The best PC games for…training your brain

We continue our “The best PC games for …” series. In this episode, we’ll show you that, contrary to popular belief, games don’t have to be a waste of time, and might even give your brain a bit of a workout.

Sometimes, it’s more about mental ability than having the technical skills and reflexes to know when to press which button, and I’m not just talking about the typical puzzle or logic games. There are also games that require a little more thought and brainpower before you can make any progress.

Here, we’ll go through a few games that test your mental capacity. Who said that playing videogames would melt your brain?

Ethan Meteor Hunter: Playing with time

Ethan Metoer HunterDrawing from classics like Braid, Ethan Meteor Hunter might seem like a simple platformer at first (run, jump and slide), but it hides much more: a continuous flow of time which you can control to make progress at each stage.

It might sound easy, but it’s definitely more difficult than the genre’s average. It becomes more and more complicated, and progresses with puzzles that will test your logic. Ethan Meteor Hunter is good for classic but demanding gamers.

Ethan Meteor Hunter: not as simple as it seems

Scribblenauts Unlimited: Write your world

Scribblenauts UnlimitedOriginally created for Nintendo DS, the Scribblenauts series puts you in the shoes of Maxwell, a little guy who has to overcome all sorts of challenges. Joining characters, jumping over cliffs, and collecting objects are just a few of these challenges, and for other games, this might sound like you have relatively few options, but in Scribblenauts, this becomes a world where you set the limits.

Simply write the words for what you want to appear on the screen, and ta-da! A helicopter? A blue Tyrannosaurus Rex? A cat playing the piano? A time machine? Ask for what you need, and you shall receive.

Scribblenauts Unlimited: if you can write it, you can have it

Quantum Conundrum: A wonderful world in four dimensions

Quantum ConundrumIf you enjoyed Portal, you can’t miss Quantum Conundrum from the same developer. This is also a first person game, but this time, you become the nephew of a mad scientist who gives you a gift: a glove that modifies the weight of objects.

This glove activates four dimensions and, with them, hundreds of physics-based puzzles. You can alter the properties of objects, move them, and solve puzzles room after room. The difficulty will increase as you move forward, but you’ll get hooked.

Quantum Conundrum: ready to bend the laws of physics?

Don’t Starve: An extreme survival game

Don't StarveIn the indie game Don’t Starve, you’re a man living in the woods who must meet basic survival needs while avoiding other dangers, like creatures of the night. If you want to improve your quality of life, you’ll have to build a hut and start making objects.

You could think of it as an extreme Sims and Minecraft hybrid– it’s actually so hard, that if you die, you have to start over from scratch, and there is no tutorial or help available. Don’t Starve is only for brave gamers, at least intellectually.

Don't Starve: death is final

La-Mulana: A 2D Dark Souls

La MulanaIf you’re familiar with the platformer SpelunkyLa-Mulana is quite similar. It combines the same aesthetic, along with the brutal difficulty of Dark Souls, and some puzzles that are reminiscent of the classic Myst. This bold combination gives one of the most challenging games of the last few years.

In short, it’s hours and hours of fun and excitement – you’ll become an Indiana Jones look-alike that require a sharp mind and at least 30 hours. If that’s not enough for you, a sequel is already in the works.

 La-Mulana: step into Indy-like shoes

An original way to get your brain working

As you can see, “training your brain” doesn’t have to mean spending the day with math exercises, solving Sudokus or palying with a Rubik cube. There are many other creative ways to get your brain working. These are only a few options and, as we know, it seems that the current trend is to create games that are complicated enough to get you hooked, so you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Make sure to check out the rest of our ‘The Best PC Games for…‘ series to discover many more games for every occasion.

Loading comments