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12 Educational iPad Games That May Actually Make You Smarter

The iPad provides an amazing visual and tactile experience that makes it ideal for engagement and learning. With 1000s of iPad games available, it can be hard to choose which ones to spend your time playing. In this post, I want to focus on visually stunning iPad games that may actually actually make you smarter.

The human brain is like a muscle and when you exercise your mind and challenge your cognitive abilities, you rewire your brain to work faster, remember more clearly and develop its pattern-recognition ability. Here you will find brain training games, trivia games, puzzle games and clever strategy games that will both entertain and challenge you.

There is an ongoing debate whether brain training games actually make you smarter. While you can definitely improve your skills at playing these games, the scientific research showing that they skills transfer over into other activities is inconclusive. Regardless, playing these brain training games is probably a better use of time for most people than mindlessly surfing the web or checking Facebook.

The iPad Games:


1. Quiz Up

The largest real-time trivia game ever created! Play head-to-head against other people or challenge your friends in this trivia game that will test your knowledge and teach you new things whenever you use it. With over 450 topics to choose from this game will keep you very busy. Free.


The Room Two

2. Room 2

A absolutely fascinating puzzler wrapped in a mystery game that takes place inside a beautifully tactile 3D world. Room 2 is the much anticipated sequel to ‘The Room’, which was Apple’s Game of the Year in 2012. The sequel is even better, achieving a highly coveted 5-star rating the iPad app store. $2.99



3. Badland

Badland won the prestigious Apple Design Awards in 2013. It is a side-scrolling atmospheric action adventure game where you explore an idyllic forest environment. The game is physics-based and it challenges you to explore a mysterious world where you must constantly escape from clever traps and overcome  puzzling obstacles. $3.99


Fit Brains Trainer

4. Fit Brain Trainer

A popular brain training and fitness app with more than 360 games and unique training sessions designed to enhance your memory, processing speed, concentration, problem solving and visual skills. It won’t make you a genius, but it’s fun and it’s probably a whole lot better use of your time than watching TV. Free (premium version is $9.99).


Clockwork Brain

5. Clockwork Brain

Play fun puzzle games that can improve your cognitive abilities such as visual, spatial, logic and memory processing. Compete with others and try to beat their best scores. Clockwork Brain’s clever word games work in 9 different languages. Free (premium version $2.99).


Harmony 2

6. Har•mo•ny 2

An immersive puzzle game of surreal color palettes and awe-inspiring music that are blended together in perfect harmony. This is one of the most visually stunning iPad games and it’s also a lot of fun to play. $1.99



7. Lumosity

A mega-popular brain training program designed by neuroscientists to put your through personalized training programs designed to challenge your brain. The interface is gamified and it is designed to make you feel like you’re getting smarter. Lumosity also runs the Human Cognition Project, which is an attempt to provide a scientific basis for its brain training games. Free (premium version $14.99/month).


Joggle Brain Trainer

8. Joggle Brain Trainer

A fun brain training game that exercises your cognitive processing speed, memory and focus. A free alternative to Lumosity that has 5 brain training games and numerous levels to complete. Free.


Monument Valley

9. Monument Valley

A fascinating, award-winning puzzle game where you navigate fantastical architecture and impossible geometry to guide the silent princess Ida through mysterious monuments, uncovering hidden paths, unfolding optical illusions and outsmarting the enigmatic Crow People. Winner of one of Apple’s 2014 Design Awards. $3.99



10. Catena

A beautiful word game that will challenge your vocabulary and put your memory to the test. Has over 350,00 words to challenge you in single-player mode. Playing this game will definitely improve your vocabulary. Free (premium version is $1.99).



11. Lyne

A very Zen-like minimalist puzzle game where you connect shapes, challenge your pattern recognition abilities and lose yourself in amazing interconnected patterns that you build. $2.99


Chess Free

12 Free Chess App

My favorite chess game for the iPad. Chess is one of the best activities you can do for strengthening your mind. If you want to play against your friends online I also recommend the Chess app. Also, both apps includes integrated chess trainer so you can learn about chess and advance your chess skills. Free.

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