Big Brain Academy

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Big Brain Academy
Big Brain Academy cover.jpg
PAL region box art
Developer(s)Nintendo EAD Group No. 4
Director(s)Tomoaki Yoshinobu
Producer(s)Hiroyuki Kimura
Composer(s)Kenta Nagata
Platform(s)Nintendo DS
ReleaseNintendo DS
  • JP: June 30, 2005
  • NA: June 5, 2006
  • AU: July 5, 2006
  • EU: July 7, 2006
  • CN: Cancelled
Genre(s)Puzzle, educational
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Big Brain Academy[a] is a puzzle video game published and developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. It was released in Japan on June 30, 2005, and in North America on June 5, 2006, in Australia on July 5, 2006, and in Europe on July 7, 2006. The game was planned to be released in China for the iQue DS system, and appeared in the system's trailer, but this release was cancelled for unknown reasons. It has been compared to Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!.[1] It was marketed under Nintendo's Touch! Generations brand. A sequel, Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree, was released on the Wii in April 2007.


In Big Brain Academy, tests are done in order to measure the player's brain's mass. The heavier the brain, the smarter the brain is or the better its reaction time. There is no single game mechanism to Big Brain Academy; as it is an assortment of puzzles with no one puzzle having greater priority than the other. There are three modes of play: Test mode, Practice mode, and Versus mode.

Test mode[edit]

Test mode consists of a formal test containing five puzzles, with one puzzle taken at random from each of the five categories to determine the player's brain mass.

After the test, the player is given a letter grade. Dr. Lobe (the "headmaster" of Big Brain Academy) also assesses what areas the player needs to improve in and what ranking they would be. Professions include museum curator, librarian, astronaut, investor, fashion stylist, diplomat, cave man, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, politician, poet, banker, doctor, musician, etc.

There are five different categories of tests with three activities per category. The categories are (followed by their activities):

  • Think (Logic-themed questions)
  • Analyze (Reason-based questions)
  • Compute (Math-themed questions)
  • Identify (Visual-themed questions)
  • Memorize (Memory-based questions)

Practice mode[edit]

Practice mode allows the player to select an activity in order to train their brain. The activities available for play are the same as those available in Test mode. Each activity has three levels of difficulty, and the player can earn a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal for achieving a certain brain mass on each difficulty level. A mass of 50 grams is required for a bronze medal, 150 grams for silver, and 250 for gold. The mass required for a platinum medal differs for each difficulty level of each activity; however, the exact mass required for each platinum medal is not specified in the game.

Versus mode[edit]

In Versus mode, players can compete to determine who has the heaviest brain. One to seven players can join a hosting player, whether or not they themselves have a copy of the game.


As of March 31, 2008, Big Brain Academy had sold 5.01 million copies worldwide.[5] It received a "Double Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[6] indicating sales of at least 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[7] Big Brain Academy received mixed reviews from critics.[8] Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot wrote positively of the game, describing it as " easy-to-learn but reasonably addictive".[3] Craig Harris of IGN gave the game 8.1 out of 10, describing it as "fun", while criticising the game's graphics as "a bit too sugary and happy".[1] Tom Bramwell of Eurogamer gave a mixed review of the game, giving it 7 out of 10, describing it as "fun in an innocent kind of way", while criticising it as too simple.[2]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Soft Head Academy (やわらかあたま塾, Yawaraka Atama Juku)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Harris, Craig (June 2, 2006). "Big Brain Academy". IGN. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (June 15, 2006). "Big Brain Academy: Coulda been a contender". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (June 5, 2006). "Big Brain Academy Review". GameSpot. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  4. ^ Logan (July 3, 2006). "Test : Cerebrale Academie". (in French). Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  5. ^ "Financial Results Briefing for the Fiscal Year Ended March 2008: Supplementary Information" (PDF). Nintendo. 2008-04-25. p. 6. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
  6. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Double Platinum". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on May 20, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  7. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "Big Brain Academy". Metacritic. 2006. Retrieved December 8, 2020.

External links[edit]