Can video games make you smarter? Well, it really depends on the game/genre you are playing. Research has proven, time and again, the several benefits of gaming and how it impacts and nurtures the mind. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.
- Improved hand-eye coordination
- Develops spirit of team play and communication
- Improves problem solving skill
- Better memory and improved focus
- Improves cognitive skills
- Improves multitasking skills
- Aids in quick thinking and decision making
That’s a lot to take and while not all games are created equal, there are some that have been developed with these benefits in mind. Note that anything in access can be dangerous and not good for health, and gaming is no exception. Keep it moderate and only when you have time to play. Have fun.
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Games to Make You Smarter
1. 100 Logic Games
As the title suggests, the app packs 100 games that are based on logic. A selection of casual games that will keep you busy for some time. These are puzzle games that you need to solve using common sense, logic, and reasoning. Andrea Sabbatini, the developer, is popular for developing such games. The app is free to download but ad-supported which can be removed with an in-app purchase.
Lumosity is probably one of the most popular brainy games on the mobile market right now. Lumosity games are short and easy to play with different levels that will help develop memory, improve cognitive and problem solving skills. While some games and training are free, you will eventually have to subscribe for $79.99 yearly.
Lumosity keeps adding new games to the mix and claims to have a team of researchers and educators to help them develop these games for both kids and adults alike. Its’ a brain training app which also provides feedback in the form of Brain Performance Index (BPI) score to help you improve your skills over time.
3. Tricky Test 2
Tricky Test was an immediate hit when launched, leading to its much awaited sequel. It comes with a collection of puzzles that are relatively easy to solve. In fact, they are dead easy but the tricky part is to not get tricked! It is one of those games where the answer seems too obvious to be true. Most people think its easy only to find the answer was something else, which was also obvious but they never thought about it. It’s a brain teaser that will put a smile on your face and want you to share, or rather test, your friends. Requires creative thinking.
Another gaming app to train your brain and have fun while doing it. With exercises were designed by educators and neuroscientists from Cambridge and New York Universities, Peak will definitely peak your interest. The brain training exercises will progress slowly, helping you improve short term memory, cognitive skills, coordination, and attention span among other skills. Not sure where to begin? It comes with a built in coach to help you out. The games are simple yet fun and engaging.
Compare your score with other players to know where you stand. You can unlock advanced exercises using in-app purchases.
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5. Angry Birds
Surprised? I am not. Angry Birds is probably one of the most popular puzzle solving games on the mobile platform. Each level gives you a set of birds, with different powers, to help to destroy pigs hiding beneath and behind the massive structures and towers lying in front of you. Its a strategy game that is engaging, super fun, and requires some hard thinking. Games like these can help improve spatial thinking, problem solving, attention to detail, and strategy building.
They have built a series of games to choose from and new levels are added on a regular basis. With another movie under work, Angry Birds is one of the best games to make you smarter.
6. Clockwork Brain Training
Clockwork Brain Training has a UI like no other. The graphics are so different that you will immediately recognize it on any screen from a mile away. It sort of has a Mayan feel to it. The puzzles are short and take very little time to complete making it ideal for people who don’t want to commit to long hours. The number of games are few but they are really good.
It was designed to help you with reasoning, dexterity, attention, and focus. There are multiple game packs to choose from with no subscription model which is so popular in this niche.
One of the runaway success of the recent years, 2048 was originally developed by Gabriele Cirulli, available on the web as an open source game. Since then, many developers have created apps on this concept that’s available on the Android and iOS platforms. The premise of the game is simple. You need to move tiles with even numbers to add up to a total of 2048.
Sounds easy? Wait till you try it. Fair warning, the game is as addictive as they come but is good for math, quick thinking, attention, and people who love numbers.
Also Read: Games Like 2048 but Bigger and Better
8. NYT Crosswords
Crosswords is probably one of the oldest puzzle games in the world. People used to wait for the newspaper to arrive so they could play the crossword. No more. You can play the official New York Times crossword puzzle on your phone. These puzzles will test and improve your vocabulary, improve language, test your patience, and make you smarter.
One new puzzle is added everyday plus there are countless other theme based puzzles to choose from. The app is free for the first 7 days after which you will have to subscribe. While there are also plenty of free puzzle apps, I like NYT one because of their selection of puzzles and the words they throw in the mix.
Elevate is one of the biggest competitors of Lumosity and works on a subscription model. They have developed a series of games by working closely with educators. Designed to help users with their cognitive skills, focus, math, and more, Elevate can also help with speaking and vocabulary.
Admittedly, the number of games are less than Lumosity who has clearly taken a lead, Elevate is still very good and offers a variety of games you won’t find anywhere else. Your performance will be tracked and you will be presented with a score that will break down your various skills, and how they have improved over a period of time as you reach new levels in the game.
10. Monument Valley 2
Monument Valley is beautiful puzzle game that uses story telling to help you develop some very important cognitive skills. To move further, you will have to solve puzzles, find your way around mazes, and discover clues. That is not even the best part. The best part is the mind bending optical illusions that the game uses to fool you into thinking that you know which way is which. A beautiful game to make you smarter.
The game was an instant hit and since then, a sequel has been released which again was received very well. It will also teach you a thing or two about architecture and how things work in the world, tapping your imagination while making you smile when you discover the pathways hidden in plain sight.
Games to Make You Smarter
While there are several other games that would undoubtedly help you improve different skills, these are some of the best games for Android and iOS smartphone users. I think it is a healthy mix of learning and fun that will keep you engaged for weeks to come. By the time you are done with this list, you will know for sure what an impact they have had on your brain. Found something interesting yourself? Do share with us in the comments below.