puzzles, sorted into 5 categories (Memorize, Compute, Think, Analyze, Identify). For example one type of puzzle is "Cube game", in which a pile of blocks is displayed on the upper screen, and you have to count them (including the hidden blocks) and type the answer into a number pad on the lower screen. In a test, 5 puzzle types are selected at random, one from each category. For each of the 5 puzzle types, you have one minute to solve as many puzzles as you can, with the puzzles getting more difficult as you go along. Based on how many puzzles you solved correctly and how many mistakes you made, you then get a score, which is supposed to represent your brain weight in grams.

The puzzles are mostly fun, and wouldn't be hard were it not for the time pressure. A test takes a little over five minutes, so you can play once without the game eating up much time. You can also practice the individual puzzles.

There is nothing to unlock, so you will be motivated to keep playing the game only if you have an obsessive drive to improve your skills (or just exercise your brain). For example, in the Matchmaker puzzle, a bunch of cards are displayed on the screen, and you have to recognize pairs of cards that are the same. With practice I found that if I put my mind into the right state then I can see the pairs much more easily, which is kind of cool. For some of the other puzzle types, there are a limited number of possible puzzles, and if you play too much then you might start recognizing them, with the game becoming accordingly less fulfilling.

I found some of the puzzles to be much easier than others. I wasn't surprised to find that I do best at Written Math and Cube Game; I was somewhat surprised to find that Flash Memory (in which a sequence of numbers is briefly flashed on the screen and you then have to remember it and type it in) is trivial (my score just depends on how fast I can type), while I struggle with the Identify puzzles. I don't know whether this says something about the relative difficulty of the puzzles or about my brain type. You can also use this game to test at which times of day you are most alert. Maybe the whole thing is just a big psych experiment with the results being secretly radioed back somewhere.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Game, November 12, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
I bought this game and was a little concerned if it would be very interesting or not. As I came to find out it is a very intriging game. There are the five different categories that it tests you on with a time limit. It tells you which one you did the best and the worst in at the end of the test. I think that the tests are the most worthwhile, the practice, is well...practice. It isn't as intersting as finding out what grade you have and what your occupation is. :) This game is also a very nice break from other straining and sometimes frustrating adventure games. This DS game is good for anyone from four and up; child to adult. This game is great!
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Brain Academy, November 9, 2006
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
Fun. Stimulating. I like having both this AND the Brain Age as both are missing options the other has. I'd like to see more software like this and even more that encourages child education.

WHAT IF: Schools offered cartridges of Math, English, Science, or other cirriculum on these devices?

WHAT IF: There were software for these things that helped children study for their "standardized testing" in school?

Why not disect a frog virtually?

BBA is fun game which keeps the mind occupied and perhaps does stimulate areas which we tend to neglect after school years. I'd love to see something like this that teachers ENDORSED! Its much cheaper to go buy a used DS or SP than have to buy a PC or (if you know better) a Macintosh. While they offer more functionality, they don't fit in a child's pocket.

Lets see more games like Big Brain Academy on these devices and get more FUN, Portable, Education. Not just BLAM BLAM!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN! FUN! FUN!, May 15, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Big Brain Academy (Video Game)
I absolutely LOVE this game. It is so addictive. There are 5 different categories and a total of 3 different games for each one. Some people my not think that provides enough options...but I love trying to get better at the games as I go.

You can either take a test which consists of one game from each category or simply practice individual games on 3 difficulty levels. It keeps track of your high scores and will store information for up to 4 users.

This game is challenging enough for me...but also simple enough where my 4 years old twins can pick it up play most of the games. (some are a bit harder)

I personally love the fact that I can pick up this game right before bed, play a few games and then turn it off without getting too sucked in or needing to progress to a new level.

LOADS OF FUN FOR EVERYONE!! :0)
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Big Brain Academy
Big Brain Academy by Nintendo (Nintendo DS)
$19.99 $12.00
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