Big Brain Academy (やわらかあたま塾, Yawaraka Atamajuku) is a Nintendo DS video game that was developed and published by Nintendo in mid 2006. It is a educational game, and often compared with Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!, another "brain game" which was released a few moths earlier for the same system. It is part of the Touch Generations series.
Big Brain Academy differs a lot from Brain Age in terms of its approach to the brain training. Where Brain Age has scientific research behind the exercises and grading design, Big Brain uses a more user friendly approach, with vivid colors, peculiar images and a more puzzle-like activity design.
The game contains fifteen different activities divided into five categories. They are as follows:
- Think - Logic questions. Includes Heavyweight, Pathfinder, and Boneyard.
- Memorize - Memory questions. Includes Sound Bites, Flash Memory, and Memo-random.
- Analyze - Reason questions. Includes Missing Link, CubeGame, and Animal Lines.
- Compute - Math questions. Includes Coin-parison, Add Agency, and Written Math.
- Identify - Visual questions. Includes Shadow Shift, Get in Shape, and Matchmaker.
When playing one of the activities there is a time limit of 60 seconds, during which the player needs to complete as many questions as possible. Answering correctly also heightens the difficulty, and the amount of points received for a correct answer depends on the difficulty. Wrong answer lowers the difficulty though, in addition to losing valuable time and points. The score is calculated in grams, as in the brain mass.
The main mode of play is the Test mode. The player is given to play one randomly chosen game from each of the five categories. When finished Dr. Lobe will evaluate the player based on the performance. The weight of the brain is calculated basing on the results, and a graph will be shown where the player can see in which categories he needs to improve. Dr. Lobe will then give the player a grade, ranging from F- to A+, and a suitable profession to go with it.
In Practice mode the player can practice any of the exercises. Each activity has three difficulties to choose from, and depending on the score, a bronze, silver, gold or platinum medal might be given. The required scores differ slightly between games and difficulties.
2-8 players can also compete in the Versus mode. Activities are chosen randomly and the players compete to be the first one to answer the questions. Ten grams are added for answering correctly first, but wrong answers lead to points being subtracted. The one to reach a pre-determined target weight first wins.
The game was successful enough to warrant a seguel, [[Big Bra