Monday, November 21, 2011

Brain-Enhancing Games to Preserve Youth

Apple’s iPad is a gift from heaven, because it not only replaces the laptop for simple-to-do tasks, but also gives fun and entertainment through its wide selection of games.

While most of the games use our brain power to strategize the feat, some games are really built to train our minds. So instead of playing non-sense games, here are five addicting iPad apps that can keep our minds sharp as a tack.

Words With Friends or Scrabble
If you love puzzle-based games with words as the main meat of the dish, these two games are sure hit for you. It uses ones stock of vocabulary and creativity to form words thru trial and error in order to win the game. Both apps challenge your brain to produce words and at the same time find the most high-scoring spot to put the letters into.

The original and ever-popular word search game is also in the iPad. What sets the difference of this game to Scrabble and Words With Friends is its countdown feature, which adds to the pressure of getting the most number of words in such a short time.

You can either play by yourself or challenge your friends to boggle with you. At the end of the game, you can then select from the list of words played and get the definitions from the built in dictionary lookup capability.

From the name itself, this is a game of word association. You have to figure which words or phrases are associated to each other given a general theme. This app really stirs the mind. It makes you think about things you have probably learned in elementary or the experience you had in a particular situation. Everything can be an answer to that next blank.

The Magic Egg
Remember the childhood days when you were asked to shoot stars, triangles, squares, etc. into a cube with holes? This game is almost like that, but a bit different. You need to solve tangrams by using several flat shapes to put together in order to form a specific figure.

Brain Challenge
If only real-life education could be as fun as this brain trainer, everyone would have enjoyable time learning. This app is a complete brain training program that covers all aspects of the brain – math, visuals, logic, memory, and focus – with the help of a virtual coach. The app is capable of tracking and monitoring your training progress with detailed stat charts.

Remember that the brain is the most powerful tool we have, so let’s fight its boredom and laziness by training it as often as we can. Just like our bodies, our brains need exercise to stay in shape. Maintaining it simply involves completing small exercises without pain, stress, and boredom. That’s why we need these games as vitamin boosts for our brains in order to keep it alert.

With the iPad very portable and handy, we can use these games to engage in fun brain exercises whenever and wherever we want to. Enjoy!

Can you recommend other brain teaser apps?

This article is my 40th contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of the Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on October 24, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.


I don't know if it's available in the iPad, but I'm pretty sure it is. I love playing Chess on my phone. It's also very mind-stimulating and it requires concentration and skill. The AI is hard to beat though. 

Oh yes, definitely there are Chess apps too. :) Thanks!

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