Strong Mind Puzzle iPhone game sharpens spacial reasoning

Dec 1, 2010
Games

Some iPhone games are meant to be mindless, if addictive, time-wasters, while others are created with a purpose in mind. Strong Mind Puzzles is one of the latter – it’s an image-matching game that’s meant to help players strengthen their spatial reasoning, critical thinking and error-catching abilities through practice. Each puzzle of the game contains […]

Some iPhone games are meant to be mindless, if addictive, time-wasters, while others are created with a purpose in mind. Strong Mind Puzzles is one of the latter – it’s an image-matching game that’s meant to help players strengthen their spatial reasoning, critical thinking and error-catching abilities through practice.

Each puzzle of the game contains an image of an object, and eight more objects surrounding it. There are four types – a bus, an apple, a bell and a mask – and they come in four different colors, two sizes and four different orientations (as if they’ve been rotated).

When you start a level, which consists of 25 individual puzzles, you’ll be given a rule or rules you have to follow, telling you to look for objects that are the same or different size, color, shape and so on. The puzzles each have some images highlighted, and some not: Your job is to correct each puzzle so the images that match the center image, according to the rules you have to follow, are highlighted.

It takes a second to pick up, but once you have a feel for it, Strong Mind Puzzles actually does make you feel like you’re practicing being smarter. You’ll page through 25 puzzles in each level, and as time goes on, the game adds more rules for you to keep track of (up to three in the ninth, and final, level). The only drawback is that, with only nine levels, you’ll run out of puzzles pretty quickly. The app expects you to replay them to practice and get better, but the earlier levels are easy enough that you won’t replay them often.

Strong Mind Puzzles’ science-based background and challenge do seem to help make you smarter, and you can feel the challenge of the game diminishing with practice – which is good. But players might be turned off by how few total puzzles there are, even if they’re randomly generated. For $1.99, this app feels like it should give you a little more.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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