Brainstorm captures the spirit of a typical quiz show game. A player can create a cartoon character with which to play alone, answering successive multiple choice questions in a set time limit. This is known as the Time Trial mode. There is also the Brain Clash mode where a single player can select up to 5 computer-controlled opponents to compete against. Further, there is a single-player Einstein mode where only level 3 questions (the hardest questions, and worth the most points) are used.
Brainstorm also features multiplayer gameplay, where multiple players can take turns answering questions in Hot Seat mode on a single computer. Alternately, the players can compete against each other in real time via TCP/IP LAN play.
The graphics and characters are cartoonish in appearance, and competing computer-controlled players (as well as the game show host) constantly toss out taunts (which can be disabled through the game's configuration). Brainstorm boasts over 6500 questions and are drawn from diverse categories such as literature, sports, geography, and science.