Are puzzle games good for the brain?


Since most of us love games we are constantly trying to justify this activity. Whatever happened to just playing games for the fun of it? If you have a fun blast game like Toy Crush on your smartphone you should know that you are not alone. Adults all over the world enjoy puzzle games during their lunch break. It’s not about the winning, the puzzle is what relaxes your mind and puts you in a good mood. But are puzzle games good for the brain?

Yes and no

The answer to the question about the positive effects of puzzle games on the brain is not a simple one. It depends a lot on which study you go by. There have been many studies on this subject and some have come to the conclusion that our brains benefit from puzzles while others say that this can’t be proven. As you might be aware, it takes many studies before a true scientific conclusion can be reached so the final answer to this question is still in the making.

According to some neuroscientists the answer is both yes and no. The online games that demand a little bit more thinking and planning are fun. This in itself is something of value. Being happy and having fun is good for you. If you can get a little fun during a regular work day, chances are that you will come back to your tasks with more vigor and energy. But it is hard to prove that brain training can improve your cognitive ability.

What can be confirmed is that playing puzzle games can make you very good at puzzle games in general. If you are good at Toy Crush, chances are that you will also be good at Tetris or other similar puzzle games. But this doesn’t mean that you will automatically become a master of other things that demand problem solving abilities. Another thing to consider is that if you take a break from the puzzle games the gains that your brain might have gotten from them can be lost quite fast.

So it seems, if this is to be believed, that you need to play puzzle games constantly to gain from them. But the joy you feel is real as long as you stick to the games that are your cup of tea. With free apps on your phone it is easy enough to update every now and then to make sure that the online games you play stay entertaining for you.

But what about your memory?

There are those who claim that puzzle games can improve your memory by positively affecting the dopamine production in your brain. But this is also a hard one to prove. You can’t count on the puzzle games on your phone to make you remember things. There are better exercises for this that you can learn more about. So if you are looking to strengthen your memory you might want to add some memory games for those coffee breaks. See if your colleagues are up to this type of activity or if they are all too deep into their smartphone puzzle games!