Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain Review thumbnail

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain Review

Neil Patrick Harris not included

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🧠

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain is rated Everyone by the ESRB

After 14 years, Big Brain Academy is back with an all-new Switch game that'll test your smarts and measure them against your friends'.

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Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain screenshot 1
Who knew that counting cubes would end up being my favourite game?

I remember the early DS days when Brain Age took the world by storm as everyone and their grandmother put their mental abilities to the test. A couple of short months later, Big Brain Academy debuted and I figured it existed just to capitalize off Brain Age's success but it was actually its very own unique experience with a much more fun-filled atmosphere. A couple of years later, a multiplayer-focused sequel debuted with Wii Degree and it was pretty fun, too. Now, we finally have Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain which brings the best of both the single player and multiplayer components that the franchise is known for. v1d30chumz 34-239-154-240

Of course, the most important aspect of these games is their collection of mini-games and Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain features 20 of them. That might not sound like a lot, especially when you compare it to something like the Mario Party games but when you consider the fact that these mini-games come in varying difficulties that escalate as you play, it's definitely enough to keep you having fun. Plus, there's a solid amount of variety among them which is great considering that they come in 5 groups that test the various elements of your brain power. So, whether you're finding the missing piece of a puzzle or solving equations; you're bound to have a good time.

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain screenshot 2
My choo-choo is faster than yours

If you decide to go it alone, there's a decent variety of modes to sink your teeth into as you can practice each individual mini-game, take a test of randomly assigned mini-games, and challenge online opponents via Ghost Clash mode. I had the most amount of fun with the latter but each of these modes is definitely enjoyable. As you play the single player component, you'll unlock costume items and greetings that you can use to customize your avatar with. Oh, I didn't even mention that you can play with either touchscreen or button controls which is awesome as the former can grant you a substantial speed boost while the latter is better for multiplayer.

Speaking of multiplayer, Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain can be played with up to 4 players as you challenge your friends to a succession of mini-games. Each one is played over and over within a time limit as iterations become more difficult and whoever completes each one first gets the most points. As long as you don't get it wrong, you'll still get some points even if you're in last place which is cool. Anyway, the only overarching modes have you spin a wheel or choose categories which is a bit disappointing, especially seeing as how Wii Degree featured nifty modes including some team-based ones which are not featured here in any capacity.

When it comes together, Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain is a solid mini-game collection that's fun in short bursts whether you're playing solo or multiplayer. I think that's key; it's only really fun for about a few rounds at a time with friends and solo, there isn't much replay value after you master each of the mini-games which you can do in 1 gaming session. Another issue is that some of the mini-games are a bit imbalanced and by that, I mean that some within the same category are obviously easier than others which makes taking the test feel a bit luck-based. For example, if you get 5 easy games, you'll score much higher than if you're given 5 that become super-tricky.

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain screenshot 3
Oh, boy; I'm the smartest bear in the world!

I'm happy to say that Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain is super-fun whether you're playing by yourself or with friends. It may not have much long-lasting appeal but it's certainly worth adding to your multiplayer playlist, especially if you enjoy mini-games.

  • + Mini-game fun that's enjoyable for both solo and multiplayer sessions
  • + Solid variety of games and challenges
  • + Rewarding unlockables and tests
  • - Multiplayer could use more modes
  • - Only enjoyable in short sessions
  • - Notable degree of imbalance
7.4 out of 10
Gameplay video for Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain
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