Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree

Common Sense Media says

Thinking games become a party activity on the Wii.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Fun game to play with a crowd.

Ease of play

It's never too hard to figure out what to do or how to do it, but doing so with speed -- necessary for a better score -- can be challenging.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game makes kids think. And it's fun to boot! It's best experienced as a group (or with a larger group divided into teams), and is a good choice for multi-generational play and for those just getting into the Wii. On the hardest level, one of the math games expects players to know negative numbers, so don't start this game with kids who are too young.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Math

  • arithmetic
  • measurement
  • shapes

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • memorization
  • problem solving

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This is a fun, intellectually challenging game with controls kids will find easy to master. Great in groups, but only one area allows you to go head-to-head with other players.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn thinking and reasoning skills through practice and repetition. Tasks include computation, memorization, analysis, identification, and reasoning. 

Support

Simple pointer controls are easy to master, and instructions are plentiful. But it takes patience and practice to get better at many of the game's activities.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading

Math

  • arithmetic
  • measurement
  • shapes

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • memorization
  • problem solving

Kids can learn thinking and reasoning skills through by playing games that exercise the brain in different ways. Some tasks involve memorization and recollection, others basic mathematical operations. Kids will need to identify and recognize patterns, quickly place numbers and shapes in order, and use reasoning to deduce similarities in complex three-dimensional shapes. The ultimate goal of Big Brain Academy is to give players the opportunity to exercise their brain in different ways, including computation, memorization, analysis, identification, and reasoning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

BIG BRAIN ACADEMY: WII DEGREE is a sequel to Big Brain Academy, the hit 2006 Nintendo DS title that put players through brain-teasing paces as students at Big Brain Academy. Dr. Lobe, the graduation-cap-wearing, ghost-like moderator from the original Big Brain Academy, greets all incoming students; he acts as your guide, but he will also goad you into playing his brainteaser games with some amusing malarkey about building a heavier brain. The game boils down to a collection of Mini games that be played alone or in a group. You can also send your training scores to others over the WiiConnect 24 service so that your friends can try to beat your scores.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

What sets this compilation of Mini games apart from other Wii Mini games like WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Wii Play is the intellectual challenge of the gameplay. These are games thinking -- and they are actually fun. Anyone intimidated by the hand-eye coordination needed to be good at video games will find this game's simple pointer controls easy to master.

But Wii Degree isn't perfect. There are three areas for group play, but only one area, Mind Sprint, allows you to go head-to-head answering questions with other players on a split screen. Otherwise, the multi-player action is about taking turns with one controller, which just isn't as much fun as all being in the action at once. If you are looking for Wii software to play in groups, especially cross-generational ones, add this game to your library. It's refreshingly different and levels the playing field between gamers and non-gamers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the Wii is easier to play than traditional gaming systems. Which of these thinking games do you like best? Is it because you are good at that kind of game?

  • Did you find that you got better the more you played? Do you think it's important to "train you brain" with games that make you think?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:June 12, 2007
Genre:Party
ESRB rating:E for (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old August 27, 2009
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

It is so bad

The worst game i ever played
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

its ok

its brain less what you think
Educator and Parent of a 9 and 13 year old Written bymavikedi November 17, 2009
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Another option for family game night.

Fun family activity but it can be hard to play against each other competitively - too much time between events. It can also be harder for younger children, if they don't grasp the point of a particular puzzle.

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