Big Brain Academy

While kids begin to prepare for a few weeks of holidays, Nintendo is trying to keep those brains going by launching Big Brain Academy Brain vs Brain. This is the next release in the franchise, which we haven’t seen since the Nintendo Wii! Somehow, Nintendo has again succeeded in making an educational game fun for the entire family, and as you work to earn those gold medals, secrets await!

Big Brain Academy Brain vs Brain Details

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Party, Puzzle
Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer (1-4 players)
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Time to test your brain

The core concept behind Big Brain Academy is to test your brain in a number of challenges that are spread out across five disciplines. You take on challenges that will challenge your ability to memorize, compute, identify, analyze, and visualize. Each category has four different minigames associated with it, so you’ll have a total of 20 different minigames to play.

Each minigame lasts around 60 seconds, which makes Big Brain Academy a great title to pick up for a few minutes, before putting it down again to focus on other tasks. It is also a great game to hop into as you move between your favourite Nintendo Switch titles.

The time it takes to play, and ease of understanding of these games, makes Big Brain Academy Brain vs Brain one of Nintendo’s most accessible games, great for younger kids and grandparents!

Big Brain Academy

Simple and Accessible

What Nintendo does not want to do with Brain vs Brain is complicate the game’s core philosophy, which is to test your brain in the 5 previously listed categories. Minigames can range from memorizing a series of numbers or symbols, only to repeat them backwards, or looking at a toy on a stand from different perspectives, and choosing the correct one.

Many of the compute games require quick math skills, and while it starts off easy enough, it does become rather challenging. Big Brain Academy is built on levels of knowledge. The first few puzzles you will complete within each 60 second minigame will be relatively easy, but as you complete more challenges and earn more Big Brain Brawn points, the puzzles will get inevitably harder.

For example, one minigame produces a 3D 1×1 block structure, and you need to quickly use skills to determine how many blocks are in the structure. Early on, it is easy to answer – 7, 8, may be 10. But as you tackle more and more puzzles, things get harder. Is that 23? No wait, it’s 24!

Big Brain Brawn points

If you answer correctly, you earn more Big Brain Brawn points, and the more points you earn the more gold medals you will receive. These medals are added together until you’ve earned 10, which unlocks a cosmetic item for your little character. This could be new glasses, new shirts, and new hats!

It is fun to collect these items, and although just cosmetic, it’s a fun way to track how much you have played and how close you are to “beating the game.” In reality, you never really beat Big Brain Academy because even when you finish playing alone, there is a whole world of challengers waiting to take you on.

All of these minigames can be played on their own in Practice – and once you have scored gold or better on them all, a surprise awaits! – or can be randomly chosen for you in Test mode. Here, you will do one game from each skill category, with the final being provided at the end.

Big Brain Academy

Control Options Creates a Slight Issue

Some of the games you’ll play in Brain vs Brain can either be done with controllers or the touch screen. In these instances, anyone playing on a TV will instantly see a downgrade in their potential score for each minigame.

It will be obvious to many that it is much easier to tap answers, blocks, etc. rather than move a cursor over to them and hit ‘A.’ It’s not a major issues though, as touch screen is always an option should you undock from the TV, and if you are playing locally everyone will be at the same disadvantage.

If you are looking to get the best score, however, take those touch-control minigames off the television. You will thank me later!

Multiplayer Madness

Big Brain Academy does offer a number of multiplayer options, some of which are better than others, but all help extend the lifetime of the game. Online, you can compete against the ghosts of other players, whether friends from your friend list, other users on the console, or random individuals online. While playing the ghosts of random folks was not satisfying in any way, it was fun to take on the scores of friends, allowing us to brag about who might be smarter.

You can also play locally with one Nintendo Switch, with up to 4 players. While that was fun, and perhaps this holiday’s most accessible party game, the most fun is laying the Switch down on a table with one other person and going head to head on one switch, each “controlling” one side of the screen. It’s loads of fun, and a great way to experience the various games.

Big Brain Academy Brain vs Brain is one of Nintendo’s most accessible Switch games that is fun for all ages

On the surface, Big Brain Academy Brain vs Brain is light on content, and if you had paid full price, I’d completely understand your issue. However, Big Brain Academy is yet another budget title from Nintendo, and the prize justifies the content, and vice versa. That being said, while I am OK with what’s on offer here, I would have liked just a few extra games, perhaps one more per category.

Either way, Big Brain Academy is easily one of Nintendo’s most accessible Nintendo Switch games. And, a game that would make a great stocking stuffer this year!

+ Fun minigames that are quick to play
+ Learning is fun! Who knew?
+ Lots of cosmetic accessories to unlock and equip

– If playing on a TV, button controls feel unfair
– Could have more minigames


Gameplay: 4/5
Graphics: 3/5
Sound: 3.5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5

Overall Rating 3.5/5 (70%)

Get Big Brain Academy: Brain vs Brain on Nintendo Switch

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Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.


  1. I’ve never tried the Brain series of games on Nintendo systems. I’ve thought about it, but I just never got around to it. Perhaps I’ll give this one a try. Thanks Jon!

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