Cranium Big Brain Detective Game Review

Thursday, August 24th, 2023 4:00 pm

Solve dozens of mysteries by searching for pictures on a large, detailed board.

Funko Games, the company behind tabletop games like Indiana Jones: Sands of Adventure and Something Wild, recently released Cranium Big Brain Detective Game, a cooperative tabletop game in the Cranium franchise.

We had the chance to check out Cranium Big Brain Detective Game.

What is this game? What’s it about?

Cranium Big Brain Detective Game is a cooperative tabletop game for 1-4 players with a recommended age of 5+. The game challenges players to solve mysteries written on 150 Mystery Cards that ask players to find specific images on a large, detailed game board.

Each game of Cranium Big Brain Detective Game has an estimated play time of 20 minutes.

Source: Funko Games

How do you play this game?

The gameplay in Cranium Big Brain Detective Game is similar to the concept of “Where’s Waldo” or I Spy. In each game, players will work together with the goal of earning at least 20 points by solving mysteries on five of the game’s Mystery Cards. Each Mystery Card has one mystery to solve, as well as a bonus activity to complete, giving players 10 chances to score points in each game.

The game includes Mystery Cards in two colors: Green and Red. Green cards contain easier mysteries, while Red cards contain harder mysteries designed for players aged 7+.

Each Mystery Card contains a question to answer or a specific object for players to find on the game board. The game board is split into 12 square sections, and each card will tell players which section(s) to look in to find the correct answer. Each Mystery Card also features an image related to the mystery to give players a place to start.

For instance, one Green Mystery Card reads “Can you figure out what Cosmo the Astronaut Dinosaur got from the Tooth Fairy for his missing tooth?” This Mystery Card features a picture of the Tooth Fairy, so players know where to start looking. Once they find the Tooth Fairy in the appropriate section on the board, they’ll find the dinosaur character nearby and will be able to solve the mystery.

After players read the prompt on the Mystery Card, they’ll flip over the game’s Sand Timer and can attempt to solve the mystery until the Sand Timer runs out.

Source: Funko Games

Once players think they’ve solved the mystery, they’ll flip over the Mystery Card to reveal the correct answer. If players correctly solved the mystery before time ran out, they’ll receive a face-down Token worth 1-4 points. If not, they won’t receive a Token.

Whether or not players solved the mystery correctly, once the search has been completed, players will move onto the Bonus activity on the card, which may ask them to search for various objects on the game board or perform specific actions in the real-world (like making “rainforest sounds”). Players have an unlimited amount of time to complete this Bonus activity. Once the Bonus activity is finished, players will add another Token to their score pile.

After players have finished the Mystery and Bonus activities on five Mystery Cards, they’ll count the points on their Tokens. If the group earned at least 20 points, everyone wins. If not, the group loses the game.

Source: Funko Games

Is this game fun to play?

Cranium Big Brain Detective Game has a simple premise, but we really enjoyed the experience. Even though the game board is incredibly detailed, with a wide variety of objects, characters, and more to find, the game never felt overwhelming, since each Mystery Card narrows down your search to one or more specific sections on the board.

Plus, we love the freedom the game gives you to create your own fun even after the game is over (or after you’ve solved all of the game’s mysteries). For instance, players can create their own clues for others to solve, and/or challenge others to find specific objects like in a game of I Spy.

Is there anything else parents need to know about this game?

The game board is split into four tall pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The full board is very large, so you’ll need a large surface area to play the game. We were able to play the game on a standard card table, but some components had to sit on top of the board as we played.

What’s the final verdict?

We really enjoyed Cranium Big Brain Detective Game. The game’s premise may be simple, but the experience is lots of fun. We recommend families check this one out.

Cranium Big Brain Detective Game is now available for $22.99.

Disclosure: SuperParent received Cranium Big Brain Detective Game for coverage purposes.

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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