Time and time again, I've heard arguments about how smartphones make for dumb people. In other words, our continuous reliance on our smartphones have made us mentally lazy. We no longer need to remember addresses and phone numbers. Keeping tabs on appointments is as simple as a reminder and there's no longer a need to worry about forgetting birthdays and anniversaries. Your mobile browser is your source of information, useful or otherwise, so your brain can be emptied of interesting facts.
On the other hand, not having to keep track of so much has been said to free our minds for more important things. We are free to create, innovate and dream. No matter which path your cranium may take, you should make sure you give it a workout once in a while. Since your BlackBerry smartphone, and the BlackBerry PlayBook, have taken so much away from your mind, it's only fair that they give something back, as well. Let's take a look at the Top 10 Brain Teaser Apps and Games for both the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry smartphones.
Twinoo the brain train
Choo choo! Oh wait, that's the wrong type of train. This game is available for both your smartphone and tablet. Both hemispheres of your grey matter can be challenged by Twinoo, as it provides mathematical equations to solve and colour mixing puzzles to figure out. With each question, a "timer bar" is shown above that will push you to solve the problem as quickly as possible. If you miss 3 questions, or answer them incorrectly 3 times, it's game over. Doesn't sound too hard does it? Well, I forgot to mention that you have to answer both types of questions simultaneously, mwa-ha! Math on the left, colours on the right; try not to focus on one side for too long or you'll lose the game. It may seem simple, but with the added stress, it really challenges you.
Brain Driver for the BlackBerry PlayBook is a method of putting you and your brain, in the state of mind you both want to be. It does so by playing a series of tones to place you in a particular state of consciousness. According to the description, the states of consciousness are Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta.
"Alpha brainwave activity is linked to good relationships and feeling connected. Beta is associated with problem solving and moving forward. Theta brainwaves suggest a mind engaged in future planning or other imaginative processes. Delta is associated with sleep and regeneration that comes with a good nights rest."
When selecting which state you want to achieve, the application will give you details about each of them, such as what you should experience and what age you may experience a reduction of a particular state. Controls are pretty simple; you are essentially limited to volume control and play/pause.
Mobile Brain Trainer Plus
This application makes sure you don't forget the day to day basic problems that we tend to forget oh so easily. Mobile Brain Trainer Plus helps you work on your ability to handle basic calculations, your memory and your ability to reason more quickly. With eye catching graphics, you need to solve the puzzles at hand. They may seem so simple to look at, but you have to make sure that you think your answers through. The application also helps you keep track of your progress, so you can see if you are improving on that, which we may take for granted.
Advanced Brain Trainer
There are 2 editions of Brain Trainer for you to check out. Edition 1 includes the following games: Speed Count, Drawing Over, Parking Check, Color Algebra and 4 Aces. Edition 2 has Shipping List, Cool Cat, Memo Square and Shape Counter. Each game gives you instructions on how to play and provides addicting game play. Who said games rot the brain?! Advanced Brain Trainer includes a built in coach that will help you analyze your results and provides feedback, whether you want it or not. You can start off with practice mode for some free play and then switch to exam mode; where you get a new 5 minute module to complete each day. Advanced Train is said to help improve memory, focus, reaction time and so on.
From what I gather about Fluid Intelligence, the term refers to your ability having abstract thought and to reason quickly (deal with complex information). This type of intelligence tends to fade over time- great. Luckily, we have apps like IQ to keep this fluid intelligence from leaking out of our ears. They say that if you use the IQ app for a half an hour per day, for 19 days, you should see an increase of 40% at maximum. The game play seems a bit confusing, even more so when you read the description in BlackBerry App World. The exercise used is called a Dual N-Back Task. Two independent sequences of letters are show at the same time. The subject is then tasked with indicating which letters correspond with letter previously presented.
A pipe dream-like game, Connection for the BlackBerry PlayBook is all about linking point A and point B. What you do is swap tile positions until you create a connection. It's not simply swapping adjacent tiles either-as long as the tiles you want to swap are in line (vertically or horizontally), you can swap across the game board. The game will keep track of your score, as well as the number of moves and connections. Don't spend too much time trying to figure it, as you are being timed. The highly responsive and vivid board will keep you connected to Connection. It helps you visualize the correct patterns and increase your response time.
Magnetic (free version)
Within the simple design, a challenge awaits. The object of each level is to get a specific block to move onto the goal. You have simple movements, such as up, down, left and (you guessed it) right. This can be done by using the directional buttons, or by tilting your BlackBerry PlayBook. Sound simple enough? Well the developer throws additional blocks at you; designed to hinder you, but you can turn the tide and use them to your advantage. Use your common sense and try to look a few moves ahead. It's about developing focus and patience.
MyBrainSolutionMyBrainSolution has a suite of applications tailored for those with their "thinkin' goo" in mind:
MyCalmBeat works on not only your focus, but stress level. This is done through controlled breathing. A breath pacer is available to help you slow your rate of breath which in turn activates your calming reflexes. With less stress, you are able to think more rationally. After the relaxation session, you can then record the number of minutes you used the exercise for and what your calmness level is. This is then graphed to see your records over time.
e-Think Memory helps you strengthen your memory banks through repetition and consolidation. This is done through a card/memory matching game. The application keeps track of your score, numbers of matches and number of attempts. Through the gameplay, you develop a more efficient way to memorize information with using shortcuts or little detail.
eThink Balance focuses on your focus and tasks tackling multi-tasking (still following me?). The name says it all; it's all about balance – balancing your focus on a single task or multiple tasks. They use the terms "Selective Attention" and "Alternating Attention". The game type they use is, of course, a balancing act. You start off by balancing an orange ball on a board (like the CrackBerry logo, without the CB). At random, other objects drop down, forcing you to maintain your balance, or drop everything.