The internet is full of exciting and immersive games for all ages. Some are fun and easy to get, such as Solitaire and Pacman, while others like Bubble Shooter Extreme feature challenging rules. Titles that demand logic and deep concentration also abound. In what follows, we break down four of the most popular games that are proven to stimulate the mind and sharpen attention.
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Shortly after the hit Netflix TV series, The Queen’s Gambit, the popularity of chess skyrocketed. Set orders increased to 87% while millions of users visited sites like chess.com. Yet, this popular game has a centuries-old legacy. With roots in 6th-century India, it spread to the Middle East and Europe three centuries later. In the 21st century, the game is enjoyed regardless of age, gender, and culture. Easy to learn, yet difficult to master, chess can be played physically or online. According to a vast body of research, the game provides mental stimulation and might prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Those looking to not only sharpen their strategic thinking but also acquire new vocabulary should give Scrabble a try. In this word-based game, players use letter tiles to create intersecting words on a game board. Each letter has a point value, and players should aim to maximize their scores by strategically placing words and utilizing premium squares on the board. Originally named Criss Cross, the game, inspired by crossword puzzles and anagrams, was created by architect Alfred M. Butts in 1931. Renamed Scrabble, it was later rebranded and marketed by James Brunot in 1948 and first introduced to Great Britain in 1954. Today, the game is accessible online and has been linked to increased critical thinking skills and better vocabulary acquisition in students.
Sudoku has been dubbed as the Rubik’s Cube of the 21st century and for good reasons. Players must fill a 9×9 grid with numbers so that each row, each column, and each of the nine 3×3 subgrids contains all of the digits from 1 to 9. The puzzle starts with some numbers already filled in, and the challenge is to complete the grid using logic and deduction. A 2019 study found that adults who engage in games such as Sudoku are significantly better at solving tests and might have a brain function equivalent to 10 years younger than their age. However, researchers are still debating whether the game truly fosters cognitive function. Those interested in sharpening their focus and keeping their mind stimulated can try out the game on various online portals, from sudoku.com to the New York Times and more.
In December of 1913, the first-ever crossword puzzle was published on the “Fun” page of The New York World. For decades afterward, newspaper consumers would fill in the daily crossword: a puzzle that had to be completed with words or phrases based on provided clues, forming an interconnected pattern of words. Today, netizens can test their memory and knowledge with various crossword puzzles online. More than a fun pastime, these puzzles might help individuals with mild memory issues improve their condition, as suggested by a 2022 study.
In conclusion, online chess, Scrabble, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles are excellent for those looking to hone their logical and analytical skills, and potentially, boost their overall cognitive ability.