Brain Games

Noughts and Crosses

This classic game always gets a lot of love. Although simple, it’s the perfect game to introduce the concept of strategy to beginners. They transition from trying to place 3 pieces in a straight line, (which is easy to see coming and ends in a draw), to developing strategies that give them two options to win. The light bulb goes Ding when they pull off their first few strategic moves and start winning more games.[/one_half]


This game is called Quatro because the winner is the first to get 4 of their pieces in a row. But it’s more than just a beefed-up noughts and crosses. Each player has pieces of 3 different sizes, and can use their bigger pieces to capture the opponents smaller piece. As well, at any stage you can play a piece from your reserves or the playfield. It takes layers of thought when planning strategies. I have no greater game for developing perception. With so many variables it’s very easy to miss a threat or an opportunity.

Pack a Box

This is a game of 3D Tetris. The goal is to pack all of the little boxes neatly into the larger box. Most players start with a flurry of trial and error. Without success they then try to process a solution with thought. Some people get there solo, but it usually takes a hint to get people to the finish line. They are always well pleased with themselves regardless.

Battle Bridge

It takes strategy and math to win this battle. Two players take turns. They can choose to pick up either 1, 2 or 3 sticks each turn. The battle is won by forcing the opponent to pick up the last stick. Then you are Battle Bridge Master!

Peg Solitaire

This game was recorded in history in 1697. Apparently King Louis XIV was a big fan. The game is played by jumping one peg over another and removing it from the board. The challenge is to remove as many pegs as possible. When no more moves are possible, that is your score.
This game can be played repeatedly against yourself, or by comparing your score to an opponent. If you need inspiration, King Louis could play this game and leave one peg remaining in the centre hole.

Flip It

Flip It! Flip it real good! This is a fast and fun math game that keeps the brain firing. The goal is to flip over as many tabs as possible. This is achieved with a roll of 2 dice. If you throw 2 x 4’s that score is 8. You can then flip any combination of tabs that add up to 8. 1 and 7, 2 and 6, 3 and 5, or just the 8 alone. Then you roll again and try to flip that number. The game is over when you dont have the available tabs to flip that add up to the dice total. Add the tabs and that is your score. The lower the better. This game can be played repeatedly against yourself, or by comparing your score to an opponent.