Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
Buy On
  1. 81
    Overwhelmingly colorful and peppy environment aside, I think Big Brain Academy is a bit more fun and fulfilling than Brain Age with its quicker pace game style and fantastic multiplayer focus, and it's a great continuation of the newly-formed Touch Generations line for DS gamers.
  2. It's definitely light on the science--you won't find any doctors endorsing Big Brain Academy right on the box, like they did with Brain Age--but Big Brain Academy's 15 exercises and three difficulty levels are more than enough to justify the game's $20 price tag.
  3. Game Informer
    Predictable, it improves on its predecessor in some regards, while somehow sacrificing some of the addictive qualities that made "Brain Age" so compelling. [Aug 2006, p.92]
  4. The “tests’ are really short and you can be finished within several minutes, and it is this addictive and short natured game that will keep you coming back for more for hours on end.
  5. The stylus is used to select answers and navigate the menu system. It’s nothing that couldn’t be done with a normal controller but it’s 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, it’s 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.
  6. It's colourful and more fun (especially in multiplayer) than the similar Brain Training, but Big Brain Academy doesn't have much longevity.
  7. For $19.99 it’s a pretty good value and I think those that enjoyed Brain Age will surely like Academy. If I had to give a nod to one or the other I’d still go with Brain Age since it was the original brain game and it has built-in incentives for daily play.
  8. 60
    Big Brain scores points for its friendly and colorful art style and variety of activities, and there a lot of reasons prospective students will want to enroll. The problem is there's not much to keep you from dropping out after a few days.
  9. Big Brain Academy's certainly fun in an innocent kind of way, but it's probably a better bet for your offspring than for you - although you won't regret joining in for a bit of multiplayer.
  10. Despite its collegiate overtone, Big Brain Academy sticks to its grade-school roots by keeping the activities light and colorful, the multiplayer engaging and the price tag low ($20.) But no matter how you dissect it, this is still little more than a series of fairly innocuous tests released just in time for summer vacation. It doesn’t take a heavy brain to know how stupid that is.
  11. 85
    The various tests should give your brain quite a workout, while the neat visuals and multiplayer mode should keep you busy for quite some time.
  12. 90
    Quirky, satisfying, and highly original.
  13. But while Brain Age has you holding the DS like a book, nurturing your every gaming step, Academy more or less throws you into the mix, expecting a degree of familiarity with how these minigames work.
  14. games(TM)
    Wait for the sequel rather than invest in this slightly dumbed-down version. [Sept 2006, p.120]
  15. 80
    It's not far out to score Big Brain Academy slightly higher than its predecessor, mostly because the game contains none of the maddening verbal and writing input issues.
  16. With only 15 different tests to play, Big Brain Academy can quickly get to be an exercise in just answering faster rather than having you brain participate in new activities.
  17. AceGamez
    If I've come off as very sarcastic in this review, it's simply because, compared to Brain Training, the game is mostly boring and I was amusing myself at its expense to keep myself sane.
  18. Overall, it's a great game for anybody who's a fan of puzzle games or logic problems.
  19. Play Magazine
    BBA can only keep you entertained for so long before you tire of its routine. [Aug 2006, p.64]
  20. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    But the tricky puzzles and problems here offer more complexity and variety than "Brain Age's", making this a must-buy for the phenomenally addictive multiplayer action alone. [July 2006, p.97]
  21. 70
    Big Brain Academy's biggest problem is its limited quantity of activities. Yes, we get that it's part of Nintendo's new "Touch Generations" line, and that it's only $20, and it's meant to be a quick diversion...but even the casual audience that's being targeted is going to get bored after a few days.
  22. 75
    Big Brain Academy compliments Brain Training perfectly. Similar in idea but quite different in execution it’s something all DS owners should try if they want to give their brain a workout.
  23. 60
    But one can't help but find a slight disappointment in comparison to Brain Age, as it doesn't really allow us to expand our smarts like we want it to.
  24. Nintendo Gamer
    A great, less-serious complement to "Brain Training," far and away the more accessible of the two and less prone to human error and recognition niggles. [Aug 2006, p.60]
  25. The truth is, Big Brain Academy offers little depth, and almost no immersion, because the gameplay is so start-and-stop. But Big Brain Academy succeeds because of its simplicity and accessibility.
  26. Whereas Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training managed to defy the odds and prove us wrong with its compulsive drive, Big Brain Academy completely misses the point and is hard to recommend as a result.
  27. As entertaining as the single-player portion of Big Brain Academy is, this budget title really shines in the multiplayer experience. Up to eight players can take part in a single-card multiplayer session, and the game selection mechanic is pure, unadulterated genius.
  28. Unlike Brain Age, Big Brain Academy was probably actually developed to be a game. Big Brain Academy doesn’t have all the nuances and support from neuroscientists and other simply brainy things, but in the end—the goal is the same.
  29. A great addition to the Touch Generations line of games. The puzzles are a bit tougher then those found in Brain Age, which in many ways is a good thing as the game is not a rehash of the previous title.
  30. We wonder if anyone’s working on software to increase the size of other parts of one’s body. Now there’s a product that’d make serious money…
  31. The games are very entertaining and the wireless multiplayer has provided hours of enjoyment, especially since up to eight people can play using a single copy.
  32. netjak
    It doesn't have as much as its esteemed cousin, Brain Age, but what it does offer is fun. You will quickly find a favorite game, and spend some exasperating moments trying to best your top score.
  33. Visually and aurally, Big Brain Academy is just what you would expect. The game’s looks are colorful and welcoming but at the end of the day, you’re playing simple minigames. Likewise, the audio is equally simple yet charming.
  34. With Big Brain Academy (and Brain Age) you’ve got just as interested in exercising my mental muscles as I am in flexing my trigger finger.
  35. Inexpensive and relatively guilt-free (you're expanding your mind!), Brain Academy is at least as fine a way to kill 30 minutes as Everybody Loves Raymond.
  36. In all, I can say that I enjoyed Big Brain Academy and feel it is a wonderful addition to the Brain Age-style games. Nintendo has really hit on a different market than the traditional gamers.
  37. 85
    It offers a bit more in terms of puzzles than "Brian Age," which certainly gives it a bit of an edge in the fun department, but it doesn't track your progress or make logical sense when grading you, which is where it fails against "Brain Age."
  38. It lacks replay value, but forms a good matched set with Brain Age.
  39. Entertaining and competitive brain-teasers, but the compilation would be easier to recommend at a lower price.
  40. Let’s face it. Minigame extravaganzas like ‘Brain Academy’ are not made for the hardcore gamer. They are for the casual market whose hardcore gaming experience consists of playing solitaire on their computer.
  41. 60
    Big Brain Academy is a lot of fun, but its ability to improve brain power is probably a little more contrived than with Brain Training.
  42. A polished, accessible and entertaining series of brain-bending teasers. Great stuff.
  43. Academy’s exercises are more varied and faster paced, following the arcade tradition of becoming harder with each passing second, and this makes it easy to play over and over, trying desperately to prove you’re getting smarter.
  44. Competitive people will be glued to this game for hours; some of the more advanced stages are very challenging, with the added bonus of keeping your brain in tip-top shape. [JPN Import]
  45. But what is most important about the obvious simplicity of everything this game has to offer is that it really is just an enjoyable experience, flat out. You’ll find yourself trying to improve your old scores for the sheer joy and self-satisfaction. That is all you need to know to realize that this game is a fun one.

Awards & Rankings

#21 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#37 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
  1. Jul 29, 2011
    I love this game. It's hard not to enjoy it because there's so many things you can do on here. The availability of reaching a certain grade orI love this game. It's hard not to enjoy it because there's so many things you can do on here. The availability of reaching a certain grade or medal (I love creating records on here!) makes it really feel as if you have achieved something. Full Review »
  2. Jul 3, 2011
    The question is: does it REALLY help your brain? Because all I see are numbers and quotes. Enjoyable game, regardless. It's just...puzzlingThe question is: does it REALLY help your brain? Because all I see are numbers and quotes. Enjoyable game, regardless. It's just...puzzling how it would actually benefit an average person's life.... Full Review »
  3. BMG
    Jan 11, 2009
    Big Brain Academy has definately given me a bigger brain! There is so much to do before you can finish the game!