Want to boost your memory? Try any of the below memory games for adults to make the process of improving your cognitive functions engaging and fun!

Schools have started using video games and apps to teach students language, math, and other valuable skills. However, it’s not only children who can benefit from games. In fact, there are some excellent memory games for adults which may help them boost their cognitive functions.

Technology has become a ubiquitous part of our lives. With smartphones, laptops, and tablets, we’re always connected. We’re getting most of our information, and a lot of our entertainment from our electronics.

Over the last decade, we also have been concerned that video games are the cause of a lot of health problems, and a growing epidemic of ADD/ADHD and short attention spans in both adults and children. But new research suggests that gaming actually helps improve memory, retention, and concentration.

Repetitive learning can help your brain enter a state of deep practice, which allows you to improve muscle memory, and strengthen neurological pathways in the brain. That doesn’t mean you should spend all day in the house playing video games, however.

Unhealthy Gaming

With all the screen time we have, it’s no wonder that video game addictions are still a threat. An estimated 3 million people today are addicted to video games. The habit is defined by loss of focus, loss of function, and a disconnect from both real-life relationships, and other hobbies.

With our constant overstimulation, a video game or internet addiction in the 21st century can be a massive drain on your mental resources.

But games don’t have to be a toxic part of your life. The right type of games can be useful to you. Cognitive improvement apps, including memory games for adults and children, promote brain growth, decision-making skills, and even healthy social relationships.

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Memory Games as a Force for Good

By mixing up your gaming, instead of focusing on one game, you can negate the obsessive behavior an addiction encourages.

Using learning apps and memory games for adults to turn your gaming into a healthy brain activity is another great way to counter the adverse effects of too much video gaming. And changing things up with multiplayer and social games can help you connect with friends in your social circle, instead of strangers online.

Causes of Memory Loss

The best part is that there are plenty of fun memory games for adults, not just for kids! As you age, you may experience a loss of cognitive function and memory.

There are three major causes of age-related memory loss.

  1. The hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with short term memory, can deteriorate with age.
  2. Hormones and proteins that stimulate neural growth and repair brain cells decline with age.
  3. As you age, there is less blood flow to the brain, impairing your ability to retain information and learn new skills.

memory loss

The good news is, this isn’t a finite process. Memory loss does not have to be inevitable. Your brain is capable of producing new brain cells at any age, and, though it may take longer to create new neurological pathways, the “deep practice” state encouraged by video game play is a great way to strengthen links in your mind, since it involves constant problem-solving.

Playing action games is also an excellent way to increase blood flow to the brain, and improve mental functioning and multitasking skills.

The games on this list are great for brain growth, especially for memory. Some are app games, some are board games to play with friends, and some can even be played with pen and paper. However you play, it’s guaranteed to keep you distracted in a good way and improve your memory.

Important: If you or those close by you have noticed a significant loss in memory, consult your doctor. It could be an indication of an issue you need to deal with as soon as possible.

Top 10 Fun and Effective Memory Games for Adults

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1. Criminal Case

There are versions of this mystery-solving app on multiple platforms. I love this one for the animation style and exciting storylines. There is plenty of variety too. Great for casual gamers, it uses a series of minigames to solve murder mysteries around the city, the world, and even through time!

To solve the mystery, you need to review crime scenes that ask you to find various objects, solve number puzzles, and work out riddles. Memory plays a huge role, especially when it comes to exploring crime scenes.

2. Eidetic

Eidetic memory means photographic memory, and the game Eidetic is designed to help you develop your photographic memory. Using the same spaced repetition memorization method, you can find in popular language learning programs like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo.

The game moves faster as you progress, asking you to keep track of more and more images. Not only is it good for memory, but also for hand-eye coordination, and ordering data in the brain.

3. Lumosity

As a brain training app, Lumosity has a variety of games that help you develop skills in everything from spatial reasoning, logic, hand-eye coordination, and short and long-term memory.

A few minutes a day with Lumosity can improve neurological functioning from the ground up, encouraging skills that transfer to real-life situations.

4. Trivia Games

Whether you choose an electronic trivia game like Trivia Crack or the classic Trivial Pursuit, trivia games are a great way to take your gaming to your friends. You may think it’s just filling your head with useless facts, but the positive interactions can help strengthen neurological pathways.

Think of all those times in college. Studying by yourself was often less effective than getting a pizza and quizzing classmates before an exam. Trivia games are thought to work the same way. And the more you create positive associations with these memories, the easier the recall will be.

5. Battleship

The classic board game Battleship can be played in a variety of ways, in a team, between two of you, on the computer, as a board game, even with just a pen and paper!

For those of you unfamiliar with it, Battleship is a strategy game played on a grid. Each point in the grid is given a designated number and letter. Your ships are placed at varying locations, and it’s your job to sink your opponent’s ship, by keeping track of where they are on the grid. Logic, spatial reasoning, and a good memory will help you succeed.

6. Mastermind

Another favorite classic board game turned video game app. Mastermind is a code-breaking game. One person, or team, create a code the other must break by making guesses about the color and position of pegs on a board. Like Battleship, this is one part memory, one part logic, and one part strategy.

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7. Sudoku

Sudoku is a perfect option if you’re tired of looking at a screen all day. This is a math game favorite that requires a good head for numbers and some visual memory skills. It also helps with pattern recognition, and enables you to develop a better memory for numbers!

8. Crosswords

Crosswords have a lot of benefits. They help improve your vocabulary and help increase the ability to problem-solve. They encourage working with both sides of the brain and can help improve your memory. They’re a great activity to spend time alone relaxing.

crosswords memory

And if that’s not your thing, there’s always the online community. Plenty of puzzle sites offer an engaging community of brain-teasing fun. Or, get the whole family together for a game of Scrabble, the board game that takes crosswords to a whole new level!

9. Jigsaw Puzzles

You wouldn’t think of a jigsaw puzzle as a brain teaser, but it is! If you’re a kinesthetic learner, that is, a person who learns with your hands, jigsaw puzzles can help with concentration, pattern recognition, and memory.

It’s not just for kids, it’s one of the most popular memory games for adults as well! It’s a fun, rewarding hobby that promotes brain health, and another activity that you can do alone, or in a group.

10. DIY Memory Games for Adults

These aren’t memory games for your phone, or family board games. But they’re fun brain-teasing exercises that you can do at home to challenge your memory.

  • The Grocery Game

Create a grocery list, but don’t write it down. Try a trick called “peg words” to keep track of it. List everything with a number in front. Rhyme the names to a word. One for sun, and two for a shoe, and so on. If the first item on your list is milk, you might imagine drinking a big glass of milk in the hot sun.

Visual associations can help you develop a better memory. Make it a game by getting the whole family involved, and see who can remember the most items on the list!

These types of associations can help with your memory. They’re loosely related to the Memory Palace technique, an excellent memory tool that incorporates location and associations as mnemonic devices.

  • The Tray Game

Take a tray, and fill it with small items you find around the house. Write down the items, and put it underneath the tray. Test how many you can remember after ten seconds with the tray.

  • Match Cards

A classic memory game that’s good for all ages, and fun to play with kids. Mix up a deck of cards, and turn them all face down. Whoever gets the most matches win!

Final Thoughts

In our electronically-based society, we’ve gotten too used to the idea that games are a distraction at best, and might be toxic and damaging at worse. But not all games are created equally. They’re not all designed to keep you distracted with flashing lights and reward tracks.

The above memory games for adults are healthier for your brain than the average video game. Some are social, some solitaire, some electronic, some not. All are good for improving your mind and strengthening your memory.


Kyle Ford – your friendly neighborhood tech nerd, founder of the popular HHDMAG, a blatant excuse for his gadgets addiction. When he’s not loading up on unhealthy amounts of cortado’s and caramel waffles, he runs the occasional marathon. But his daughter always wins.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thomas

    Somehow in this case, the old – good chess have been forgotten. 😉

  2. Harold Burton

    Star Fox/Starwing was not only the very first SNES game we ever got, but it was the first ever video game I ever played. And even though it looks dated now, I still enjoy playing it now and again. And I also play Super Mario World too. What? No Super Star Wars, Super The Empire Strikes Back, Super Return of the Jedi, Mario Paint or The Mask? Not even as honourable mentions?

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