6 Games That Give Your Mind a Workout

As early as childhood, we use games to learn about the world around us. Even animals play-fight and, by doing so, develop the skills necessary for hunting and defense. Games are there to help us with social interactions, basic math, and language skills, as well as dexterity and strength.

Now yes, most of the games are played just for fun; most gamers really turn to games for fun and entertainment. However, there are games that adults play that boost their cognitive abilities. Here are a few that will give your brain a workout.


Sudoku is a Japanese game with numbers. There are nine boxes with spaces for nine numbers each. Your job is to fill out the boxes. Sounds simple, until you realize that a number can’t be repeated inside the box, the column, or the line. It’s great for improving your memory and focus.


Believe it or not, nerds and senior citizens aren’t wasting time when they are doing crossword puzzles. They are exercising their mind in terms of common knowledge, pop culture, logic, and vocabulary. Even if you fail at first, and have to constantly look up answers, you are learning something new.


This is not a game that you will find in your newspapers, but rather an app with a collection of games, each designed to improve your language skills, memory, concentration, and multitasking. If you want to keep yourself motivated, you can follow your own progress, or compare yourself to other users. You can play the games from your browser, or on iOS.


Othello, or its variant Reversi, is a game for two players. There is a board with two white tiles and two black tiles. The point of the game is to place a new tile on the board and try to capture your opponent’s tiles by surrounding them. You can then flip the opponent’s tiles and make them your own. The game ends when there are no more moves left to play, and you tally the score. It has been said that Othello is a game that takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.


Chess is similar to Othello, in the sense that the moves are simple, but strategies go beyond convoluted. It’s a great game for learning how to see the big picture, instead of focusing only on what’s in front of you. These days you can even play chess for three, or 3D chess. Consider Shogi, as well.

Jigsaw Puzzles

This is not technically a game, but it does help with developing patience, concentration, and attention to details. We are not saying that you should stick to puzzles with 50 pieces that feature a kitten and a flower since that is for kids. For adults, there are versions with over 1000 pieces, as well as 3D jigsaw puzzles. However, it’s not the best solution for those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands.