Top critical review
145 people found this helpful
Good, clean honest fun
on 19 July 2007
Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree takes the same basic structure as the first Big Brain game, which appeared on the DS just over a year ago. It's essentially a sequel to the original game because it doesn't duplicate the games found on the DS, but instead replaces them with a collection of new brain-teasing minigames. Now whilst the Wii doesn't need another mini-game collection, Big Brain Academy is different enough from the average WarioWare or Mario Party-style collection to find its own niche on the platform that players of the first game should find enjoyable.
The whole game takes place under the guise of making your brain bigger and heavier, which is, of course, complete nonsense. Unlike its counterpart, Brain Training, Big Brain makes no legitimate claim about actually improving your mind; Big Brain just lets you play minigames in random sequences and gives you a score at the end based on your performance. You can compare these scores with other players locally, and you can also send them over to your online friends so they can compare their scores with your scores.
The different games are broken up into groups named after the sort of brain training they're having you do, such as compute or identify. Each game is very simple to understand, as they intuitively use the pointing and clicking features of the Wii Remote. The Wii speaker is used both for encouragement and, in one neat minigame, as a phone. In that minigame, you must listen to customers ordering food and then duplicate their order on the screen. However, most of the minigames are more basic than that, such as one where a series of number-bearing balloons appear, and you have to pop them in order from lowest to highest. Another shows you four pictures and asks you to choose the pictures that fit different criteria. For example, if the game merely says "wings," you might find yourself clicking on a photo of a duck and an airplane, but not a gorilla or a swimmer. Right off the bat, the practice modes in the game let you go to town on 15 different games, but the other modes mix in games that don't appear in the practice menu, giving you a reason to skip around and try everything out.
Visually, Big Brain Academy has a basic but functional look to it. It's never flashy, but it also has a very clean and direct look, which fits with the school-like tone of the game. The Mii system is integrated into the game, so things like your student record book will have your Mii face on it. The audio is good as well. A fair amount of speech comes out of the Wii speaker, but most of it is just encouragement from a female voice that eggs you on as you play. The music and sound effects are also catchy and pleasant.
While fans of the Wii's other minigame compilations might find Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree a little more basic than the rest, the game stands apart by simply offering different types of slightly more thought-intensive minigames. It's not rocket science, but if you're after something slightly headier than the Mario Party-style of waving the Wii Remote around like a lunatic while mashing the A button as hard as you possibly can, you'll probably enjoy your time here, and the bargain price makes it all the more attractive.