Mind Games Pro: Android App Review
The Google Play store is filled with a variety of Brain & Puzzle games that promise to help you boost your memory and other cognitive skills. Whether they do or not is a question best left to research psychologists with too much time on their hands. The highly addictive properties of the games, on the other hand, is something that Android smartphone and tablet owners have been more than willing to look into on their own. Their conclusion: well, they never actually came to one because they couldn’t stop testing their memory, math skills, and vocab!
Mind Games designed by Mindware Consulting, Inc. just might be the best of the bunch. The App’s biggest selling points are probably its wide variety of engaging games; each supposedly testing a distinct mental skill. Packing a whopping 18 different games, puzzle enthusiasts are sure to find something that will leave them unable to put their Android devices down.
The top 5:
- Math Star – You have 3 minutes to perform as many simple calculations as possible, careful though, mistakes cost you.
- Vocabulary Star – Given a definition you have to reconstruct the correct word from 4 groups of scrambled letters.
- Mental Flex – You are presented with a prompt and a word and then have to choose between one of two colored shapes. The prompt tells you whether to select the shape based on the color of the following word or its meaning.
- Memory Span – Similar to the old school Simon game, you are presented with a number of selected items after which you must tap them in the order they were illuminated. Each time you are successful the number of items increases, make a mistake and you move on to a different group of images and play again.
- Abstraction – In another timed task words appear on your screen and you must decide if the word describes a concrete or abstract object or concept.
The Best of the Rest:
- Vocabulary Power – You get the definition and 4 choices, take your pick.
- Changing Directions – An arrow appears on the screen, choose up, down, left or right. Be careful though, the location of the choices switches throughout.
- Anticipation – Decided quickly whether an image matches the one preceding it. Pictures scroll from right to left allowing you to see what’s coming, thus the name.
- Speed Trivia – Similar to Vocabulary Star except you must unscramble words to answer trivia questions ranging from the simple to the head-scratching.
- Mental Categories – Dice, Cards, Cars, and People are your options as an image appears and you must quickly choose the correct category.
- Serial Memory
- Spatial Memory
- Visual Memory
- Word Memory
- Attention Training
- Face Memory
- Memory Racer
- Divided Attention
The Secret is in the Scores
While the variety of games should keep you from getting bored with Mind Games as quickly as you may with other puzzle games, the feature that will hook you and lead to sleepless nights and unproductive days at the office is its unique scoring system. As opposed to just earning millions of points or working towards a top score, you receive a percentile ranking and standardized score.
The percentile lets you know what percent of other players scored lower than you did, and the standardized score is similar to an IQ score. Score high enough and become a Mental Astronaut! The scoring system allows you to both compete against others as well as repeatedly try to top your own best score. (and yes the screenshots are of my actual game scores, think you can beat me, bring it on! Feel free to email or post comments with your highest scores!)
While earlier versions were a bit buggy, recent updates seem to have made the app more stable leading to very few crashes and smooth gameplay. The navigation is straightforward and the settings are simple to adjust. Also, while somewhat easier on the larger screen of tablets, the play quality suffers only marginally when on your phone. So download Mind Games with caution, because if you don’t shower, work, or leave the house for the next week, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- Summary: Fun, challenging, addictive, and full of options that should give it a long shelf life, Mind Games stands apart from similar brain & puzzle games.
- Price: Free – $2.99 for Pro version (no ads)
- Compatible with: Android Phones and Tablets running OS 2.3 or higher.
- Pros: Offers 18 games covering a wide range of mental skills. Scoring system allows you to match yourself up with your peers while constantly challenging you to best your own score.
- Cons: Somewhat heavy on memory games, though reportedly testing different types of memory, playing one after another can make them feel a bit repetitive.
- Verdict: 4.5/5