Bored? Try These Brain Games to Exercise Your Mind
Our brains undergo changes as we age, including structural, cognitive, neuronal, and chemical. In addition to shrinking in size (it’s true!), the effects of aging are present at many levels, from molecules and neurotransmitters to hormones and structure, resulting in a greater risk of memory impairment and dementia.
Although the changes occur over years, according to an article on the aging brain in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, as noted by the NIH National Library of Medicine, a healthy diet, regular exercise, low to moderate alcohol intake, and an increase in cognitive effort (education or occupational attainment) can potentially help the aging brain.
Staving off dementia and potentially other diseases of the mind through brain apps or brain games is touted across the internet. Do these brain apps work? Research is still out. However, like exercising the body, putting our brains through a routine workout may bring benefits. When discussing any mental decline, there are other factors to consider, like injuries, diseases, and one’s mental health; however, our focus is on the changes caused by aging.
So, whether you’re looking for the best brain game apps because you want to keep sharp, or you’re simply looking for something to do when you’re bored, we’ve tested a few sites you can try (free and subscription based).
Best Brain Training Apps
Our goal isn’t to sell you on any particular games, but to give them a test drive to help you find one that fits your preferences. So, read user reviews and look for brain apps that offer free trials, rather than paid fees upfront. That way, you can try them before you buy.
This brain app offers over 40 brain games for memory, attention, focus, and brain speed. Each day, Brainturk gives you a new game set to challenge skills like vocabulary, logical thinking, and multitasking. The graphics aren’t as refined as other brain apps. However, it is free to use online, but you have to set up an account.
GamesForTheBrain.com is a website with 42 free games like Mastermind, Chinese Checkers, Freecell, Sudoku, Chess, Mahjong, Solitaire, and Minesweeper, in addition to other memory games and trivia. You can also select free, ad-supported partner games to play on the web.
At MindGames.com, you can play crosswords, Simon Says, word search, Sudoku, and math games that are free, but ad-supported. Two paid subscriptions are available: monthly $2 and yearly $10 on your desktop.
This website has memory games, puzzle games, and word games. You are free to play any of them; there is no subscription, and they are free of ads and work on mobile devices as well as online.
The training areas at Lumosity include attention, problem-solving, speed, word, memory, math, and flexibility. This brain app is available online and on Apple and Android mobile devices. Google Play Store users gave Lumosity over 272,000 5-star reviews with over 10 million downloads. You can play three games per day for free. Lumosity also offers several subscriptions:
- Monthly: $11.95
- Yearly: $47.96 ($4/month)
- Two-year: $71.96 ($3/month)
- Lifetime: $239.96
This brain app offers different online exercises that focus on brain speed, memory, attention, intelligence, people skills, and navigation. While Brain HQ offers set exercises, you can customize your own mental workout. A cognitive study funded by the National Institutes of Health found Brain HQ “significantly reduced the risk of dementia” among older participants over a 10-year period. You can play Brain HQ on your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. They offer a free subscription (with limited exercises), and two paid subscription options: monthly $14 and yearly $98 ($8/month).
When you play your brain games through OneLaunch on your desktop, you can save your favorite websites by tapping the start in the right corner. This will bookmark the page. Next time you want to visit that site, just click on its icon below the address bar (where you type in a website’s name), and OneLaunch will instantly take you to the website.
So … Do Brain Training Apps Work?
Can an app for brain exercise improve your memory? A quick search online would yield an endless number of brain games for adults, professing they can improve your memory and reverse the effects of aging. The truth is probably somewhere in there, as research and studies show conflicting results.
Regardless, a little exercise for the brain through games, puzzles and activities online – or on paper – can be good for you. Using your brain keeps it working and may, in fact, be effective in improving your brain function and memory.
Want more? Check out our recommendations for games like Wordle.