Brain health has become an important topic of discussion in recent years as research has indicated that healthy mental activity is essential for overall physical and emotional health. The good news is that maintaining healthy brain activity can be easily achieved with specialised brain games. All it takes is a few minutes of gameplay to feel the benefits, and with a little bit of guidance, you can find the perfect brain training game to help improve your mind’s health.
Types of brain games
Brain games come in a variety of types, each of which is designed to engage a specific part of the brain and maximise mental stimulation. Here are some common types of brain games that you can consider for regular brain training:
- Memory games. Memory games are the most popular form of brain training, as they exercise the brain’s ability to store and recall information. These types of games challenge players to remember a sequence, a series of words, or images shown on the screen. Examples of memory games include word-matching and spot-the-difference puzzles.
- Focus and attention games. Focus and attention games force the mind to stay alert and concentrate on the task at hand. These games usually feature mini-tasks, such as drawing a specific shape or following instructions to a specific level. Some popular concentration games are Simon Says and Family Line.
- Problem-solving games. Problem-solving games primarily involve critical thinking and analytical skills. These games require players to think strategically, find various solutions to problems, and learn from mistakes. Such games, including the hearts card game, can be found in the jigsaw and card game categories.
- Logic and reasoning games. Logic and reasoning games test the player’s ability to discern patterns and make logically sound decisions. They also require players to think outside the box and problem-solve. Some popular logic and reasoning games are Sudoku and Mahjong.
- Cognitive training games. Cognitive training games are designed to improve the brain’s reaction time, flexibility, and processing speed. These games usually involve matching a sound or a symbol with another sound or symbol. The goal is to see how quickly the brain can process the information and make the link.
Popular brain games
There are many brain games that you can use to get your daily dose of mental stimulation. Here are some popular brain training games to consider:
- Lumosity. Lumosity is a series of games designed to challenge the brain. It is based on principles of cognitive science to create personalised and adaptive games that adjust to your brain’s responses. The games focus on improving memory, attention, problem-solving, processing speed, and reasoning.
- Brain Age. Brain Age, also known as Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, is a video game that combines activities such as math, reading, and writing with puzzles to challenge the brain. It was designed by Dr Ryuta Kawashima, a renowned neurologist, in order to improve mental agility.
- Professor Layton. The Professor Layton video game series includes a selection of puzzle, logic, and brain teaser games. The overall aim of the games is for players to solve mysteries and puzzles that require logical deduction, reasoning, attention to detail, and other skills.
- Brain Fitness. Brain Fitness is designed to work on a variety of areas in the brain, such as reasoning, language, visual and spatial memory, executive functions (problem-solving, abstract reasoning, and planning), and overall cognitive ability. The games also feature engaging visuals and stories.
Tips for brain training
Psychologists believe that engaging in pastime activities such as brain games on a regular basis is helpful for maintaining mental sharpness. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your time:
- Regularity. The smartest way to benefit from brain games is to set a regular schedule and aim to do regular training sessions. Start with 10–15 minutes a day and gradually increase the time you spend on brain games.
- Variety. Change up the type of game you are playing. Doing the same game over and over again would be no better than regular exercise; the body has to be challenged and put under enough strain in order for it to grow.
- Short sessions. Training for mental acuity does not need to be a long, drawn-out activity. In fact, psychologists say that shorter, more intense sessions are more effective than longer sessions. The trick is to keep the games challenging and brief yet intense.
Brain games can provide numerous benefits, ranging from improved memory and problem-solving skills, to enhanced focus and attention. It all comes down to choosing the right brain game that works and is fun to play. With a little bit of practice, you will find that any of the games mentioned above, along with a game localization service, can be effective in helping improve your mind’s health.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.