Some studies suggest that your mental faculties (and just about everything else) take a turn for the worse after you’ve hit 25. After that, it’s allegedly a slow tumble down the proverbial hill. Of course, much like how it’s never too late to start physically exercising, there are ways to slow and even reverse your cerebral decay. That’s where mental training tools like the free Fit Brains Trainer come in.
Fit Brains started as an educational website, and has now grown into an educational app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The app is concise, cleanly delivered, and—quite possibly—capable of delivering what it promises.
When you first launch Fit Brains Trainer, you’re asked for your age and your gender so that the program can fuel your competitive streak. How well do you measure up against other people in your age? Do you do better than 50-percent of the local percentile in terms of memory? What about in the problem-solving department? I’m not entirely sure about the accuracy of Fit Brains’ analysis, but it remains oddly satisfying to check every once in a while. Once you’ve completed that introductory procedure, you’re then free to embark on your quest for a fitter, sharper mind.
For the most part, Fit Brains Trainer can be divided into two, somewhat self-explanatory sections: training and games. The former will have you working to improve the five major areas of brain function with the help of an assortment of simple activities. For example, the concentration enhancing exercise involves determining which of two paint buckets have received the most droplets of paint.
Each session will only take about a minute to complete, which makes this app a rather commute-friendly activity. After you’ve completed the round, you’ll then get to see the accuracy of your responses, your average response time, and whether you’ve succeeded at beating your previous records. As for the games themselves, they tend to start off on a relatively easy note before eventually progressing into something much more complicated.
The games segment theoretically works in the same fashion, except that instead of being assigned a brain game, you can select whatever you want to play at whatever difficulty you so desire—if you’re willing to pay the price, that is. While it’s possible to squeak by with just the free version of Fit Brains Trainer, you’ll have to make use of its in-app purchase structure if you want to unlock everything and make full use of the system.
Modestly appointed and easy to navigate, Fit Brains Trainer is definitely a no-frills sort of experience. Though relatively varied, the mini-games never stray into unreasonable complexity; you won’t ever have to fake an understanding of the Theory of Relativity. Does Fit Brains Trainer work? I don’t know. It’s certainly been an entertaining diversion during subway rides. I certainly feel smarter than the regular Joe who fills his commute time with Angry Birds, and that may well be worth the price of entry.