We live in a world where it’s perfectly normal to have a laptop on your desk, a tablet in your bag and a smart phone in your pocket. When you’re in the mood to play a game, you can — all you have to do is open an app and start playing.
Brain-training games capitalize on the ease with which we game by offering a wealth of puzzles and problems that can be played for hours or merely minutes at a time. Learn more about the top brain-training games that can sharpen the mind and potentially prevent cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Top Brain-Training Games
From the perspective of someone who’s looking to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are a few interesting things to note about the brain-training game phenomenon. First, it turns out that a lot of the scientific claims supporting the idea that brain-training games make you smarter are based on flawed studies and limited evidence that have been called into question by objective scientists.
However, these same objective scientists have not widely doubted the effectiveness of brain-training games in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Why not? Because there’s actually some good evidence to suggest that they can do exactly that. If you’re looking to transform yourself into the next Einstein, playing brain-training games may be a fool’s errand. But, if you’re interested in preventing Alzheimer’s by keeping the neural connections in your brain strong, then games that challenge your working memory and mental agility can be an important part of your plan (along with eating a nutrients-rich diet, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising multiple times per week).
Let’s take a look at 8 brain-training games that have earned positive reviews:
Free in the iOS Store and Android Play Store, Lumosity offers an ever-expanding set of cognitive and scientific games designed to improve your working memory and stimulate your brain on a daily basis. Part of what these games are designed to do is strengthen your ability to pay attention to the right things — that is, the things that help you solve the task at hand — while learning to ignore things that don’t help. Lumosity is one of the most popular brain-training games out there, used by more than 60 million people worldwide.
Self-described as a “brain fitness program,” Dakim offers users a set of games and puzzles designed to help you give your brain a comprehensive workout. The program gives you access to more than 100 individual brain exercises, all designed to improve attention and concentration — in other words, the very kind of mental tasks that have been demonstrated to play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s and related symptoms. You can try Dakim for free on their website.
Different from many brain-training games in that it’s specially designed for people already suffering from Alzheimer’s, Clevermind goes beyond merely a collection of games. As any caregiver can tell you, managing someone with Alzheimer’s goes far beyond just giving them mental exercise. To this end, Clevermind features social, medical, and dietary tools, all presented in an easy-to-read interface that also has a digital assistant who speaks in a Siri-like voice. Clevermind is available in the iOS App Store
- Fit Brains Trainer
Fit Brains Trainer helps you “enhance your memory, focus, and brain speed” by giving you access to more than 360 games and puzzles. The app is smartly designed to get more difficult as you get better, so that you always have a challenge in front of you and are never wanting for a way to give your brain a positive workout. Fit Brains Trainer is available for free on Google Play and the iOS App Store.
- Brain Fitness
Available for free in the iTunes store, Cognifit Brain Fitness gives users access to a wide variety of fun, well-designed games designed by neuroscientists. As a user, you have the ability to track progress and even start off with a cognitive assessment. If you’re feeling competitive, you can challenge your friends, too, which is not only fun, but can help you finally prove to your pals that you’re the smartest of the lot.
- Brain Trainer
Available in free and Pro versions on Google Play and iTunes, this widely used app offers one of the largest collections of brain-training games available — language games, math games, speedy shape games and a load more (including, of course, Sudoku). Best of all, you can tailor your gaming experience to your personal goals: problem solving, memory, attention, and agility.
- Brain Metrix
A free web service that helps you “train your brain,” Brain Metrix offers a large collection of concentration, color, IQ, spatial intelligence, memory, and creativity games that can help get your brain in tip-top shape. If you have an interest in playing the type of games that strengthen your brain’s fitness in ways that can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, then Brain Metrix has games and tasks that fit the bill.
Eidetic’s tagline is both broad and specific: “Learn and remember anything.” Scientific studies of the way the brain learns have demonstrated unequivocally that repetition is key to getting a new piece of information to be designated for long-term storage in your memory. By employing a technique called “spaced repetition,” the Eidetic app helps you learn and remember all manner of interesting words and facts. It’s available as an iOS App for iPhones and iPads.