Game: Brain Show
Genre: Casual, Indie
System: Steam (Windows), Nintendo Switch
Developer | Publisher: Simplicity Games
Controller Support: Yes
Price: US $14.99 | UK £12.79 | EU € 14,79
Release Date: June 7th, 2023
Review code used with many thanks to Simplicity Games.
Brain Show transports us into the studio of a Trivia game show. Up to 6 players can take part simultaneously. The game allows for two game modes, classic and quick match. The classic game has six rounds, each with its point rules, while the short game has only one round. In classic mode, the rounds always go in the same order.
The thing about Brain Show is that it is precisely what it claims to be, a co-op trivia game. It looks polished and good, but still, it was a tough review to write because I kept putting it off. The reason? The controls. Since I was trying it by myself, I had to generate several players. For a game, you need a minimum of 3 players. If you are playing on a keyboard as I did, be prepared to write down button combinations for each of your players. The game seems to be made for controllers because it keeps asking for one, and when I connected mine, it performed flawlessly. It appears that the intended use is for couch co-op. Brain Show will benefit significantly if the developers include online multiplayer at some point in the future, maybe even matches with random people.
Style-like Brain Show looks like a 3D cartoon. The human models aren’t realistic at all, but they are still somehow sympathetic looking. The idea that the players are participating in a trivia show is well executed in terms of how the studio looks and how the host behaves and talks. The soundtrack sounds typical for a trivia game, complete with the appropriate applause tracks. The developers have tried to make the game more cinematic, with sweeping shots and the antics of the host. For the most part, they succeed.
The weak link in the whole set-up is the models for the players. There is an enormous variety in names; however, for the visuals for the models, there are just eight options, with no variety in skin tones, hair, and eye colour. It wouldn’t be a problem usually, but paradoxically it is because we have the foundation for options. The game doesn’t differentiate between genders, so when you choose male or female when setting up a character, you get all available names and visuals afterwards. The host’s snarky comments are gender-neutral, which is good. Some reviewers on Steam complain that the host refers to female players as “he,” but in my experience, all references were in “they,” which was good.
This game has no difficulty settings, but I didn’t find it particularly challenging. Sure, there are questions I don’t know the answer to, but that’s what it would make this game fun to play with friends. There is a wide variety of topics and questions, so there is a chance for anyone to shine. You can choose topics such as Architecture, Sports, History, Celebrities, Literature, Fairy Tales, etc.
Some other notes
One thing to note is that the only available settings are the language settings. Everything else is preset, including controls. There is also no option for subtitles. So far, this game has no Steam achievements or trading cards.
While Brain Show does have some kinks, it is a good trivia game. If you have a group of friends and a couple of controllers around, Brain Show will be a fun game to pass the time. What’s more, it has a solid foundation, which, if developed further, can become an excellent trivia game.
Final Verdict: I Like it.