How many times did your mum tell you that playing on the computer would turn your brain to mush? How many times have you listened to yourself commenting on how the youth of today are all becoming zombies that do nothing but stare at their phones? The answer to both of those questions is probably quite a few times! However, there are some mobile app providers that are seriously turning the tables, by producing apps that are not only fun, but will also actually sharpen up your brain – here are our favourites to download this year.
Learn Chess with Chess.com
Another game as old as time is chess and no, it’s not just for old people to enjoy! Chess is popular the world over, but has had a bit of a bad rap as being a game for a) old people and b) nerds. Now whilst there’s nothing wrong with being a nerd, or indeed an old person, that label has stopped chess from garnering the supporters that it deserves. Chess has been proven to be excellent for our brain function as it encourages us to use both the left and right hemispheres of our brain. Scientists claim that regular practice can improve our brain age by 14 years, so all those 80 year olds you see playing in the park are out there with the brain of someone who’s only just retiring! There are literally hundreds of chess apps that you can download, but the most popular is simply called Chess.com. This app is super simple to use, but has some pretty cool options for themed boards and chess pieces as well as thousands of lessons which will help you improve your strategy.
PokerStars for Mobile
Cards are one of the oldest games out there, so if anybody makes a comment about you spending too long on this game, then they’ve got the Ancient Chinese to answer to. Anyway, there’s nothing quite like pondering over a game of cards for a while, it really does help to get your brain in gear. Online poker is always a good choice to get your grey matter moving and with the new Zoom feature that PokerStars have recently introduced, you can kick that brain training up a gear. Zoom allows you to skip through games much more quickly, meaning that there’s less time spent idling and more time working out your next killer move. Improving your quick thinking is not only going to get you further up the poker leaderboard, but it could also improve your decision making ability in your day to day life. Sounds like a win-win to us.
Straight Up Brain Training with Lumosity
Now usually brain training apps don’t correlate perfectly with gaming apps, but in the case of Lumosity they really do. Whilst the entire aim for this app is to boost brain function, it does so in such an enjoyable way that it absolutely earns it’s place on the list. Brain training games have been around almost since the advent of the original Gameboy, but in recent years they have become a lot more advanced. Lumosity are certainly the leaders in the field and, whilst this app is best to use as a premium subscriber, you can still play for free.
When you sign up to the game you’ll be asked to complete a brain fitness test, which works out a score for your brain on various different attributes, including memory, speed and attention. Competitive people will enjoy seeing how their brain stacks up against others from the same age group. Once you’ve had your brain scores ascertained, a personalised training programme will be suggested for you. Each workout involves playing three mini games, which are every bit as amusing as a standard format app would be. If genuinely getting the best out of your brain is your aim for your next app download, then Lumosity has got to be the one that offers the best all-around workout for that big old muscle!