Ready, set, play! These mobile games can stimulate your brain and make you smarter!
Let’s face it: no matter how much we love what we do, any sort of job can become tiring at the end of the day. If you have been feeling tired and unmotivated as of late, maybe it’s time to exercise your brain and keep it sharp by playing games!
Compared to those that don’t play games regularly, studies have shown that expert video game players have a higher volume of gray matter, which promotes better memory, muscle control, sensory perception and connectivity between different brain subregions. Playing video games can also have a positive effect on work performance. In a study on laparoscopic surgeons, it was found that those who played video games were 27% faster at performing surgical procedures and 37% less likely to make mistakes. If all of this has motivated you to give gaming a whirl, here are some mobile games you can try out!
Vocabulary Builder – Test Prep
While this mobile game is meant for those preparing for the Graduate Record Exams (or GRE, a mandatory test for graduate schools in the United States or Canada), it can be beneficial to all of us as well. For instance, if you are in a job where you have to get a lot of writing done, be it emails or writing articles, Vocabulary Builder is THE game for you!
The game teaches you synonyms for commonly used words and also explains their meanings with sentence examples. The best part is that you can also compete with other people who are playing the game, which encourages you to try harder to learn new words.
SuperBetter is a game meant to help you become more resilient in the face of challenges— be they mental or physical. It has various sections—Power Ups, Quests and Bad Guys, to name a few—consisting of activities that will make you healthier.
For instance, the Power Ups section reminds you to drink a glass of water, urges you to take a walk around the block, etc. The Bad Guys section asks you to get out of your chair and take time to appreciate yourself. It might be a particularly good game for those of us who work from home and sit all day to get up and move.
It would be impossible to compile a list of games that improve brain function without mentioning Sudoku. An absolute classic, Sudoku is a logic-based game that gives you a square made up of 3×3 cubes. You have to place numbers between 1 and 9 in each cube without repeating the numbers inside the square or inside their individual columns and rows.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the more people over the age of 50 play games like Sudoku, the better their brain functions. What’s more, there are innumerable Sudoku apps for you to choose from both on Google Play Store and App Store that won’t cost you any money!
Luminosity is a cognitive training program intended to help exercise your memory and improve problem-solving skills. The game was designed by neuroscientists and consists of tasks that are typically used in cognitive psychology.
When you download the app, it asks you what skills you would like to practice—memory, attention, ability to switch between tasks, speed and so on. The app also makes you take a test to check how you compare to those in your age group and then uses it to create a customized training program to improve your skills.
Luminosity has a paid tier and a free tier. While the free tier does allow you to play a couple of games, there are over 40 mini-games inside Luminosity’s subscription model, which costs US$44.83 a year.
If you care about game aesthetics, this game is a great pick for you. Designed based on the art of famous graphic artist M.C. Escher, Monument Valley is an indie puzzle game where you manipulate the architecture of fantastical buildings and guide a silent princess through them.
While the previous games on this list actively challenge you, this game promotes creativity and encourages you to think differently to move from one level to another. Unlike the other entries on this list, Monument Valley is a paid game and costs US$3.99 to purchase on Google Play Store and App Store.
In a world where we’re all constantly on our mobile devices, it makes sense to find ways to use that time fruitfully. Veteran gamers reading this article must have been told that they are wasting their time playing a video game, it is actually far from the truth. Not only does gaming help keep your brain engaged, but it also has been proven to improve mental health. So, the next time you want to unwind and play a game, do so with no guilt. Have fun gaming everyone!
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Header image courtesy of Freepik.