A brain that isn’t utilized much is bound to become dull over time. Just like your body, your mind needs stimulation too.
People work out in the gym to keep themselves fit. Similarly, the brain needs to exercise to maintain its shape. However, this type of working out doesn’t require dumbbells or treadmills. Instead, you need something that activates your brain’s cognitive processes.
Luckily, there are many puzzle games available out there. Playing these games is a surefire way of boosting your brain power. Think about it for a minute; isn’t it a win-win situation? Why do we play games, to begin with? Isn’t it to pass our time and have some fun?
By playing puzzle games on your smartphone, you are killing time on one hand and training your brain on the other. Below, we will present the best iPhone puzzle games to enhance your thinking capability.
A study shows that playing puzzle games can sharpen human brains and improve efficiency. Besides offering a solution to our boredom, they help our minds stay fit. While there are many iOS puzzle games, each claiming they help boost your thinking ability, not every game is effective.
That’s why we installed and played many of these games to test them ourselves. After careful assessment, we have compiled the best ones that exceeded our expectations. We hope they will elevate your brain’s capacity to an unprecedented level.
How Do Puzzle Games Sharpen Your Mind?
As we mentioned earlier, just like your body, your mind needs to exercise to maintain fitness. Puzzle games are an effective method of testing a person’s knowledge level.
Solving these puzzles demands a person’s thorough focus and evaluation of the problem as they challenge a person mentally and stimulate the brain, improving brain functions.
Besides improving visual and spatial reasoning, they boost your short-term memory by connecting existing brain cells and forming new ones.
Also, puzzle games give your mind a workout by exercising both the left and right sides of your brain. In case you were unaware, the left hemisphere of your brain controls logical and analytical thinking.
On the other hand, the right side controls your creativity. When trying to solve a puzzle game, you are engaging both sides at once. Hence, it leads to a good mental workout and, in turn, sharpens your brain.
How Do Puzzle Games Benefit Your Brain’s Thinking Ability?
Puzzle games serve as brain capacity enhancers for people of all ages. There are many remarkable advantages of playing these games that you would not want to miss. Here are some of those benefits:
#1. Improves Memory
Playing puzzle games helps strengthen the connection between our existing brain cells. Plus, they help form new ones too. Naturally, this boosts mental speed and improves our thinking capacity.
When you are solving a puzzle, you keep in mind certain things like shapes, sizes, etc., and visualize the bigger picture. As these games form new brain connections, they can enhance your short-term memory and alleviate brain damage in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
#2. Boosts Problem-Solving Ability
The ability to think critically and solve problems creatively are among the most sought-after skills in the professional world. Puzzle games are an excellent way of developing these skills.
Solving a puzzle requires lots of trial and error. Therefore, you take several different approaches until a specific one works.
Additionally, you also learn to make your hypotheses and alter your viewpoint when you face failure. Once you develop these skills, they will influence your professional life too. And consequentially, you will learn to think out of the box and gain more adaptability.
#3. Boosts IQ
Puzzles contribute to our memory improvements and enhance our reasoning ability. Therefore, they also help boost our Intelligence Quotient.
According to a researcher from the University of Michigan, if an adult plays puzzle games for 25 minutes daily, their IQ goes up by 4 points. g
#4. Enhances Visual-Spatial Reasoning Skills
When trying to solve a puzzle, your mind stays busy looking at different pieces and figuring out where to fit them. Doing this frequently contributes to the enhancement of your visual-spatial reasoning skills. Instead of having a narrow vision, these puzzles aid you in seeing the bigger picture.
Having better visual-spatial reasoning is useful while performing your day-to-day tasks too. These include parking your car, understanding the routes shown on a map, and so on.
Also, some professions, like engineers, surgeons, artists, etc., demand that you have great visual and spatial abilities. If you are in such a field, you will benefit from such mental calisthenics.
#5. Contributes to a Positive Mood
Our brains start producing more dopamine when we play puzzle games. For those who don’t know, dopamine is a chemical messenger between neurons responsible for giving you a feeling of reward and optimism.
Each time you succeed in solving a puzzle or even make a little progress, it triggers dopamine release. It improves your mood and motivates you to challenge yourself and push yourself harder.
#6. Increases Productivity
We concentrate better, and our works are more fruitful when we are happy. The absence of stress naturally makes us more productive.
If you ever feel that you are struggling to concentrate properly and cannot give it your best, try taking a short break and playing your favorite puzzle game. It would act as a reset button for your brain and help you start afresh.
It seems that many companies in the world have understood this fact. This is evident in the fact that they have introduced puzzles in their breakrooms. Such puzzles refresh the employees’ minds, making them more productive when they return from the break.
Now that you know how puzzle games sharpen your cognitive abilities and what their benefits are, let us list out some of the finest iOS puzzle games to try:
Cut the Rope
Cut the Rope is a free physics-based puzzle game that is so much fun to play. The game’s main character, a little monster named Om Nom, only wants to eat candies. Here, players must smartly cut the ropes causing the candies to sway, and collect all the stars before feeding Om Nom.
Cut the Rope involves collecting gold stars, discovering hidden rewards, and playing through 425 levels. Remember that players must collect a certain number of stars to complete each level.
So you have to think and carefully plan how to cut the ropes. The game has acquired a good reputation and received accolades like Apple Design Award, BAFTA Award, Best App Ever Award, etc.
As you keep progressing, the game will make it harder for players to succeed by introducing new challenges. These include bubbles that can take the candies away, spiders capable of stealing the candies, etc. Such elements force the players to go the extra mile to feed Om Nom, increasing their brain stimulation.
While all the levels of Cut the Rope are free to play, you can take its premium membership for additional features like no ads, a free daily bonus, a free starter pack with power-ups, etc.
Multiple subscription options are available starting at $4.99/week/month. Subscriptions will keep auto-renewing unless you manually stop it a day before the end of the current cycle.
Fun Escape Room: Logic Puzzles
Packed with over 500 levels of varying challenges, Fun Escape Room is a good way to test your brain capacity. In this game, players find themselves in different rooms they need to escape to enter the next room.
Each room has a unique task to offer. To escape, players need to solve challenging riddles and brain teasers. This game demand that you rely on your logical thinking and be observant.
The clues are right there but so well hidden that the inattentive ones will have difficulty finding them. While the game offers hints if you are struggling to proceed, it takes away the fun. That’s why it’s best to depend on your abilities to crack the code.
The game is free but comes with in-app purchases. These unlock various packs that make the gameplay more exciting.
Truly an out-of-the-box iOS game, Blackbox takes a new approach by requiring players to solve puzzles without touching their smartphone screen.
To win different levels of his single-player puzzle, players have to turn on the lights of the tiny, colorful boxes on their screen by tilting, screaming, shaking, etc.
While it may sound easy, it is challenging to do all these in the actual game. Blackbox is hard, and we mean it. But it pushes you to think more critically and put your wit to the test.
Also, the sonic interfaces of Blackbox enable even the visually impaired to enjoy this game. Interestingly, Blackbox is going through constant updates and frequently adding brand-new challenges.
Currently, Blackbox is free to play. But there are in-app purchases like Tiny Hint Pack, Erudite Pack, Basic Pack, All Knowing Pack, etc.
Where’s My Water? 2
A sequel to one of the most interesting and addictive physics-based puzzle games from Disney, Where’s My Water? 2 increases the fun manifold.
This sequel brings three new locations – the Sewer, the Soap Factory, and the Beach. There are over 100 levels to play through, with the gator universe undergoing a look update.
The game follows the adventures of three gators, Swampy, Allie, and Cranky, as they try to take a bath. Players must cut through dirt, open switches, and dodge various hurdles to ensure the water reaches the sewers.
Each level also has three ducks that players have to collect. Besides that, bonus levels will sometimes unlock after finishing a level.
These levels will have their unique rules that players must follow to win. Needless to say, the game stresses the use of cognitive flexibility and planning, making it a piece of good mental workout equipment.
The newest addition to the ‘Where’s My Water?’ franchise also allows players to replay their favorite levels by introducing ‘Challenge Modes.’ While it’s a free game, there are in-app purchases for additional benefits.
Build a Bridge!
If you have always wanted to be an engineer, now is your chance. Build a Bridge! assigns you this role as you build bridges for cars, trucks, monster trucks, etc.
This physics-based puzzle game has 86 different levels with detailed, interactive settings. Choose the best materials (metal, wood, etc.) to build your bridge, and then test it out by letting a car pass through.
Interestingly, the game starts in 2D during the planning and construction phases, while the testing phase is in 3D. It leaves a lot of room for experimentation too. So, never hesitate to think of something off-the-wall.
The game is free to download but ad-supported. If you don’t want ads, you can opt for in-app purchases that, besides eliminating ads, unlock many other cool features.
Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles
Are mind-bending brain teasers your thing? If yes, try Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles. This tricky puzzle pushes your brain to its limits and boosts your IQ.
Take these trivia quizzes and solve problems. Moreover, you can play it offline. So, it’s a great way to kill time and exercise your brain, even in places without internet connectivity.
Although it’s a free game, you can subscribe to its VIP Package, which will auto-renew every week after a 3-day free trial. Buying this package unlocks several cool features like no ads, instant 100 lamps, etc.
Good Sudoku by Zach Gage
Sudoku lovers, assemble! Good Sudoku is Sudoku for the new generation. Whether you are a novice or a pro, you are bound to love it. With 70,000+ intricate puzzles and AI-powered hints, Good Sudoku makes Sudoku-playing a more fun experience.
There are three game modes, five difficulty levels, and three daily puzzle modes that become tougher over the week. Using Custom Mode, you can also import your favorite puzzles from other places and share them with your buddies.
Good Sudoku is free to play. But there is a paid option, too, unlocking color schemes, stats, and several other cool features.
While at first, this little puzzle may seem nothing special, Threes! will grow on you. Threes! requires players to swipe and combine a blue-colored (1) and a red-colored (2) tile to make a ‘3.’ Two ‘3’ tiles create a ‘6.’
This goes on until there are no remaining moves on the grid, after which the game counts your tiles for a final score. Every tile in the game shows a distinctive character and design that becomes increasingly intricate as the player progresses.
Threes! is available on the App Store at $5.99. Remember that this is a one-time purchase. So, you won’t have to pay anything more in the future.
Brain It On!
Brain It On! is a brain-busting, physics-based puzzle game that offers dozens of challenging puzzles. Players have to draw shapes to solve the puzzles.
What is fun about Brain It On! is that it has more than one way of solving each puzzle. Thus, it’s up to you to utilize all your brain power and find the best possible solution.
The game lets you share your unique solution with your buddies and compare it with theirs. Also, you can challenge your buddies to become the Brain It On! champion.
At present, players can play this game for free by earning stars in a level and unlocking the next one. However, a paid option comes with amazing features, such as no ads, all hints unlocked, early access to levels, a level editor, etc.
Project VOID – Mystery Puzzles
If you love mysteries, you will adore Project VOID – Mystery Puzzles, an Alternate reality game (ARG) blending fiction and reality. The game’s puzzles, riddles, cryptograms, and everything else oozes mystery.
Players must use every accessible resource to its fullest and think critically to solve 30 unique puzzles across five missions. These missions range from murder mysteries to fringe science. Project VOID demands that you give utmost attention to detail and analyze every clue.
You can download this game from the App Store for free. But you can make in-app purchases to support the developer and remove ads.
As you can see, puzzle games can effectively sweep the dust off your brain and boost its power. This article lists the iPhone puzzle games to enhance your thinking capability.
While all of the games mentioned above test your brain and improve your thinking capacity, you should go for games like Cut the Rope, Build a Bridge, and Where’s My Water? 2 if you want to experience a fun-filled yet challenging experience.
Games like Fun Escape Rooms and Brain it On are also great but on the slightly easier side. However, Project Void is our choice if you want a challenging and brain-teasing experience that forces you to think out of the box.
So, what’s stopping you now? Download them today and give your mind the right workout it deserves. Happy gaming!