The 5 Best Smartphone Games to Build Your Brain while You’re on the Can

dmittedly, I don’t really play too many games. I know from personal experience, and just from close observation that a big chunk of your life can actually be wasted in just playing tapping away at your mobile phone. Really, you’re tapping away at your life. It’s not that I don’t play games at all though. Of course, I still do follow a few: Uncharted, the Walking Dead, and The Last of Us were all great games. And yes, still waiting on Half Life 3.

But really, ever since I’ve found out that there are so many other things that I should rather be spending my time on, playing games have fallen off the list of my priorities. However, I had to say that I still do play games in one particular occasion: when I’m in the can. And I’m sure you probably do too!

It’s that one sliver of time, usually lasting 10 to 15 minutes where playing a game wouldn’t really be a waste of time, but instead of just any game, I play “brain” games. What better way to not only have some fun, but also have your brain stimulated?

Here are my top 5:

  1. Lumosity. This is probably the most popular iPhone app ever when it comes to matters of the brain. It’s split into three categories, depending on what you’re trying to achieve: memory, problem solving, and processing speed. You’re playing against a clock, and the games are randomized. And you apparently can vastly improve your mental abilities playing just once a day. As a bonus, it also tracks your progress! (Free with limited access; $15 a month / $80 a year)
  2. Brain Trainer Special. This app is a lot like Lumosity in that it has a lot of games pertaining to memorizing sequences, numbers, and solving assorted math problems. Difficulty level ranges from very easy to “pull out your hair in frustration” hard. It’s our second-best pick though, right after Lumosity (since it’s basically the Android “version” of it). What might make it better for some users though is that it is absolutely free.
  3. CogniFit Brain Fitness. The games that CogniFit Brain Fitness has are simply addictive. Really! You’ll probably get into this as much as you did Flappy Bird during the time it was first out. It is sleek, fun, and claims to be able to improve concentration and memory. In addition, the difficulty level is automatically set after an initial quiz. It’s available for free for just four games, but is $15 a month on subscription. Available only on iOS.
  4. Happify. While not entirely created to boost your cognitive abilities, happify does exactly what its name says: it makes you happier! Using positive psychology, the app’s quizzes, polls, and a special gratitude journal allow you to conquer negative thoughts, show gratitude, and vastly cope with stress better. It’s a little difficult to describe, but there is nothing like it. Check it out. It’s free!
  5. Fit Brains Trainer. This app has over 360 unique games and puzzles that will definitely leave you stumped, frustrated, and confused – which when talking about the brain, is actually a great thing! It isn’t that hard off the bat, but it does progressively get more difficult subject to how quick and accurate you answer. Just like Lumosity, Fit Brains Trainer also records your progress and performance so that you can see the results. What’s even better is that it’s free – on both iOS and Android.