Six contestants were challenged of their minds & their comprehension skills. The game was divided into three levels of play.
In the first level, the six contestants were shown five (originally six) visual puzzles and had 10 seconds to answer each one by locking in an answer with their keypads. Each correct answer earned each player points. The first five questions increased in value by 10 points, for they were worth 10, 20, 30, (40 in earlier episodes) & 50 points respectively. The fifth/sixth & final puzzle was worth 100 points. All for a grand total of up to 210 (originally 250) points. The two players with the lowest scores were eliminated from the game. Ties were broken by the average of how fast they answered.
In level two, the four remaining contestants listened to a story read by host Jeff from his Big Book of Truth, otherwise known as "Jeff's Big Book of Super Fantastic True Chronicles of Truth That Are Absolutely True". When the story was finished, the contestants were asked questions about the story. When a player gave a response, he/she must then sit in a "hand" chair with a whoopee cushion on it. A correct answer stayed in the game, but an incorrect answer forced the player(s) who gave one to be out of the game. The eliminated players sat in their respective chair and slid out from the back through a mock-up of Jeff's mouth. As soon as two players were left standing, the level shifted into a "Knockout Round".
In the Knockout round, the two remaining players were shown eight matching pairs of pictures from the story for 10 seconds. Then the pictures were recovered up by numbers 1-16. Each player in turn must pick two numbers that contain two pictures that match each other. When a player does not make a match, the round was shifted to sudden death where either player will have a chance to win the game by making a match.
Level 3 (Bonus Round)
In the third & final level, the survivor of the day's game had 90 seconds (1 min 30 sec) to memorize light patterns on three disco-like floor grids; the first grid was 4x4 which required six squares, the second one was 5x5 which needed eight and the final one was 6x6 which needed 10. On each grid, the day's winner was shown the pattern twice and then the clock started when the winning player stepped to the first square. On each square, that player must press a button in the center to confirm that the contestant stepped to that square. If the player made a mistake by stepping to a wrong square, then he/she must go back and start over after seeing the required pattern again. As soon as the winning contestant stepped on the last square of the required pattern, he/she must then run over to & press a button to stop the clock. For each completed pattern/cleared floor, the winning contestant won a prize, and if he/she finished the final pattern, the winning contestant also won a grand prize and got slimed.
On celebrity games, the winning celebrity contestant was trying to win prizes for a randomly selected audience member.
Eliminated players slid down a slide full of foamy earwax slime called the "Brain Drain". Contestants who didn't complete the bonus round also slid down the Brain Drain.
For the third and final season, Brainsurge was retitled Family Brainsurge, as families competed on the show just like Double Dare and Nickelodeon GUTS did. For this season, the show ran on Nick at Nite until it was cancelled on November 17, 2011. The remaining episodes were aired on NickToons from April 28 to May 9, 2014.
The game was played the same as before except that the number of kid contestants was reduced to five and that they are accompanied by a family member with two others sitting in the audience. Plus there are now names for each level. Level one is called Brain Tease, level two is called Brain Fart where during the question portion, if the family in control gets stumped they must then yell out "Brain Fart", allowing their relatives in the audience to help out, and level three, the bonus level is called Brain Trip.
|Nickelodeon Games and Sports|
|Double Dare • Finders Keepers • Total Panic • Think Fast • Make the Grade • Wild & Crazy Kids • Get the Picture • What Would You Do? • Nick Arcade • GUTS • Legends of the Hidden Temple • Figure It Out • You're On! • Robot Wars • Scaredy Camp • My Family's Got GUTS • BrainSurge • Webheads • Paradise Run • Keep It Spotless • Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? • The Crystal Maze • Unfiltered • Unleashed|