Your crossword puzzle is looking for a 7-letter word meaning ‘expected’ or ‘usual’. But you can’t figure it out. Typical.
It’s time to turn on the TV.
As well as being a terrific help when all you want is a little light escapism, the TV can help you maintain and even grow cognitive function, improve coordination, and alleviate everyday stresses. All you have to do is play the right sort of games.
The theory is that taking new mental challenges keeps your brain better able to retain and organise new information, and this heightened stimulation can even have a direct benefit on physical functions, making walking easier and helping combat falls.
You can access a wide range of games to play on your TV using a computer console such as a Wii or a PS4, and even if you do not have either of these available to you, interactive DVDs are an easy and affordable way to play games and quizzes. You can even learn a new language on your TV.
Here are some of the best picks if you want to try your hand at games you can play on your TV.
Nintendo Wii Games
To replicate the experience of playing your favourite newspaper games on the box, try Wii Sudoku Challenge and Puzzle Challenge - Crosswords. The Sudoku pack promises over 100,000 different puzzles, so you will never see the same one twice. If crosswords are more your thing, you can pit your wits against puzzles of different difficulty levels, including ones with cryptic clues and code breaker challenges to really get you thinking.
If you’re after a more sociable puzzle that you can play with family and friends, try this new take on the traditional game of I Spy. You can play with friends, and challenge each other across mysteries and immersive 3D riddles. Playing with the Wii means the game is fully 3D and you can use your controller to navigate round the screen, looking under and between different objects just like you might in real life.
Another great option for the Wii is the Big Brain Academy Wii Degree, which allows you to play alone or with others, solving puzzles to improve your brain power. You complete puzzles to test your abilities across areas like maths, visual recognition and identification, memory and reasoning, and receive a quirky rating on the current state of your brain power. Will you be a caveman or a great thinker like Da Vinci? Only one way to find out!
Minecraft is one of the most popular games available on the PS4. Using 3D building blocks, players create whole worlds, crafting, gathering resources, exploring and – if you choose – fighting off enemies. Minecraft has been around for several years now, and is popular with children and adults of all ages as a creative and fun take on traditional building and role play games. But be warned — it can be quite addictive!
If you’re looking for something a little more lighthearted, then try Mousecraft. Not to be confused with Minecraft, this game is consistently highly rated by reviewers and has 50 puzzle levels in which players help cute mice find their way through a maze.
Action games have been shown to improve eyesight, and games which cause spikes in adrenaline can also prompt improvements in brain power. Not all action games involve whizzing bullets and crashing cars. In Flower, you play the role of the wind, collecting petals as you travel through beautiful bucolic landscapes. This is good for relaxing while still giving your brain a workout. No stress, no hurry, just enjoy the ride.
And if this feels like too much fun to be really training your brain, don’t be fooled. Research has shown that this sort of game also helps your mental capacity by boosting mood, which has both long and short term benefits in reducing anxiety and stress.
A final pick for the PS4 is Little Big Planet 3. The characters Odd Sock, Swoop and Toggle are knitted and stitched handmade creatures that exist in a whimsical imaginary universe. Take them on adventures in this quirkiest of games. The concentration and reasoning required is good for the brain, and the cute graphics are good for the soul.
Interactive Games Without a Computer Console
Of course if you do not have access to a Wii or a PS4, you still have choices. Interactive DVDs are a good way to play games and quizzes, often based on your favourite TV shows. Try this Trivial Pursuit DVD to bring the board game right up to date.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for entertainment on your own or with friends, in the comfort of your own home, why not try some of the great games available with the Sentab TV Companion. Sudoku puzzles will keep you glued to the TV, and give your logic and problem solving a mean workout, while our Trivia games across a variety of topics are great entertainment. If you want to play with friends, then try Bingo for an exciting game without even needing to leave your favourite armchair. All of these great options are free to access through Sentab’s basic package. What are you waiting for?
Join our mailing list to hear more about the great entertainment and games on offer from Sentab. And in the meantime, why not sharpen your skills and try one of the above games to play on your TV?