BrainBall


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AdamBbrainball.gifFor some reason, at some point in history, someone decided to merge the wholesome and honest activity of playing games with that other thing... what's it called? Oh yeah, learning. Fun and getting smart at the same time never really worked out, but one designer named Alex Colket brings us about as close as we can get with his offering, BrainBall.

There are ten short games appearing on his site each day which are designed to activate a different part of your brain. These games vary from memory tasks and concentration games to logic puzzles and so on. Using your brain, you are to complete the task as best you can in the given time and thusly be rewarded with... more... smartness. Also you get a score.

The way it works is each day there are ten games; these are the same for everyone who plays them during that day. The game types are the same the next day but the content is different, leveling out the playing field for everyone who plays. Each month the games themselves are changed and the whole thing starts again with new challenges.

Not only do you get a score for each individual game, you also get a score for your overall performance on the days' games. Returning to the site over the course of the month will give you a seasonal score. Your scores for everything are stored and compared to everyone else who plays, so that learning finally gets what its always needed: healthy competition.

Analysis: BrainBall is, seemingly, very shallow but the mechanics of it are very deep. I found myself returning over again, basically because the games are so simply designed and for the most part intuitive that the game feels more like a rewarding snack than something larger and meatier that you need to commit to.

The ease with which BrainBall can be picked up and consumed without any other external forces or adherence to traditional game play structure makes this nothing more than addictive gaming. Even if it's only for a few minutes of play each day, just to keep on the high score board. If you're up for a bit of mental stimulation, Click.

More of a word game fan? Try the BrainBall spin-off WordBall!

Update: The Play With Your Mind site is no longer available.

21 Comments

Is it me, or is it really glitchy? I keep getting the pane seizing up on practice mode and I have to reload.

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Definitely.

If I ever try to play a game a second time, I can win it or let it run out of time and it just sits there and never progresses.

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What I want to know is why the high scores are so amazingly high compared to the "today" and average scores.

I personally think I did really well at the grid-based game (down 2, up 3, etc), and I doubled the average, but the high score was over thirty times mine.

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Personally I'd prefer if these "challenges" were more in the form of puzzles, like in Click-Drag-Type where you must first determine WHAT and then HOW.

Reading lengthy instructions feels like a spoiler. It is actually more satisfying to skip them and try to get for yourself what you need to do, then replay for high score if you want.

P.S. I also have a problem when "play again" option freezes the puzzle.

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I'm having problems playing the game. It displays the log in status screen, then goes blank.:-(

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I'm just getting a blank pale blue screen....nothing else. Do these games only commence at a certain time? If so, I wonder when that will be...it is 7am here....but I've never come across that before?

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tiffany i get the same!

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I, too, am having trouble today. I've emailed the developer, hopefully it will be resolved soon.

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I just heard from Alex, the developer of Brain Ball, and he said that the blank screen should be resolved now. And I've confirmed that it is indeed working for me.

Also, he is going to look into the other problem reported with the practice games freezing, so hopefully that won't be an issue for long.

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No Jay....I am still getting the blank screen? Perhaps I am just jinxed as I couldn't get into Facade either....I could only knock at the door and be left out in the cold!Oh well....perhaps I'll go and jump in the pool with the kids instead!

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Tiffany - perhaps both problems are related. Do you have the latest Flash player installed? I've seen issues that have been resolved by simply reinstalling Flash. Maybe you'd like to give that to try?

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Jay - I'm pretty sure I do have the latest Flash as I have no problems with any other games and the kids are also constantly on the computer....but you could be right....so I will give that a go. Thank you!

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Nope...I went into Flash and downloaded the latest version, then came back to the game...still the pale blue blank screen. I will keep trying though....it may just be something that happens now and again and I've just been unlucky to catch it when it's down. Thanks for your help anyway! ;)

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You might also try emptying your browser cache. If Alex had updated the game's Flash file, the old one may still be in your cache.

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redwingwest December 19, 2006 12:30 AM

Jay...just tried to load game for the first time...nothin but blue screen.

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Oh yay! This morning it's working! I did nothing different....it just decided to appear for me today.

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The server seems to be doing better now. The games are interesting; I can see how one could make a habit of playing this and charting their improvement. There does seem to be some "superhuman" scores (read: cheating) on the leaderboards, though.

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Well, besides the fact that I could not get this to work on Mozilla {Had to use IE, even though it said it wasn't good}, I liked it. Game 10 was the worst for me, but I will prob try and play that more often. :)

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Are the performance stats working for anyone? They (everything under the "Your Stats" menu) don't show up for me.

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Sheesh... anyone figure out a workable strategy for this month's game 3? I haven't managed to solve it yet in about 20 tries. My strategies involve: trying to eliminate all the 5's first using the 4s, then the 4's with the 3s, etc.... all while trying not to make any islands or unrecoverable paths. I always cut myself off somehow.

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I have been coming here for a long time and just wanted to say that that as a 54 year old grandma this place rocks. Jay you and the rest of your band of friends make playing games fun. Thank You all and be safe Alice, marin co. calif

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