Many people today try to stay in shape. Keeping your body fit is good but you must take care of your brain too. Although physical exercise has been proven to improve the health of the heart and the brain, a mental workout can help you prevent memory loss and sharpen your mind.
Brain training is not a new thing. In the computer age brain training has moved from crosswords, sudoku puzzles and other types of puzzles in the newspapers to your smartphone, tablet or PC. This new software applications offer a bigger variety of mental activities and can allow you to improve different types of cognition.
Searching for the best brain training software can be a daunting task because there are so many of them. You want apps with a variety of games that challenge you and have progressive skill level. Brain training games are different from other types of games due to the fact that they are designed to help you improve cognition in practical ways. A good brain training software must have the ability to track your progress as you play, so you can see whether you're actually improving.
Popular brain training games
Lumosity (Android, IOS)
Lumosity tries to make you improve your core cognitive abilities which according to them are attention, pattern recognition, problem-solving and memory. The game uses shapes and patterns to help you train those skills. The math problems in the game focus on both accuracy of the results and fast decision making. The mental skills you exercise using Lumosity are supposed to help you in day to day situations to remember people's names or making faster decisions. One of the older brain-training apps Lumosity is frequently updated and has a large variety of games. The app lets you review your performance and compare it to other users.
Peak – Brain Training (Android, IOS)
Peak has an impressive look and its user interface has a good design regardless if you use it on Android or IOS. On the main menu when the application is started for the first time you can choose what areas of your cognitive skills you want to improve. You can select from language, problem solving, focus, mental agility, memory. Based on this selection the app presents you with games that help you make improvements in your area of interest. The app tracks your daily progress through its “brain maps” and you can compare your performance with other users and review your performance. The challenges are playful and fun and it doesn't feel like "training".
Elevate (Android, IOS)
Elevate is a little bit different than the two above. It tries to improve your communication skills by helping you speak better, testing your reading comprehension, writing skills and your listening abilities. The game is looking for grammatical errors and helps improve your vocabulary. Elevate games rely on text written or spoken and not so much on shapes and patterns. Its developers say they think of brain training as a way to improve concrete skills for everyday life.
Memorado - Brain Games (Android, IOS)
Memorado has a simple concept "use it or lose it". It present itself as "the leading gym for the mind". The application has a variety of games that can help maintain your mind sharpness. It trains you to remember new names, stay focused, understand the contexts faster, keep your cool under pressure, improve your reaction time and exercise your mental math skills.
Happify (Android, IOS)
If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better. Developing your emotional intelligence through quizzes, short mini-games, guided meditations and other fun activities this app will boost your "happiness skills" such as empathy, thankfulness and serenity.
Eidetic (Android, IOS)
Eidetic is an application developed by Steven Waterfall and its main focus is training your memory. If you want to memorize phone numbers, birthdays, bank details or other things you may find useful this app can help with that. Eidetic lets you write your own content and put it in an easy-to-use category system. Users can set the intensity of memory training and the app will notify them when it's time to practice.
Other applications for training your brain worth mentioning are NeuroNation (Android, IOS), Cognifit (Android, IOS), Fit Brains Trainer (Android, IOS). The apps on this list are free to play but they have subscription fees if you want more games or extended features.