Games That Challenge the Mind: Top Mobile Options

Some of the best games in the world can be accessed straight from a smartphone. This is true for classics like Tetris and Candy Crush Saga, along with eSports hits like League of Legends: Mobile and pop culture phenomena like Among Us. The ongoing popularity of these games highlights just how easy it is to game on smartphones thanks to advances from Huawei and similar communications companies. 

But that doesn’t mean the focus for mobile gamers is always on entertainment. In addition to relaxing after a long day and enjoying some downtime, many also like to keep their brains engaged. In other words, they enjoy playing games that let them unwind and stay engaged at the same time—rather than logging their brains ‘offline’.

Let’s explore a few of the most popular mobile games that challenge the mind, including what makes them popular and how you can start playing now. We’ve broken down our recommendations into three categories: general games, apps that include multiple minigames, and adventurous, creative puzzles.

Blackjack (Game)

Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular casino games because it moves quickly, involves strategic thinking, and includes a lower house edge. That means that, compared to other table games, players can use various probability-based tactics to inform how they make each move as they look to hit 21. If you want to explore blackjack, there are virtual platforms that include mobile apps which allow you to play straight from a smartphone. Keep in mind that you can always focus on free-to-play games.

Sudoku (Game)

Though it’s played with cards, blackjack is a numbers game that pushes players to think mathematically. The same is true for sudoku. To succeed in this gridded numbers puzzle, players must line up every single square to ensure equal outcomes. Compared to other options on this list, sudoku includes different skill levels and lets players take their time—no rushing needed.

Scrabble (Game)

Blackjack and sudoku challenge players to think numerically. The opposite is true in a classic like Scrabble, which is a language game. This makes it more popular for those who hate math. Additionally, sudoku games usually include a social element. Many apps allow you to play with friends, which lets you connect passively with people while unwinding.

Peak (Minigames)

Peak is an app that’s designed to train the brain (just like Blackbox, below). This title includes over 40 unique minigames that were designed by a team of neuroscientists. Working together with game developers, they rolled out some of the most aesthetically pleasing and mentally demanding games out there. More are being uploaded all the time, which means you’ll never run out of new brain teasers.


Blackbox (Minigames)

Just like Peak, Blackbox was designed to help people tap into their fullest mental capacity. Compared to other options on the market, Blackbox has an extremely minimalist design, while its puzzles are also quite far-fetched. If you find yourself getting a little bored with other brain teasers, then you’ll be pleasantly stumped for hours with Blackbox.

Monument Valley (Puzzle Game)

This puzzle game isn’t quite like any other you’ve seen before. That’s because it fuses together a topsy-turvy world of visual puzzles with a loose narrative. This adds pace and depth to the game as players seek to solve highly demanding visual puzzles, many of which will need to be flipped, mirrored, and spun around before they can be solved. Since its release in 2014, it’s remained one of the top puzzle games ever.

Baba Is You (Puzzle Game)

Monument Valley builds on the rich design of creative storytellers—but Baba Is You takes things back to the drawing board with its word puzzles. The game is designed to force players to stretch their minds to put together words, which are used to unlock clues. That clue is usually the key piece that helps players solve puzzles. Sound complex? While the game is certainly designed to stretch your brain, it usually takes around seven hours to complete in total.