When we think about playing games, learning a new skill doesn’t always spring to mind.
Yet, if the lockdown has taught us one thing, it was to make the most of what we have. It presented a golden opportunity where we got enough time to keep our minds razor-sharp.
And quizzes, puzzles, and other online games can help our brains “workout” and make it sharp. Yes, just bodily workouts are not enough; your brain must exercise too to improve its efficiency.
Although restrictions have now eased, there’s no reason why we should stop playing online games to hone our brains. They’re entertaining, can be played by any age group, and, best of all, they’re usually free.
That said, let’s talk about some of the best online brain games to help you improve your brain’s capacity, memory, focus, and enjoy its long-term benefits in your life.
Why Online Games?
There are plenty of positives to online gaming. Most notably, they often present an opportunity to increase personal wellness and productivity and can be played wherever you are and whenever you want. Not to mention, they lift our mood and help us unwind, no matter what’s our age.
Also, just like physical exercises keep our bodies strong, brain games, including online ones, can potentially sharpen our memories and keep our brains healthy and active. This is especially true for games involving critical thinking and problem-solving.
So, let’s explore the top 10 online games to hone your mental power.
Nintendo Brain Age
This is a puzzle video game inspired by the research of a notable Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Kawashima. His studies assessed the impact of performing some mathematical exercises and reading on brain stimulation. The game was devised to energize and improve memory and concentration skills.
The advantage of Nintendo Brain Age is that you can choose the games to play, so there’s tons of variety here. Nintendo suggests playing one or more of the eight main kinds of games for around five minutes a day for the best results.
However, to ensure you don’t over-train your brain in just one area, you’re only permitted to play each of the below once a day; that way, your brain gets an all-over workout! The eight games are:
Now, suppose you want to rest your brain after playing any of the above games. In that case, the game also includes a relaxation mode where you can match colors and music. You can also interact and compete with other players.
This review wouldn’t be complete without referencing a few of the classics, of which Sudoku is one of the undisputed kings. It’s an excellent brain teaser to help improve focus, concentration, and logic skills.
For beginners, Sudoku is a logic-based game, where you place numbers from 1-9 only once in each box, line, or column inside a 9×9 grid.
There are tons of options here. You can either play it via a web browser or from one of the many Sudoku apps found in the Google Play and Apple Store. With this particular Sudoku, you have access to 5,000+ Sudoku brain puzzles across different difficulty levels.
You can also access player tips if you’ve never played it before and are intimidated by the idea of playing a numerical game. However, if playing with numbers is a daunting prospect, imagine the numbers were replaced by letters or symbols. Now, you’ll soon see that it’s not a numbers game; instead, it’s a game that promotes logic and powers of deduction.
Another gem in the world of online gaming is Solitaire. This 52-card game is also sometimes known as “patience” or “cable” and is both a relaxing and stimulating pastime that you can play alone for hours.
Here’s what happens: The pack of cards is shuffled, and cards are distributed face down into seven columns. The first column on the left-hand side has one card, and each subsequent column is dealt with an additional card. This is called a tableau. Next, the last card in each pile is turned over facing up.
Players draw and play the remaining cards from a stockpile and put unused cards in a waste pile. Once all the cards are turned over, the cards that haven’t been moved to the tableau or foundation can be redrawn from the stockpile in the same order.
The objective here is to transfer all the cards from their starting positions to four foundations in running order and suit. You can play over 500 versions of free, online solitaire games, including Spider on Solitaired.com. Fear not; the website is also mobile-friendly, so you can play while you’re on the go too!
Solitaired.com provides helpful explanations of the game’s rules and a brief outline of how to play. In addition, they include video clips with tips and strategies to help you play the game more effectively.
Not to mention, you can restart current games, undo actions, do a random card shuffle, and select only winnable games. You can also choose from differing difficulty levels with Turn 1 and Turn 3 card options and test yourself by timing how many moves it takes you to win a game and how long.
Brain it On!
This game is available via web browsers or Android and iOS apps. This Canadian-developed physics puzzle game offers different types of brain-busting challenges and puzzles that you can play and compete with your friends.
According to the Brain it On! website, new puzzles are being added all the time, and there are different ways to solve each puzzle. Brain it On! asks you to solve different puzzles by drawing on your screen to create various objects.
Its purpose is to encourage you to think outside the box and create shapes through trial and error to solve the problem. You’re timed as you play, and you can earn up to three stars as you complete each level, depending on how long the puzzle took you to solve and how many moves you made.
In common with all our suggested online games to sharpen your mental skills, Brain it On! is also free to play and download.
Here you have access to 60+ brain training games designed to improve your memory, attention span, flexibility, problem-solving, processing speed. All games can be adapted to your skill level and age, and the games adjust to your real-time performance.
So, as you improve, the games become more challenging. Also, as you play, Lumosity interprets your game scores and offers comments and insights into your cognitive skills. That way, you learn how to improve your brain skills while still having fun. It’s cool, right?
Luminosity also includes verbal, math, and mindfulness training. You can complete daily exercises and track your progress. It can also be played through your web browser or via an app downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.
However, Luminosity isn’t free. Accessing all 58 games will cost you $59.95 a year or $299.95 for a lifetime subscription.
The app combines technology, neuroscience, and, most importantly, fun to provide games across six categories to help you improve your memory, attention span, problem-solving, language skills, mental agility, and more.
You receive feedback after each game, and you can either play it alone or with friends. In addition, you can track your progress by receiving insights and statistics and comparing how you fare against other players of your age and profession.
There’s also a free version where you receive a few random games a day and basic insights, but you can only play one game a day. Whereas the paid-for version gives you access to six daily games and costs $35.09 per year.
Chess is a wonderful game that helps players develop foresight, sportsmanship, and perseverance. It can sharpen thinking skills and help young ones understand mathematical concepts more deeply.
In addition, chess can help improve cognitive skills, attention span, memory capacity, problem-solving, logical thinking, and it comes with other related benefits.
You see, chess involves all the goodies to improve your mental skills, which explains its worldwide popularity. Chess.com is an excellent site you can hop into and play it online. Hundreds and thousands of players play online on this website due to its awesome offerings.
You have two options – play the games online with a person or play with customizable training bots. They have a wide number of games to choose from, including different types of chess, puzzles, chess for kids, and other variants.
Over 20 million people have joined Chess.com for many reasons. You can play FREE in its incredibly fast browser interface without Flash or download requirements. You can also take up the Diamond Membership for $100/year to enjoy it more.
But if you don’t know how to play chess, they also help you learn it with training tools having 1500+ videos, 50k+ puzzles, articles, and more. Chess.com also offers advanced opening theory, exclusive interviews, in-depth analysis of best tournaments, analysis for member games using the leading chess engine – Stockfish.
Designed for Apple users, Brainwell is a cool app that you can install and play 50+ brain games daily. It includes puzzles, teasers, memory games, mind tests, and more. These games will help you improve your memory, attention span, focus, and IQ.
Brainwell has over 1 million downloads and is loved by adults and kids alike. It can train problem-solving, attention, visual skills, and language. Here, you can face challenging exercises to sharpen your mind using games designed with neuroscience knowledge.
Furthermore, Brainwell offers a performance tracking feature that gives you a Brain Factor score to help you measure your daily performance with tests and quizzes. You can even connect it with your social profiles and share the scores, challenge others, compare scores, and analyze your rank after each game.
You can play it for free, which includes 3 games/day. Upgrade it to become a subscriber and access all the 50+ games, and explore the benefits. The app works on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so you can challenge your brain anytime, anywhere.
Play awesome games online with Brainturk, which is available on all devices where you want to play it on your mobile or computer with any operating system. It provides 40+ games and meditation techniques based on neuroplasticity principles.
The games help you improve attention span, language skills, focus, short and long-term cognitive memory and offer tools to address psychological barriers restricting your brain. Just give them your 5 minutes daily and see how your brain capacity improves.
In fact, these games are used by clinics and neuropsychological researchers. Brainturk’s games are engaging and fun to help you strengthen your brain muscles and speed memory, focus, and stimulate your brain.
They have included 40+ games such as Complex Working Memory, Flanker task, Dual N-Back, Corsi block, Stroop task, picture back, Tower of London, tracking objects, revised space fortress, math games, etc. So, explore these and sharpen your brain and benefit in both your personal and professional lives.
BrainGymmer works like a gym where you can exercise your mind and make it sharp and flexible to face challenges and solve them smartly. Played by 300k+ users, this online game site turns science into fun by working with neuroscientists and creating challenging yet fun games to feed your brain.
Just spare 10 minutes daily to keep your mind in shape and see the improvements in your daily cognitive skills such as concentration, face recognition, short-term memory, and mathematics. These games are easy to learn and include a quick tutorial with step-by-step instructions.
For each game, there is some score calculated based on the difficulty level. The score is based on accuracy and speed of solving exercises. BrainGymmer has games to train all the major five spheres of your cognitive skills – memory, thinking speed, attention, logical reasoning, and perception. These games are formed based on proven psychological tests and tasks.
BrainGymmer doesn’t need you to download the game; just play it on your browser. It supports a browser, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. In addition, you can also play games on both mobiles and computers.
We hope the above online games help you sharpen your mental skills. You have both free and paid options available; so, start with the free ones and gradually move to the paid ones to unlock more options and let your brain be stronger and sharper.