This is a collaborative post
One of the purposes of games is to have fun. But the most fun games are often those that make you think in some way. Yes, ethereal shooters requiring fast-twitch responses are fun, but it tends to be the more cognitive games that spark our collective imagination.
So which games make you think the most? And could they make you smarter? Let’s take a look.
Scrabble is a crossword game that rewards you for creating new words from available letters and the words already placed on the board. What’s great about Scrabble is that it forces you to expand your vocabulary. Playing it introduces you to hundreds of new words in the English language, allowing you to take them into your regular life and use them in situations to better express yourself.
Scrabble is particularly valuable for kids. Children can learn words that would never come up in the classroom or school playground but are still valuable to them in general life.
Sudoku is famous for being able to train your brain. The game requires you to insert numbers so that the sum of them is the same in all directions, starting with just a few clues.
Researchers believe sudoku is helpful for neuroplasticity. The game helps the brain adapt to more situations and makes it more flexible, allowing it to react better in other learning situations. It’s also something you can pick up and play without a computer. Paper versions are also available.
Perhaps the ultimate game that gets you thinking is the ancient Chinese game of Go. It involves two players placing down beads on a grid and attempting to take territory from the other player. The player with the most territory at the end of the match wins.
However, the game can evolve in trillions of directions and there are a near-infinite number of moves. In that sense, it is even more complicated than chess in which regular algorithms can still plan ahead and predict the final outcome of a board.
Again, you can play it on the computer or use a real-life set.
The Civilization series is another set of games that could potentially make you smarter. These require you to think strategically, similar to a regular leader and trade off various priorities to ultimately emerge victorious.
For example, at the start of the game, you always have a choice between building up your military and pursuing economic expansion. If you pursue economic expansion, you’ll have more science and gold later on, but you are vulnerable to enemy attacks in the present. Similarly, if you build up your military and focus all your resources on that, you’ll need to take other civilization’s territory or risk stagnating and becoming technologically irrelevant on your own.
However, the tradeoffs and strategy don’t end there. Geography can also play a role. Island civilizations have more protection and so can develop more peacefully, while those starting in the desert need to find fertile land and rivers quickly to avoid falling into obscurity. Civilizations also need to focus on their religion in later versions of the game, particularly in Civilization VI where only a limited number of players can become major religious powers.
You can usually find games like these on the best game torrenting sites. Older games are often available at a substantial discount from newer ones.
Doom Eternal might not be the first game that comes to mind when you are thinking about titles that make you think. However, the title does engage your brain.
The follow-up to ID Softwares 2016 Doom is perhaps the best shooter ever made because of its innovative combat cycle, music, and gameplay elements. It plunges you into the eerie demon-filled Martian landscape, demanding that you slay hordes of creatures that crawl out of the bowels of hell.
What makes it cerebral is the reaction times and hand-eye coordination it requires. You can’t be a slouch. Doom Eternal demands that you have eyes in the back of your head and think strategically about which power-ups and medi-packs you’re going to use on the battlefield. You have to conserve resources, make good weapon choices, launch grenades and freeze your enemies at just the right time to be victorious in the melee.
This game is excellent for anyone who loves to remain completely engaged in what they are doing. Doom forces you to get into a flow state or “be in the zone” to win. As such, it is great if you want to escape.