Parents' Guide to

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Fun brain teasers best in short bursts only.

Game Nintendo Switch 2021
Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain Poster Image

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Multiplayer is where this pack of brain teasers shines, but otherwise, the experience is limited to occasional short bursts of activity only. Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain poses harder and harder puzzles at faster speeds in a short amount of time to determine how sharp your reflexes and mental awareness might be. Whether it's the rapid memorization of numbers in Flash Memory or the laying of tracks in Train Turn, Brain vs. Brain tries to keep you on your toes by constantly adjusting the tempo, the perspective, and the number of options you have until a round expires. Having six difficulty levels ensures a constant challenge, and specifically, the sprout difficulty makes it easier for kids and newcomers to pick up the game. Obviously, players will constantly be competing with themselves and against the clock to improve their scores, but Brain vs. Brain really stands out with its competitive play. The addition of ghost data from players around the world constantly gives you someone to test yourself against, because it tracks how they responded to a mini-game and asks you to do better to improve your global ranking. The added bonus of unlockable phrases and outfits gives you something to aim for as well. Multiplayer matches are great also, where up to four players try to complete between one and five rounds to determine the winner. While each player can decide their own difficulty level to keep things fair (meaning that kids can select easier settings while their parents have more tasks to complete), the bonus 50 point score round can keep multiplayer matches from becoming total blowouts.

But while the gameplay can be fun, Brain vs. Brain suffers from some big issues. First off, whether you're playing by yourself or with others, you're only going to play this title in short bursts instead of long sessions. While multiplayer is fun, you'll only play about three or four multiplayer sessions that would total about twenty minutes before you're done with virtually everything there is to do. Second, While there's a decent number of games here, these are dwarfed by other collections of mini-games from Nintendo, like 2021's earlier release of Warioware: Get It Together!, which packs ten times the number of challenges into its play. On top of that, the challenges feel uneven in their presentation and difficulty, so you can play one round of a mini-game and fly through it to the Super Elite Level, then play the same game in another round and be completely stumped. That doesn't make you want to return to the title. If you can overlook these issues, and are looking for an occasional challenge or test of skills with friends and family, Brain vs. Brain can give your mind a high intensity workout.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: December 3, 2021
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
  • Last updated: December 1, 2021

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