Older adults who are new to smartphones and tablets commonly need ways to practice using touchscreens. A popular (and fun) way to get familiar with touchscreens on mobile devices is by using game apps. They are also excellent tools for cognitive stimulation and mental exercise. We’ll discuss some of the games for older adults recommend by their peers – whether you’re just starting out using a touchscreen or a seasoned veteran.
Like many mobile device apps, game apps come in two varieties: free and premium (paid). Most gaming apps have both a free and paid version, which makes sense for both the game maker and the player. The player can play the free version of the game to see if they like it, and the game maker can make some residual revenue from in-app advertising.
Premium games require either a one-time payment or a monthly subscription. A premium version typically removes all ads and may include some advanced features or options not available in the free version. These upgrades are also known as in-app purchases.
My wife – LeeAnn Langdon of Prime of Life Fitness – conducts group fitness classes with tech-savvy older adults. She asked her clients for game app suggestions. The following apps are a curated list of their recommendations. All of the game apps listed are available in the App Store or the Google Play Store.
This post is part one of a multi-part series on gaming apps for older adults. Check back soon for the next installment in the series.
Township is a civilization simulation game where you can build cities and farms, and explore in a virtual world. The game allows you to interact with others using Facebook or Apple’s Game Center and others within the game community.
The game is free to play. However, certain items within the game must be purchased. The game allows you to disable this option if you don’t wish to use it.
June’s Journey is a role-playing game where you join 1920s amateur detective June Parker to help solve mysteries by finding clues and hidden objects. The game has “hundreds of mind-teaching puzzles” in a serial format with new “chapters” each week.
The game is free to play but has in-app purchases for specific items within the game. In-app purchases can be disabled.
A classic since the first versions of Microsoft Windows (and for decades before computers using real playing cards), Solitaire is a familiar card game that has been available on PCs and more recently mobile devices for 30 years. The latest edition – Microsoft Solitaire Collection – combines the classic Solitaire with Solitaire, FreeCell, Spider Solitaire, and other variations of the classic game into a single app.
Solitaire is free to play but displays ads. The annual subscription removes advertising. You can also install and play the game on your Windows PC or play using your browser.
Check back for the next installment of games for older adults on smartphones and tablets.
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