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Five free apps to challenge your brain

Exercise isn’t just for your quads and biceps – why not flex the muscle between your ears? 

While there isn’t concrete evidence that brain training apps have a significant effect on your cognitive abilities, it can still be fun to challenge yourself and see if you can improve your skills.

Word game apps in various forms are a lot of fun and can help improve your vocabulary and your lateral thinking abilities.

Here are some that you can download and play while you’re in transit or winding down in the evening.  

Words with Friends 

Image Courtesy: Words with Friends on the Google Play store

Scrabble has never been so addictive! You can play Words with Friends against yourself, your mates, or random people around the world, following what are mostly the rules of the original family favourite, albeit with a few changes.

Words with Friends is one of the most popular mobile word games out there, and is available in a number of languages.

It tracks your performance, can help you expand your vocabulary (yes ZOIC is a word) and will let you chat with your friends while you play.

You can play Words with Friends on a phone, tablet, or computer and choose a free version with ads or pay to upgrade and play free of distractions.

Download for iPhone and iPad

Download for Android

Play online via Facebook


Image Courtesy: Elevate on the Google Play store

Want to be able to think and process information ‘more faster’?

Elevate could help to improve your reading, writing, listening, speaking and maths skills.

It claims to be supported by research, with games that are developed by scientific researchers.

You can choose to try and improve your ability to focus, enhance your writing abilities, calculate more quickly and precisely, and to get better at retaining information.

It then subjects you to a test and tells you what level you’re starting at in terms of writing, listening, speaking, reading and maths.

The free version of Elevate lets you get started with daily training sessions that promise, for starters, to “concisely articulate your thoughts by avoiding redundancy in communication.”

The app’s graphics are appealing and the games are unavoidably addictive.

Download for iPhone and iPad

Download for Android

WordStreak With Friends

Image Courtesy: WordStreak with Friends on the Google Play store

Be careful – this game is seriously addictive!

From the same creators of Words with Friends, the challenge here is to find as many words as you can by connecting a random box of letters in the given time.

You could find your heart racing as you seek out the best possible words for maximum points.

The app rewards you with ‘trophies’ to boost your self-esteem and keeps track of your highest score.

Download for iPhone and iPad

Download for Android

4 Pics, 1 Word 

Image Courtesy: 4 Pics, 1 Word on the Google Play store

The idea is simple – four different images represent the same word and you have to guess the word from a selection of letters.

It starts off easy – words like GREEN and SPORT, but it’s only a matter of time until you could find yourself stumped.

The interesting thing about 4 Pics 1 Word is that an easy answer for one person may take a while for someone else to figure out, and vice versa.

If you get desperate, you can use the app to ask your friends or pay for the answer – but nobody would ever admit to doing that!

Download for iPhone and iPad

Download for Android


Image Courtesy: Lumosity on the Google Play store

This is one of the most popular platforms for people who enjoy brain teasers and want to ‘get smart’.

Available online and via downloadable apps, Lumosity’s games could help to improve your speed, memory, attention and problem solving abilities.

You can play for free or upgrade to access more of Lumosity’s fun and challenging games.

Lumosity has over fifty games that evolve as you get faster at completing the word, mathematical and visual puzzles. 

Download for iPhone and iPad

Download for Android

Visit the website

Who says games are just for kids?

All these apps will help keep you entertained and kill time… they might even make you feel a little bit smarter!

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