With the latest release of the iPhone 7, our mobile phones and other gadgets are becoming more and more sophisticated. Some have argued that our digital lifestyle is creating a community that is disconnected from each other – we may have hundreds of Facebook friends but nobody to hang out with. However, there is no doubt that the technology that surrounds us has clear, beneficial uses. Pne of them is its capacity to improve our brain power and mental skills. With this in mind, we chose seven of the best apps to improve your brain spec, making sure there’s one to suit every type of learner.
- Peak – Android/ iOS (Free with in-app purchases)
Peak has a very impressive collection of mini-games designed to challenge your brain. They are over 30 in total, meaning that your daily play doesn’t become repetitive. The games cover areas such as language, mental agility, memory and attention. It’s a very polished looking app and the free version gives you plenty to do. However, the £3.99 subscription option (paid monthly) allows you to play all of the games as many times as you like and it also personalizes your daily cerebral workouts. You’ll also get far more stats to track how your progressing.
This is a good all-rounder and does what it sets out to achieve – train your brain. It was chosen as the Best App 2014 in over 24 countries, so lots of users will attest to that. The one limitation is if you want full functionality you have to pay a monthly subscription for it, so it all depends how much you love your brain and how much this app covers your needs.
2.PokerStars App – Android/ iOS (Free)
Not all brain training needs to be focused on the latest, most inventive brain puzzles. Classic games have become classics for a reason, and although your mind may instantly jump to chess, there are more classics to help you train your brain. Poker has been proved to be a mentally challenging game, as it requires you to use mathematics, critical thinking, judgment, observational skills and more. Plus, It’s one of the world’s most popular games, with over 100 million players worldwide. The PokerStars mobile app allows you to take your poker play on the move, meaning you can be training your brain and enjoying a game of cards, wherever you are.
If you’re looking for a traditional brain training app, then this might not show you the statistical improvements that you’re after. However, you will be able to see how your game play improves over time. If you want to keep your brain active, without feeling like you are committing to a “workout”, then this might be a more suitable app for you.
3.Minecraft – Android/ iOS (£4.99)
Now, you might not think that a traditional computer game can help to improve your game, however there have been several recent articles written which suggest that Minecraft is a great tool for learning. If you’re not familiar with the game, Minecraft is a sandbox game where users create their own world and gameplay by building blocks and digging for resources. The beauty of Minecraft is that it encourages creativity and isn’t set by strict gameplay rules – the very definition of a sandbox game.
Released in 2009, Minecraft is now one of the most popular games in the world with over 24,334,555 units sold. You can always play on your computer or console, but there is now also a pocket addition for your phone or tablet. Minecraft is often describe as the game with no rules, so if you need structure this might not be the route for you. However, if you want to develop your imagination in a creative environment, then Minecraft might be your new favorite game to both entertain you and improve your intellect.
4. Nightgate – Android/ iOS (£2.99)
Nightgate is hot off the press, released in August, and it’s already receiving some great attention from app fans and tech publications. If you are a fan of the hit series Stranger Things, then this game is going to tick your design buttons for sure. Visually this app is stunning and it has a great soundtrack. In the game you have to activate various nodes to navigate a computer network – essentially it is a puzzle based app, where you have to complete levels that increase in their difficulty. If you’re looking to improve problem solving and concentration then puzzle games like this can help train your brain in those areas.
The one major downfall, right now, is that as of now there are only 50 levels. Once you complete them there are no buy-ins or add-ons. However, this is still a very new app and, we anticipate that this will change soon.
5. chess.com – Android/ iOS (Free)
Chess is one of the oldest games played today. It’s history can be traced back almost 1500 years, however nobody is certain where it originated from. What we do know is that it is very good for training your brain. It helps improve your problem solving abilities, critical thinking, math skills, preserves mental acuity and can even help with verbal communication.
There are many chess apps out there for you to choose from, however the most popular app is from chess.com. Beyond playing chess with an opponent or the app you can also read chess articles, make friends, watch video lessons, and there are also over 50,000 tactical puzzles to try. One drawback? Chess can be pretty hard to master, so if you don’t feel like committing yourself to learning a new game, then this might not be the brain challenge for you.
6.Elevate – Android/ iOS (Free with in-app purchases)
Going back to a more traditional brain training app, you have Elevate. This is pretty much in direct competition with Peak, and works in a very similar way. Like Peak, it is visually very clean, it’s simple to use and has a good number of mini-games. The app works on focus, memory, math and comprehension.
Like Peak, there is also a Pro subscription, but we have to admit that the level seems to be a little lower than Peak. You get access to more games and better stats, but it’s just up to you if you’re willing to pay for this. Between Elevate and Peak there really isn’t much in it, it will just be which one you get on best with.
7.Cognito – iOS (Free with in-app purchases)
Cognito is a brain training app, but it also incorporates a gaming element where you get to go on global spying missions as a secret agent. Although it has a story, this is a still a serious brain training app where you improve skills in logic, verbal communication, memory and more. It will also track your stats and show how you are improving.
The story actually helps you commit to it, rather than view it as a bit of a repetitive task, and many users will certainly appreciate it. An extra bonus to this app is that it can also pull in data from Apple’s Health app to demonstrate how your mental agility can be affected by exercise and sleep.
Whichever route you take, there are many apps on the market that can keep your brain in good health. Don’t forget that it’s also important to get plenty of exercise, follow a good diet and get lots of rest. Simply relying on a brain training app isn’t going to cut it, but it can definitely help!