Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree
What parents need to know
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
Language & Reading
- following directions
Thinking & Reasoning
- problem solving
Engagement, Approach, Support
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.
Kids can learn thinking and reasoning skills through practice and repetition. Tasks include computation, memorization, analysis, identification, and reasoning.
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'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?
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?