The delivery of Big Brain Academy, essentially a sequel to
the handheld Nintendo games for the Wii, is simple yet appealing as
a family or party game. It's not going to truly build young brains,
but children are required to think as they play.
Players can go solo and accumulate points, or they can play with
others individually or in teams. There are three main choices of
gameplay: Mind Sprint, Mental Marathon, and Brain Quiz. Kids select
(or are given, depending on the mode of play) mini-games from the
categories, Identify, Memorize, Analyze, Visualize, and Compute. The
game keeps track of players' progress in each category. Each
mini-game offers Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert levels. Players race
against a timer to answer questions.
Examples of activities include moving the hands of a clock in
order to spring forward 150 minutes, filling in the missing piece of
a picture, arranging sequences, getting a train to an exit using the
left and right arrows or straight ahead button, taking an order on
the "phone" (kids put the Wii remote to their ear to listen) and
then filling that order, finding the "odd one out" with moving
pictures, keeping track of birds in cages as they are shuffled
around, determining the "point of view" of a spinning object, and
The order-taking activity makes use of the Wii remote creatively,
and we wish there were more activities that did the same.
Kids enroll characters into the academy, using their Mii avatars
our review of the
Wii console if you're unfamiliar with the Mii character
avatars). Players can join forces with others and play in teams,
play alone, or go head to head.
- Non-violent gameplay that requires drawing upon thinking
- Enjoyable and interactive, fun for groups of kids and families
to play together.
- The game is very simple and not especially creative in terms
of making full use of the Wii's capabilities.
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Big Brain Academy
Reviewed: June 2007