Bubble Shooter Game

free brain games for elderly

Top 7 Brain Games for Seniors: Boost Cognitive Power

Finding brain games for seniors is easier said than done. They are a fantastic way to provide mental entertainment and exercise for the elderly, so they are popularly recommended in senior wellness plans. However, even though many developers advertise their products as senior-friendly, not many meet the standard.

Brain games provide the right kind of visual, mental, and cognitive stimulation. For instance, what makes Bubble Shooter so addictive is the colorful graphics and reasonably difficult challenges. So, when seeking brain games for seniors, you should choose options that everyone can learn quickly and meet these requirements.

Using my research and gaming experience, I’ve gathered some of the top seven brain games for seniors. Each game in this list is hand-tested and proven to meet the criteria of fun, ease, stimulation, and cognitive exercise. Read on:

Seven Best Cognitive Brain Games for Seniors

1. Backgammo

Backgammon is a two-player board game played by moving counters and dice on a table. Using chance and skill, players move their counters around the board and bear them off before the opponent. But, winning ultimately requires you to ramp up your knowledge of the game, learn the rules, and practice often.

Due to the learning aspect of backgammon, it exercises the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus as seniors learn and perfect their strategies. This brain workout can slow cognitive decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, since Backgammon is a dual-player game, it fosters socialization by providing much-needed social interaction. These meetups can create valuable relationships and cut down feelings of loneliness.

2. Bubble Shooter

Brain Games for seniors

One of the best free mind games for elderly players, Bubble Shooter is a never-ending challenge glitch with a load of visual and psychological stimulation. The goal is simple: clear the board by shooting bubble clusters with same-colored balls without running out of time or bubbles. However, winning Bubble Shooter is no piece of cake.

Each level differs in difficulty as it ushers a unique ball arrangement and ammunition. So, Bubble Shooter keeps seniors on their toes as they learn, modify, and create new strategies. Luckily, it rewards players with powerups, bonuses, and extra points for each win, positively reinforcing their learning process.

Aside from the visual and cognitive stimulation, Bubble Shooter allows seniors to join its vast community, where players share tips and tricks, experiences, and even complaints. Seniors who play multiplayer or co-op can enhance their social skills and enjoy new friends, not to mention the accomplishment of topping leaderboards.

3. Bingo

Bingo is a game of probability where players listen for prompts drawn randomly by a caller and mark them off their cards. The aim is to be the first player to get all the numbers in the current bingo pattern. So, Bingo actively engages seniors’ hearing and visuospatial skills throughout the game.

Because bingo involves creative problem-solving, it is a fun way for seniors to practice math skills in groups. It also helps sharpen their memory by motivating players to focus, recall, and think quickly. So, by playing bingo often, seniors can improve their processing speed, working memory, and long-term memory.

Furthermore, the multiplayer aspect encourages seniors to build valuable interpersonal and communication skills, making bingo one of the best free brain games for elderly players.

4. Chess

puzzle games for elderly

Chess is a two-player board game played on a checkered board, with players moving each piece according to precise rules. The aim is to checkmate your opponent’s king, that is capture their king while keeping yours safe.

Winning chess requires seniors to analyze the board and create strategies, encouraging them to exercise their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Each move depends on your opponent’s, challenging you to focus intently throughout the game. Therefore, regular chess players enjoy improved memory, processing speed, and overall brain health

Additionally, playing chess can help develop your social skills. It allows seniors to enter the chess community, as well as learn new tactics from their opponents (whether online or in-person).

5. Rummikub

Rummikub is a multiplayer strategy-intensive tile game. Each player draws and reveals a tile and the player whose tile has the highest value starts the game. Next, players return their drawn tiles to the pool and randomly select 14 tiles to arrange on their racks.

The aim of Rummikub is to be the first to empty the tiles from your rack, form them into sets, and call “Rummikub!”. Rummikub requires players to pay attention to each other’s turns so they can transfer their tiles into an established set. So, it engages their visuospatial and strategy-building skills.

Additionally, Rummikub is one of the best brain exercises for seniors because it provides ample time between turns for players to strategize. Its multiplayer aspect also provides much-needed companionship and social interaction for older adults.

6. Ubongo

Ubongo is an abstract puzzle game, where players race against a timer and each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes. Each player takes a two-sided puzzle card; one side depicts six rows with four pieces and the other, six rows of three pieces. Like Rummikub, the aim is to complete your puzzle first and shout “Ubongo!”.

Ubongo is colorful, fast-paced, and easy to learn, so it won’t bore seniors or frustrate them. Also, since it requires players to mentally rotate cards, Ubongo enhances hand-eye coordination and mathematical spatial ability.

7. Katamino

Katamino is a solo or dual-player puzzle game, where players are given a manual, board, and 3D blocks. In the dual-player mode, players take the pieces shown in the manual and race to add them into slots on the board. Think of Katamino as an incredibly satisfying 3D jigsaw puzzle.

Katamino can help seniors understand geometric concepts and build their spatial awareness skills.  Playing with its beautiful 3D blocks is visually satisfying and mentally stimulating, making it one of the best puzzle games for elderly players.

Improving Cognition in Seniors

The right brain games for seniors should be easy to learn and tricky to master, keeping the players engaged, challenged, and satisfied. The rules should also be simple and the expectations defined, allowing the senior to play for extended periods without getting frustrated.

Not only do the above recommendations meet these benchmarks but they are also tested and trusted to enrich the life of your favorite senior!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

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