Are board games just “fun and games”? The best board games work your brain: they make you use your memory, develop critical thinking skills, use strategy proficiency, and more. Games that employ strategy are essential for keeping your memory sharp. Whenever you have to think strategically, you must not only think ahead, but remember what you’ve done in the past that can affect the future.
Just how important are board games for mental health? Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center did a study that found that regular game playing helped the elderly retain memory function and actually reduced their chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease. In other words: just like your body, the mantra is “move it or lose it!”
With this in mind, we’ve looked high and low to find 8 top memory board games that will help stimulate your memory and revitalize those brain synapses!
Wait… Scrabble is a memory game? Yes, and it’s one of the very best! This classic crossword game not only keeps your vocabulary sharp and helps you think strategically, but it also forces you to remember… what words end with ‘om’… or how do you spell ‘accommodate’?
2. Trivial Pursuit
Today, this classic memory game has themed options, which is great news for people who aren’t sports fans and got stumped by the football and baseball references in the original. It’s amazing how the human brain retains “useless” information, isn’t it? Actually, the information isn’t useless at all if it helps you win the game!
3. Ticket to Ride
The learning curve in this fast-paced game is short, but you’ll need your memory and your strategy skills to win. The game is about collecting train cards and claiming railway routes. You’ll need to remember geography as well as hone your strategic thinking skills – and the game now comes in different editions that feature different countries and continents.
The aim of Chronology is to be the first to collect 10 timeline cards. Each card contains a historical event and the year; to win, you need to sort 10 cards in the correct chronological position within your own timeline. Brush up on your historical facts and remember them when it’s game time, and you’ll excel.
This is a storytelling game where each person takes turns being a storyteller. The storyteller makes up a sentence about a card in their hand; the cards are then shuffled, placed face up, and other players have to guess which card was the storyteller’s. Since many of the cards are vague, you have to dig into your memory banks to come up with good stories about the message you want to convey.
Players receive a card with a secret word. They must draw something to represent the word. Then, they pass their sketch to the next player; that player needs to guess what the drawing is, and this process goes for several rounds. Your memory will be piqued by having to use both the verbal and visual parts of your brain to come up with an accurate representation of the given word.
This game simulates what it’s like to run a real farm: the challenges of getting produce to market, while feeding the family. This game requires strategy, planning, juggling various aspects of ‘farming’ and coping with adversity. As with the following game, strategy requires basing future actions on the past and remembering what worked and what did not.
This historical-based game is about conquest. Rely on your memory for geographical and historical knowledge which will help you choose the right strategy. As in real life, alliances are made and broken, and things rarely go as planned.
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