Fun brain teaser excersises, but there's not enough of them

User Rating: 6 | Big Brain Academy DS

Brain Age was an incredibly popular game for the DS. It was the system's Wii Sports. Everyone young and old got a DS just to play this game. The portrait style mode plus needing to only play for a few minutes a day was great for casual gamers. While this is seen regularly on mobile phones these days it was a new concept in 2006. Instead of expanding on that game more, Nintendo thought it was a good idea to make another game that's just the testing part and you can do it all day if you want. Sure, that's great, but it needs to have a lot of content due to the gimmick being taken away.

You're going to notice this just 30 minutes into playing. You set up your profile (not as robust as Brain Age either) and you take your first test. You are tested in five different categories to see how much your brain weighs. Thinking, Memorizing, Analyzing, Compute, and Identifying. Each category has three mini-games that are mostly similar. The memorize category has you matching things from the top screen or playing a form of Simon Says. Thinking has you drawing lines to solve fast puzzles, analyze has you doing similar tasks such as solving math problems. There are other mini-games such as counting currency as fast as you can and picking the one with the highest amount. They're simple problems, but the game loses the charm from the Brain Age games fast. No portrait mode, less handwriting, no use of the mic, and the analysis of your brain seems silly and trivial. It doesn't feel like a brain training exercise.

That's also quite a shame because this could be the WarioWare of thinking games and it could work. With only 15 mini-games the content feels old fast and the puzzles are dry and not very fun. I felt like I was doing an entrance exam due to the lack of pizazz and flashiness that dresses up these kinds of games. Sadly, there aren't even any other modes besides verses and practice. It feels like a demo or a portion of a much larger game. The difficulty is adjusted on the fly as you play. Answer correctly and harder questions appear but fail and they get easier again. While you can't memorize answers due to their randomness of them you can at least get better at these tasks over time.

The presentation is also lacking. It looks colorful but dull and boring. There are minimal sound effects and music and it feels like an early mobile game to be quite honest. I can't see this being fun for kids and adults will grow tired of it quickly. The best part about this game is multiplayer as these kinds of games are best played with others. However, solo players will grow bored in about an hour. The staying power that made Brain Age games so great is gone here. Anyone who paid full price for this game would probably be upset due to only having a couple hours of gameplay if that. At the end of the day what you're left with is a brain teaser sampler with fun multiplayer.