Fitness For Your Brain

General

Spell-Jam

Have you ever wished you could be in the National Spelling Bee in Washington DC?  Well, now you can (kinda) with Spell-Jam! This game, sponsored by Meriam Websters, is the non-genius’ way to rise to spelling glory, all from the comfort of your home computer.

There are three modes in Spell-Jam: Gameshow, Tournament and Practice. The gameshow is like “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” for spelling. You can choose from three difficulties (advanced is very difficult) and work your way up the money list. Tournament is a chance to take place in an actual spelling bee, where you can compete against multiple competitors, including other people. Practice is self-explanatory; you practice spelling.

The gameplay is basically the same in every mode. The Gameshow mode allows you some more options, like pass, vowels, first and last letters, etc. These help you to get past hard words or words you have never heard before. But, you have a set amount of these, so use them with caution. All the modes have the same four options under the keyboard: Repeat Word, Sentence, Definition, and Origin. These are the basic aids that are available at all spelling bees.

This game was kind of fun, if you enjoy spelling. I enjoyed it for a while, but as I continued playing, I came to realize how bad I was at spelling. Other than that, the only problem I had was during the Tournament mode, I was not able to go back and change typing errors that I made, making it incredibly frustrating and tedious (maybe that is what a spelling bee is supposed to be like). I also got a little fed up with my animated character who repeated the same three phrases (like “Fo Sho” and “Cool”) after answering every question. Also, when you click on the aids, the character is prompted to ask the question before the help pops up. This becomes very monotonous and bored me to no end. All in all, this game was fairly ok and I would give it two and a half out of five stars.

Brainiversity 2

Get your brain and mental fitness tiptop with Mac game Brainiversity 2. This play will get your mind working quickly and, hopefully, efficiently. Do your daily exercises to keep your gray matter strong and flexible, and chart your progress as you go along.

At first glance this play, or should I say workout, appears easy and not very challenging, but when you do not finish your test in time, you know you have to work harder and faster. You begin by putting in your birthday. I had an eight year old try it, thinking the game would adjust the questions to that level. However, the questions are the same as the adult level. Some of the tests are easy for kids, but others like putting the words in the correct order are too obscure for children. The words make up proverbs or sayings kids and some foreign-born people may not have come across yet.

There are 24 games you play in 90 seconds. The games range from colored shapes, memorizing to simple math. You earn brain bucks to unlock new games and also to retry games you must pay 25 bucks. This is worth the price since your score is charted to see if you get smarter.

In addition to the games, there is Edison who will guide you along as you go. The only problem with him is the annoying sounds coming out of him as if he is talking to you. This sound is similar to the adults talking on the Snoopy cartoons on TV. The trivia facts are interesting like the inventor of the Jacuzzi and information on the safety pins.

If you are in need of a brain transplant or want to have fun with some mind working tests, try Brainiversity 2 for a interesting experience. Are you really as smart as you think you are? Take the challenge and chart your evidence. I give this game a 3 out of 5 for helping improve your mind.

Flip Words 2

 

Flip Words 2 is a pleasant surprise as the sequel to Flip Words, the original word Mac game. It has a lot of new twists to the classic game and at the same time kept the familiar fun and educational feel of the play intact.

Now you will find 3 modes of play in Flip Words 2 instead of just one. They are Classic, Strategy and Party modes. The classic is the same basic word game with added bonuses and twists to it. As before you click on the red round letters to form words (the letters will turn green when clicked) of 3 or more letters. Then hit the submit button or click on the last letter of the word twice to submit it. The first letter of the formed words, if usable in the phrase, will go up to fill the blank familiar phrase. The letter tracker (the letters you already used) has been moved to the top of the letter grid and is much easier to see than before. The Shuffle button also has been moved from the right side with other buttons to the left by itself. These 2 moves helped visualize the board better. The Extra Turn meter when filled will give you another turn, and the Big Word bonus will get you more points for words with 5 letters or more.

The Strategy mode is brand new and offers a lot of excitement and entertainment to the play. It has a new token earning play where you can buy vowel buttons that will fill in your choice of a vowel and a longer word button. The third mode is the Party mode. It is the online multiplayer section where you can play with up to 3 other people for medals and high scores.

I enjoyed playing the new Strategy mode as well as the Classic. I think the game is a great improvement to the original even though I liked the first one. Try playing both games and see what you think.