Lumosity Expands its Mobile Footprint and Comes to Android

Lumosity Expands its Mobile Footprint and Comes to Android

Jun 17, 2014

Lumosity, the self-described human cognition project that challenges the brain, has finally arrived on Android after achieving success on iOS.

The program notes that it is designed by neuroscientists, and looks to help users exercise their brains and memory by using games.

According to Lumosity chief Kunal Sarkar, creating the best product available to the most people is the ultimate goal. “We’re excited to launch our Android app, which will allow us to reach more users and provide them with a convenient and fun way to train with Lumosity from anywhere at any time,” he says. “Our goal is to create the best, most accessible brain training experience, and with Android reaching 80 percent of the smartphone market share worldwide, launching on Android is an important step toward that goal.”

The company is also looking to expand on the its language offerings in the near future.

Lumosity is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

Size Matters! Review

Size Matters! Review

Jun 16, 2011

Working out your brain has become a bit of a fad in recent years. Kicked off by Dr. Kawashima and his floating head, it seems there’s a lot of money to be made making people incrementally smarter than they were before they picked up your game. If you can make them have a good time whilst they expand their intellect, then you’ve basically found the holy grail of mobile gaming.

Size Matters! is a brain training game of sorts, albeit a pared down one. There’s a single activity to tickle your grey matter, and that involves deciding, at speed, which of the two things you’re presented with is the largest. You might get numbers, sums, objects, weights or periods of time, but you only get three lives per go, and once you’ve used them, it’s back to the main menu to start again.

It sounds like a simple enough premise, but there’s a timer ticking away and you have to make a snap decisions about questions like which is longer: the gestation period, in days, of an elephant or the number of minutes in a year; the tension really starts to kick in. at this point. You answer the questions by tapping on-screen on the choice that you think is the largest.

There are three levels of difficulty, each offering a variety of obscure sizes, lengths of time and other measures over which you can deliberate. A high score system is in place, as well as a challenge system, that lets you compete against other players to find out who’s the best at knowing the sizes of things.

Size Matters! isn’t the best looking game out there, nor is it the most complex, but it does have a down to earth charm that makes it a winner. It’s fun, spectacularly easy to play and, perhaps most importantly, will hone your brain reflexes as you play. That’s not too bad for a game that doesn’t cost anything.

Recoil Review

Recoil Review

Apr 18, 2011

Developer: Chipsteam
Price: US$0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

Recoil is a time-waster; it is an affair that lasts minutes and doesn’t overstay its welcome. However, it represents an interesting conundrum. As a simple, physics-based game featuring a dot amidst a scrambled mess of lines, are the extremely basic rules and visuals too simple to be entertaining? And, if so, is it at least fun? These are questions I keep asking myself as I play it.

Recoil is like playing some piece of abstract art where the lines and dots suddenly spring to life and become game pieces. The idea is to aim the dot at the lines, like aiming a cue ball in a game of billiards, then clear the lines by hitting them in a set number of “shots” to advance to the next level. You want to clear as many lines as you can on each shot to rack up as many points as possible. It’s brain-dead simple. So, thankfully, there a number of obstacles to make it more of a challenge. Scattered among the lines are a bunch of other dots, or “nodes” that can be cleared by eliminating the lines attached to them. The white nodes act as bumpers, sending your dot in other directions and potentially wasting your shot. The red nodes create new lines when you hit them, escalating the difficulty until it becomes impossible to clear all the lines. Obviously, you want to avoid those.

As for how the game controls, the dot’s movement can be somewhat unpredictable. You might be trying to make a bank shot to place the ball exactly where you want it, but, for whatever reason, it ends up bouncing off in a direction you didn’t want it to go. It’s a little frustrating. Making things more difficult, the dot tends to “teleport” at random. It just suddenly disappears and reappears somewhere else. The game does warn you that this will happen, though, so it’s not a bug; just a quirk to make the game more interesting.

That brings me back to my main point, though. Is Recoil fun, or just interesting? I think you can make arguments for each. Trying to get as many points as you can while working within the rules of the game to overcome the challenges presented is fun, but the game appeals to me on a different level.

Recoil makes me think of some abstract art paintings I saw when I was a kid. It reminds me of the way I’d look at those paintings, imagining some kind of ruleset in my mind to guide the world in that painting and how it would work if it were to suddenly come to life. What if those dots were billiard balls, and what if you ran the balls into the lines, allowing them to bounce all over the place? For a brief moment, it stirs the imagination and makes me forget that I’m just killing time on my phone. But, that moment passes, and I’m left looking for something else to do. That just about sums up the entire experience.