I have covered brain training apps twice before and have examined four apps for iOS and Android. I make no excuse for covering two more brain training apps and you simply cannot have too many. In order to have a healthy, active brain you need to spend as much time exercising it as you do the rest of your body at the gym.
A single brain training app is not sufficient to exercise every part of the mind and you will only improve those functions that you exercise. For example, if you practice adding and subtracting numbers, you will not improve your addition and subtraction. If you practice chess, you will not become better at solving crosswords.
It is essential that you perform as wide a range of activities as possible in order to give every part of your mind an equal amount of work. The more you can do, the better your mind will become.
Peak – Brain Training and Brain Yoga Brain Training Game are two very different apps. That is a good thing because it means that you can use both and therefore give your mind a more thorough and wide ranging workout. I used the apps on an iPhone, but there are Android versions in the Google Play Store.
Peak – Brain Training
The first thing that strikes you when starting out with Peak is the use of colour. I found the frequent switching from one bright colour to the next a bit eye watering, especially the bright pink. Some text is hard to read too. The app looks modern, it is very easy to use, and the information is presented in a clear manner. It has a great look and works well.
You start out by playing four games and these are Low Pop, Perilous Path, Word Fresh and Must Sort. Low Pop displays numbers on tiles on the screen and you simply tap them in ascending order. There are three numbers to begin with and it couldn’t be easier. However, as the numbers grow larger and negative ones are introduced too, it requires a little more thought. In an effort to rush through as fast as you can you tend to make the odd mistake.
Perilous Path has a grid of tiles and the location of several bombs is revealed. They are hidden and you must trace the path between two points without running over a bomb. It starts off easy enough, but becomes harder as the grid is made larger and the number of bombs increases.
Word Fresh has a grid of letters and you must trace a word by going up, down, left or right. It is a bit like a word search puzzle. Each time a word is made, the letters disappear and more fill up the grid. More points are awarded for longer words. I found this quite difficult, just like when you stare at a word search puzzle and can’t find that last word.
Must Sort is a trivial game in which you sort cards with pictures on to the left or right. It is no challenge at slow speed, but there is a temptation to sort faster and faster, and that is when you make mistakes, tapping left instead of right or right instead of left.
Points are awarded for each game and there are ranks to work through and Peak Points to earn. To give you an idea of how good or bad you are, your scores are displayed on a Brain Map. You can see your scores and compare yourself to other people in your age group and others in your profession. This is an excellent feature and you can see your map and other people’s maps on the same chart.
Peak is a very nice brain training app with a great, if a bit too colourful, design. There are 22 games, but as is usual with this type of app, you don’t sit and play them all in one go. The idea is that you play a small number each day and there are 22 in total.
If you choose the Pro upgrade, you can access all the games all the time and have extras like more statistics, personalised workouts and more. It costs $4.99 / £3.99 a month or $34.99 / £25.99 for a year.
Brain Yoga Brain Training Game
This is a very different app and there is much less emphasis on speed than with Peak. With peak you have to rush and this leads to mistakes, but Brain Yogo is slower, requires more thought, and is less dependent on reaction speed.
The app contains a set of puzzles and there are 10 in total. Each of the puzzles has a difficulty setting and you initially start off at a fairly easy level. If you find it too easy and complete the puzzle too quickly, you just increase the difficulty and play it again.
In one game you can given a number of shapes and you must make a square by dragging them into position. It is the sort of puzzle you might find in a Christmas cracker. It is easy when there are just four pieces, but increasing the level increases the number of pieces and it becomes quite hard.
Another game is a bit like Sudoku, but instead of entering numbers into a grid, you drag stones into a grid. On each one is a shape and colour, and each row and column must have only one type of shape and one colour. It is solved in a similar way to Sodoku and it is quite hard.
There is a game in which you see 3D cubes that have a different colour on each side. You must work out which cube would match a piece of paper, if the paper was folded into a cube. Once again it is quite hard.
The games involve shapes, patterns, memory, words, numbers and so on. They require thought and you must solve a puzzle, so speed is not important and it is a slower game that makes you think more than some other brain training apps.
As is usual, you get to play a few games each day and in-app-purchases unlock the whole lot. Unlike Peak though, this app is very inexpensive. Unlimited access to everything is just $3.99 / £2.99. The cost of some brain training apps is a bit off-putting, but this is a no brainer. It is cheap, fun to play, and different to other apps.
One problem I had with the app is with the very small text. I struggled to read it on some screens, and this is on an iPhone 6, which is much larger than the older iPhone 5 or 4. Why make it so hard to read?
You need variety in your brain training apps and the more you have, the more skills you acquire. Both apps should be installed on your iPhone or iPad because they are excellent. If you have already subscribed to another brain training app, you won’t want to add yet another subscription so stick with Peak free. Brain Yoga is so cheap you can buy the full app though.
Title: Peak – Brain Training
Title: Brain Yoga Brain Training Game
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 14 February 2015