Challenge Your Brain on Mac OS X...For Free!

Published on Sunday, February 12, 2006 in , , , ,

Being a Mac user and programmer myself (which you may have figured out when I released the Grey Matters Dashboard widget), I've been looking at various free brainteasing programs for Mac OS X recently, and I thought I'd share my findings with you.

Plasq, a Mac software development company best know for their Comic Life software, has just turned 1 year old. In celebration, they're giving the gifts! The gift they're giving is a free version of the classic 15 puzzle, called Pluzzle. As a whole, this is very nicely put together. The look and sound (yes, sound) is that of a puzzle made out of wood. The tiles actually make the sound of wood scraping against wood when they're moved. The puzzle itself can be set to any size from 3x3 to 7x7, and photos can be dragged and dropped into the puzzle to be used as the background. If you've taken the time to learn my "40 30s 4 15" feat, this is a pleasant way to practice.

Thanks to the Dashboard feature in Mac OS X, there are plenty of free brainteasing widgets now available. One of the most original and challenging widgets I've come across is Cross Eyes mini. You have to keep the eyes from making angry stares at each other by separating each pair of eyes that are the same color.

There are also many versions of classic puzzles and games available, as well. You can find versions of Rubik's Cube, Sudoku, Mastermind and even Concentration.

Although they're not brainteasers in the classic sense, I have found several guilty and geeky pleasures available as widgets, as well. There's Jumbolaya, which helps you solve anagrams by allowing you to visualize new possibilities, and the Einstein Random Quote Generator. However, anyone who knows me will understand why the closest one to my heart is this one. No, it doesn't do anything except sit there, but that's enough for me.

I don't mean to belittle the brain challenges available on the Windows platform, but as I work more with the Mac, I have to go with what I know.

Judging by the 'ol BallClock on the Dashboard, it's time for me to be going now.

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