Online games are not just for kids. Adults and seniors are having just as much fun playing them.
There have been a lot of studies done on how playing games regularly can help seniors ward off feelings of isolation and depression. Some games can help seniors improve their memory and reinforce visual recognition skills.
All in all, there are many benefits for seniors to engaging in online games. There are thousands of game apps, and many of these are both fun and challenging for the aging population.
Best Game Apps for Seniors
Lots of older adults have turned to technology to entertain themselves. One category of entertainment apps for seniors that is popular is game apps.
Some seniors are still uncomfortable with technology though. Therefore, game apps for them should be easy to play and not highly technical. There are games designed for different types of play.
Here are some of the popular game apps that seniors enjoy.
Brain Apps for Seniors
Games can be used to challenge and exercise the brain. Below are some great examples.
Designed by a team of scientists, Lumosity is used by millions of people around the world. The app has games that are designed to exercise your memory and improve problem-solving skills, speed, and flexibility.
You start with a Fit Test to set your baseline, then you play games to see how you do against others in your age bracket. The challenge is customized to your abilities, so you can improve as you go along.
Another game designed by scientists, Peak uses games and puzzles to challenge your memory, your critical thinking skills, and language skills.
You get a “coach” who provides challenges that are customized to your abilities. It keeps track of your progress and shows you where you need to improve, so you keep learning and staying motivated.
Matrix – Brain Challenge
This fun game app (available on the Apple App Store only) can help you improve your memory. There are 20 levels of difficulty. After a round, you can see where you stand among other players. This memory game is simple but challenging. You can play every day and see how much you can improve each day.
You can see more brain-busting apps for seniors here.
iPhone Games for Seniors
Some games are not available on every mobile device format. Below are games that are available on the iPhone and recommended for older adults.
The old-time favorite has gone online! There are lots of popular puzzle themes like Americana Summer, World of Color, and much more.
You can sort and move your pieces around to organize them, just like how you would work on a real puzzle. Only with the puzzle app you are guaranteed not to have any missing pieces!
This is another old-time favorite among seniors that they won’t have any problems playing online. You can customize your deck, draw cards one at a time or three at a time and drag your top card to the layout.
You can earn crowns and trophies as you move up your skill level. You can socialize and send stickers to other players and see how you compare to other players on the leaderboard.
Match Pairs 3D: Matching Game
The object is to drag all the pairs of matching cards together from a bunch of cards scattered on the game board. You race against the clock and try to pair off the cards before your time runs out.
This game trains your concentration, observation, and logic. The images are nice to look at, and there are over 1000 levels, so it will never get dull.
Best Android Games for Seniors
For seniors who use Android devices, below are games that they can play.
For seniors who own a dog, they will love this game. They can open a dog resort and take care of their canine boarders.
They can feed the dogs, wash them, play with them, and basically take care of their virtual pet guests. The seniors can put their dog sitting skills to the test as they operate their doggy hotel.
The game is fast pace, so it will challenge the senior’s reflexes. The goal is to control a sword with your finger to make a clean cut on falling fruit with a swipe. You start with large fruits, which is quite easy, then the fruits become smaller and come faster as the game progresses.
Fruit Ninja requires focus because if you slice a bomb by accident, you will explode and go back to the first level.
VR Oculus Games for Seniors
Seniors are fascinated by how they can immerse themselves in a game through virtual reality. Below are several popular games apps that seniors like to play with the Oculus.
Seniors can take their artwork to a whole new level! They can create works of art with brush strokes that are three-dimensional.
Use light, stars, and fire to create something fabulous. Imagine creating the art, then walking around it! Tilt Brush can unleash the senior’s creativity that he never knew he had.
Nature Treks VR
This is a chance for the senior to escape to the tropics! They can explore the virtual underwater world or walk across green fields. They can summon animals, control the weather, and basically create their own virtual paradise. This app can truly challenge the imagination.
Apollo 11 VR
Seniors will go back in time to relive the first landing on the moon from the eyes of those who were actually there. They will be immersed in the space module where they can control different aspects of the journey, like landing the module.
They can take the first step on the moon! The experience is enhanced by real footage and recordings from NASA for a truly realistic experience.
Best Crossword Apps for Seniors
Crossword puzzles are one of the favorite things that seniors like to do. In a game app, they don’t have to worry about erasing a lot. Below are some popular apps for crossword.
Crossword Unlimited is a classic crossword puzzle game where you can choose the size and level of difficulty. Once you make your selection, just click “Play” to get started. It is easy to go back and correct a letter or replace a word.
If you get stuck, there is a help menu to give you hints. You can do the puzzle at your leisure or try to complete it within a set time for a challenge.
5-Minute Crossword Puzzles
This crossword app, available on the Google Play Store, is great if the senior just wants a quick crossword puzzle to do in five minutes. It only has about seven clues, so you can complete one quickly. For those who need a “quick fix” but don’t have time to do long puzzles, this is the perfect app for them.
This crossword app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, has a twist in that it does not give you a clue to read. Instead, the words are items hidden in a picture that they display.
You look at the hint in the puzzle and match what you see in the picture. It is easy to play, and the picture clue gives it a nice twist.
Tablet Games for Seniors
Some seniors prefer to play online games on a tablet because the phone is just too small. Below are games ideal for the tablet.
Chess – Play & Learn
Turn your tablet into a chess board! You can play against the computer to improve your skills, or challenge your friend and chat with your opponents. The skill level adjusts to your abilities, so you can gradually improve.
There are lessons from the top Grandmasters. Seniors don’t need to wait for someone to play with whenever they have a craving for a challenging game of chess. It is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store
Monopoly – Classic Board Game
Your tablet can become a Monopoly game board! The app is not free, but it is extremely popular because you can connect with your family and friends around the world and play together.
Because it is a paid game app and available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, you don’t have any annoying ads to deal with. You can fully immerse into the Monopoly game world with entertaining animations and graphics.
If you are specifically looking for games for older adults that play well on a tablet, see my full guide to tablet games for seniors.
Fun/Simple Game Apps for Seniors
Sometimes simple games apps are the best. Who wants to spend all that time reading instructions? Here are some games that are fun and easy to play.
Candy Crush is a very simple game. Just connect the similar types and colors of candy to crush them. There are over a couple of thousand levels, so the fun is endless.
It gets more challenging as you advance to higher levels. It challenges you to think analytically to see the best way to connect the candies.
Dots is a simple connect-the-dots game that can give your brain a workout. You connect dots of the same color to make various lines and shapes. The more dots you connect, the more points you get.
The game makes you use your analytic skills as you figure out the best way to connect to maximize your points. You can also play against the clock for a bigger challenge.
Game Apps for Seniors with Dementia
Dementia impacts memory and thinking abilities. There are games that can slow down this decline by challenging the brain in certain ways. Below are a few good examples.
The MindMate app is not just a game, but it is really a helper. It offers games for improving memory, attention, and speed and helps the senior stay focused.
There is a module for nutrition, exercises, and also a portal for old TV classics. This app can really help someone suffering from dementia stay engaged.
Talking Tom Cat 2
This app allows the senior to keep a virtual pet named Talking Tom Cat. Talking Tom Cat can repeat what you say to it. The senior can interact with him by brushing him or poking him.
He can challenge the cat to play mini-games and win coins. The cat can be dressed in different outfits. The interactivity will keep the senior engaged for hours. This game is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
This app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, allows a senior to take care of a virtual garden. He can plant virtual seeds, water them, and watch the seed grow into a plant with blooming flowers.
This is a soothing game that the senior can enjoy, and seeing his virtual garden grow will give him a sense of accomplishment.
Best Word Game Apps for Seniors
Besides crossword, seniors like to play other types of word games. Seniors tend to have a larger vocabulary compared to the younger generations because they have lived longer and have read more literature.
So word games are particularly enjoyable because they play on their strength. Below are some popular word games for seniors.
Wordscapes, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, has aspects of a crossword puzzle and word scramble rolled into one. You are given a game layout and a set of letters. You must make words out of those letters to fit into the layout until all spaces are filled.
Sometimes there are tournaments so you can see where you rank among the players in the world. The background has lovely nature scenery, which makes for a pleasant playing experience.
Wheel of Fortune
Seniors will love this online game version of the iconic TV game show. The senior can become a contestant and play with family and friends to compete for virtual prizes.
They will have fun spinning the Wheel of Fortune and guessing the words in the puzzle. Lightning rounds will also give them an additional challenge.
Summary and Final Recommendation
Having game apps on the phone is like having your very own game arcade in the palm of your hands. You can play a quick game whenever you want, no matter where you are.
For seniors, this is a wonderful convenience because they don’t have to rely on other people to find them a board game. New game apps are released practically every day. There are even new game apps being released that are made especially for people with visual difficulties or physical disabilities.
It is worthwhile to peruse the online game store every now and then to see what new games have been released that are appropriate for seniors. Learning a new game every so often can challenge the mind and keep it sharp.
RELATED: Coloring Apps For Seniors
Not only can playing online games improve the senior’s mental acuity, but most game apps integrate a social aspect of playing by allowing friendly competition among game players or enabling you to join a team to achieve a common goal.
The socialization, even though it is virtual, can help a senior not feel isolated and promote a positive mood.
Playing games can help an elderly person feel young again. Having a bit of fun is always good for the soul, and game apps are the perfect way to provide that entertainment.