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If you've enjoyed brain training, here are some new ways to challenge your brain!
I'll start with an update. Back in October, I mentioned Sporcle's free online games. At the time there was just the geography challenges, the US presidents, Shakespeare's plays, and the Super Bowl winners. Since that time, they've added many more challenges to their games section! Can you name all of the TOS Star Trek crew, the TNG Star Trek crew, NATO alphabet words, UK Prime Ministers, Las Vegas Strip casinos, Tom Hanks movies, or US state capitals? During the Christmas season, they also have a challenge where you must name all 12 gifts from the song The Twelve Days of Christmas in order from 1 to 12! This is trickier than it sounds, because they're usually sung in order from 12 to 1.
If you like Sporcle's geography challenges, but find them too easy, then you might want to try Traveler IQ. In this one, you have to click on various cities, landmarks and more, and you're awarded points both for how close your click was to the actual location, as well as how quickly you click. To pass each level, you must get a minimum number of points. As you progress, the game also keeps track of your Traveler IQ (100 is average), so you can see how well you're doing compared to others.
This next challenge is unlike almost any other one I've ever seen. It's called Sprout. All I can say is try it! To explain anything about it would be to rob you of the joy of discovery that is the hallmark of the game.
It's about time we had some math in here to challenge you brain, so here it is. The math challenge is Brain Tower, and it features an unusual interface. Instead of clicking on anything, you figure out the answer, and entering in the format http://alexbrie.net/braintower/problem_number/answer. The answer to the first question is 1, so you would type the new address in as http://alexbrie.net/braintower/1/1. The answer to the second question is 10 (no, I'm not really giving anything away here), so you would type http://alexbrie.net/braintower/2/10, and so on. The challenge is to work your way up through all 25 levels of the Brain Tower this way.
I'll finish with Gameloft's newest release, called Brain Challenge. If you've seen Brain Training on other platforms, and hoped for it on your iPod classic, iPod video and the 3rd generation iPod nano, you can now get Brain Challenge on iTunes for $4.99.
When you start, there are 5 brain challenges, and by playing and getting better at these, you can unlock 15 more challenges, as well as some creativity exercises. Here's a preview of the iPod version of Brain Challenge:
So far, my only criticism of Brain Challenge is that it starts right out with my pet peeve: claiming that we only use 10% of our brains. The debunking of this myth by Snopes and The Straight Dope haven't done much to curb its use. To be fair, this myth is used to introduce the scoring system. Instead of Brain Age, as in the game of the same name, Brain Challenge gives your overall score as a percentage of your brain power.
One thing I like about this game is that, even though it's being released for the iPod, Xbos, PC and Nintendo DS, Gameloft is paying particular attention to the interfaces of each device, and designing the games to the strengths of the respective interfaces.
Do you have any other brain-challenging games you would like to share? Let everyone know in the comments!