Games have been a part of our learning process, especially in early childhood learning. It doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t stop there. There are games that, even to adults, still provide many opportunities to learn things and improve their mental capacity. While many play games to relax there is a good case for using them to make you better at thinking and decision making. So here’s a list of a few games that you can start playing if you’re not already to work on your mind.


You have probably already seen the article on business lessons from chess. I mean no offence to chess players when I include this sport among games. The virtues of this game go beyond a few business lessons. The thrill of having pieces that move in irregular fashions make the strategy more complicated than it would be in checkers or draft. Checkers is still a good game but chess is the next level. You have so many options as you can play on your phones against the computer or human opponents.


I love this game so much and honestly do not see why anyone would not. What’s not to love about a game that requires you to see both what is there and what is not there to figure out what should go where. While sudoku may seem like a numbers game it is actually a game about identifying patterns and figuring the answers through elimination and short term memory usage. The way each empty box is determined by the vertical line it is in, the horizontal line it is in and the box it is in reminds me a lot of economics classes. Sudoku is about being able to see the small picture, the big pictures and all the pictures at the same time.


There are many variations to crosswords out there but they all have the same concept which is to figure out a word based on a description and letter count. Save for the cryptic crossword which is something else altogether. Crosswords are all about figuring out words. This may not seem like something that is immediately useful but if you are a person who needs to express themself you will probably value them. There is also the element of matching up words using other words. If your diction in any way helps you in life then crosswords are a must.


Another game that is all about playing with words but in a different way, the target is a great game for your brain. See the target works on something called your creative intelligence. Creative intelligence. I will use the example that explained intelligence to me to illustrate. The question is posed “how many uses can you list for a brick”. Please humour me and allow yourself at least a minute to answer. Many people are lucky to come up with 5 but the very creative minds can list 20 or more and some of the uses leave you laughing. A target works your brain, in the same way, looking at the number of words you can churn out from the 9 letters given.

Rubik’s cube

Against better judgement, I have decided to include this game. It is an incredibly complex puzzle that is played in 3 dimensions and 6 surfaces of the cube. Word has it you have to be pretty smart to solve one. Once every few years I decide that this will be the year I solve one and I have not succeeded once as an adult. Not so sure about solving one being a measure of how smart you are but in my experience it will show that you are one determined person.

Honourable mentions to Minesweeper and poker both of which I absolutely love. There are some interesting games out there to test your mind and even apps that provide these games alone or many brain training games in one. I would advise you find a physical Rubik’s cube though.