Three games that build brain power

Sunday, August 05, 2018

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Most people would find the phrase “educational games” to be an oxymoron, because aren't games, by definition, supposed to be all fun?

As it turns out, many people don't realise that their favourite games are secretly teaching them problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Here are a few that get your brain working while you're busy having a good time.

1. Sudoku Puzzles

Even though they only involve counting to nine, sudoku puzzles are a great working-memory training. The popular games involve solving how to include the numbers one through nine in each box, row, and column. But when you're making a move, you have to think three or four steps ahead to make sure it will be the correct solution.

While science hasn't proven that doing Sudoku will improve your brain, some believe it can generate new brain cells and ward off diseases like Alzheimer's. Worst-case scenario, it will get your brain working — and may even prove to be quite calming and satisfying to solve.

2. Chess

This oldie but goodie promotes critical thinking, improves memory, involves logic, and requires concentration and focus. Many studies that introduce the popular game to classrooms have reported incredible results.

3. Settlers of Catan

The goal of Settlers of Catan is to be the first person to earn 10 victory points, accomplished by building settlements and cities. Of course, you can't build them without first earning resources (in the form of cards) like brick, lumber, and wheat.

The game helps players analyse statistics as they plan, so they make the most of each turn and resource to further their settlement along and earn points.

— stemjobs.com

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