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Games for the Brain

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Created by Philipp Lenssen, Games for the Brain is a series of 18 different (recently upgraded to 40) never-ending puzzle games to exercise and challenge your brain. Each of the games is created solely using DHTML—dynamic HTML consists of a little bit of JavaScript, a little bit of CSS, and a little bit of HTML—to create an interactive experience that will give your brain a workout. Specific tasks involve memorization and recall, spelling, math, identification, and word or image formation.

What Was There? tests your ability to study an image for a brief time and then answer a question regarding some detail of the image. The answers you provide are generally short answer, such as right or wrong, or how many of a particular item did you see.

Spellice presents a line from Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland with one or more words scrambled, and you must type in the entire line correctly.

Anagramania is exactly what it sounds like, anagrams for you to decipher. Not as easy as it sounds.

Masterpieces presents several images in a particular order, and your job is to memorize that order. The images are then scrambled and you must click them in the correct sequence.

Dragger presents an image that has been tiled and scrambled, and you must drag the pieces into their correct position thus completing the puzzle. Gorgeous images, good fun.

Mastercards represents the quintessence of "memory" games in which you must find pairs of images in a grid of face-down cards by turning over two at a time.

NumberCruncher presents addition, subtraction and multiplication equations to solve.

Mastermind is a game in which nine (9) images are shown for a brief time. The images are then all scrambled and one is replace with an entirely different image, and you must identify which one changed.

Letterama presents a partially spelled word with some blanks in place of letters, and you must complete the word by spelling it correctly.

NumberHunt shows numbers moving within a boxed area, and your task is to add up all of the numbers correctly. This one starts out simple and grows in complexity by increasing the quantity of numbers with each correct answer given.

WordHunt same as above except using moving letters that together form a word that must be identified.

SquareWords presents nine (9) letters in a grid that together spell a word. Your job is to figure out what word that is. Begin at one letter and move either horizontally or vertically, wrapping around each time to the next row or column, until all letters are visited. This one took a couple of times before I understood the concept.

Colorama shows two squares filled with colored tiles. Both are identical except for one. Your task is to identify and click on the one that is different. Colorama is one of my favorites of the bunch.

CrimeScene presents a brief look at a pencil drawing of a crime suspect that is slightly obstructed. Your job is to identify the correct image from a lineup.

Marsmoney presents two groupings of symbols representing Martian currency. Your task is to identify which group is worth more by using the conversion chart is provided.

What Word? shows the definition of a word that must be identified and typed into the field provided.

Memocoly is a DHTML version of the classic game of Simon. Repeat the sequence given by clicking on the appropriate colors.

SpeedRead presents a brief glimpse of a string of unrelated words, and your task is to type them exactly as they appeared.

Analysis: This collection of brain games is well done and there are some real gems here. Each game is presented in a simple and straightforward style, some using classic images that are pleasing to view. With so many games to choose from, there is certain to be something for everyone in the batch.

On the downside, some of the games become rather tiresome after just a few short rounds. Although the variety of games offered goes far to keep things interesting for a good while, scores are not maintained between games and there is little to keep this selection of mini-games from being any more than that. It would be nice to see them all organized into a challenge mode that puts a player through a few rounds of each of the games for a final score to compete against others. What would be even nicer is to allow players to choose a selection of their favorite games to use for the challenge.

Also, since the game uses JavaScript intervals for timing, memory issues can occur in situations where the intervals are not cleared properly and therefore pile up. For example, reloading the page when my browser failed to move on to the next round eventually caused me to have to quit and reload Firefox due to the game becoming unresponsive.

As the length of this post proves, there is a lot to choose from in Games for the Brain, and evidence that Philipp Lenssen has worked hard to give your brain some fun and exercise. Click.


remister May 23, 2005 5:50 AM

The games seems fun to a point where they get really repetative. It would of been good if they were in flash.


Worked hard? Perhaps; but not in "What Word?", as far as I could tell. These must have been taken from the web, as in a brief go-round of the game, I encountered, first, a lot of jargon, and second, a definition of the form "Someone's Name ", which turned out to define the word "from". Sadly, unimpressed.

Mr_Nickle May 23, 2005 12:01 PM

I found this awhile ago on another site. It was very fun but they later took it off and I forgot the name.

Thanks Jay!


Fun, yet I find games to be a refuge from education.
good find, though. = )

schteeeven May 23, 2005 6:31 PM

i think it would be better if these games were arranged in different degrees of difficulty; some games i found too easy, while others were too hard. and some fluctuated in difficulty. this would definately help solve the repetitive-ness problem

TornadoTK May 23, 2005 10:42 PM

Very nice. I like NumberHunt a lot, but it tends to get insane when your IQ Points are around the 150's. Sheesh.


Or 200's...

Its good for wasting time without always feeling that your mind is slowly degenerating.


That colorama game isn't too bad. A little reppetitive though. Board gets big and boxes little by IQ 200 though.


Thanks for the nice review and everyone's comments. This kind of feedback is very valuable to me. It's incredibly hard to judge your own games, e.g. when it comes to how hard or how much fun they are.

Regarding the comments on "What word", yes, those are taken from the web -- I'm using Google's "define:" operator, which itself takes its information from the web.

Jay, could you tell me in which game/ which situation the memory problem with the reload occurred?

As for the games not being in Flash: well, on the up-side, you can play some of the games on your hand phone (not all games, and not all hand phones, but I tried to make this very accessible).


Philipp - I'm sorry that I cannot provide you with steps to reproduce the behavior I experienced. However, I was giving your game a workout as I was jumping around from game to game, often times interrupting a game in progress to move on to the next. Probably more of a workout than some would give it, though likely behavior on the Web just the same. I hope that helps. =)


The mind reading thing is all a scam. They take away all the cards but they make you think so you don't remember the others!


Cool never knew that jay
That is neat to know


That was not my comment, Brandon, it was MANAX's. ;)


dude, i went 38 times in a row doing that colorama game. isnt that good?? nebody?, is that above normal?? lol i couldnt believe it

u try!


is "draggled" a word? i know bedraggled...i think

Hassle Free May 28, 2006 5:29 PM

this is a great game except I think it would be made better if you get more points for finishing faster than the very end.


I have in COLORAMA IQ score 410 !!!


Ok...the crime scene one is quite easy to me...I got my IQ up to 1000 without missing one before giving up...I thought maybe it would end after awhile.


Sweet Jesus, that Spellice game is crazy. I had two one-line simple sentences and then suddenly was given the following quote for my third puzzle:

"Slcneie all ronud, if you plesae! ''Wliilam the Corouneqr, whose csuae was frveaod by the pope, was soon sbetimutd to by the Egsnlih, who wenatd laereds, and had been of ltae mcuh asceocmtud to urotiapsun and cosqenut."

The right answer was:
Silence all round, if you please! 'William the Conqueror, whose cause was favored by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest.

I had gotten to 'usurpation' when I ran out of time. That's an awful lot of translation to be done with the same given time frame. Most of the words were easy to spot, after I realized the first and last letters are correct. It works on that Harvard study, that no matter the middle letters of a word, as long as the first and last are correct, yuor brian raeds wrods proeprly. see? Still, big jump, there.


Also, I have to complain about lettermaze. I couldn't find a contact section, but if Phillip checks this ever, it was hyperactive. It said to move your mouse through the maze, and as I was doing so, it would read a single letter five or six times. So, in attempt to spell "opthamolic Diagnostic" no matter how speedily or slowly I moved my mouse, it cut to the finish screen and said:
"Ooooppppppptttthhhhhhhaaaammmm" is incorret. I was not amused.

Perhaps set it up to use arrow keys? Or just fix the hyperactive sensor, no?


I like these games!
I love the challenge and they are great mind teasers!


1230 IQ points for dragger..b'cause I can't lose, so I just quit..


1100 IQ scores for numbercruncher, have to quit as well because too many equations to solve..
I had wrong several times when calculating on paper, no doubt humans do make mistakes sometimes..


colorama, furthest I can reached is to 'score 380' without any miss...


yes, crime scene is easy and I don't think so the timing bar should be that long, since it's dealing with short term memory. One funny thing was that I accidently miss one of it, but I guessed correctly, wow!
My target is to reach to score 1200, althought I done mistakes for about 6-7 times..:P


For guess the colors, I think there should have a dragging function for the little 'mushrooms', as to make the game easier instead of just clicking on the colors in order.
My siblings used to play this last time, we called them as 'mushrooms'..

LaBajista October 21, 2007 5:28 AM

The WordHunt game is frustrating because sometimes it says the answer is wrong, even if the word you chose IS a legitimate word made out of those letters, just not the word the game was expecting.


Anagrammania is interesting... some of the words have more than one anagram. If you type in a word that's different from the one the game is expecting, you still get the points, but it says "Your answer X is right, congratulations", where X is the word it was expecting, *not* your answer.


CHORALE instead of CHOLERA; EMIGRE instead of REGIME


I have also played on fitbrains and my favorite game is Paradise Island 2 ( it can get really tuff)


an iq of 1200
damn im smart ??!!


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