As noted in part one of this series, older adults who are new to smartphones and tablets often need some practice using touchscreens. Using game apps can help new users get acclimated to touchscreens, provide beneficial mental stimulation, and are also fun to play. In the next installment of this series, we’ll continue discussing games for older adults recommended by their peers.
Game apps come in two varieties: free and premium (paid). Most gaming apps have both a free and paid version. 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. If you do some digging, you can find free versions with no ads and some that work without an internet connection. Most free versions have ads, however.
Depending on the game, there are often multiple instances of a game using similar titles available in the App Store or on Google Play. It’s usually a good idea to check the reviews for a game and also note whether the game has in-app purchases. Reviews can be helpful but should not be considered the final word on a game’s quality. In-app purchases usually indicate that a premium version of the app is available.
If you are looking for game on a friend’s recommendation, ask them for the developer’s name to help you identify the correct app in the app store. You can usually find the developer’s name on the About page, accessible from the app menu.
Let’s continue our look at games that can help older adults learning to use touchscreens on smartphones and tablets.
A mystery-solving game, as well as a game for finding hidden objects. In Pearl’s Peril, heiress and flying ace Pearl Wallace is your companion as you hunt for clues to solve the mystery of her father’s untimely demise. Travel from New York City to the heart of Africa and help Pearl solve the mystery. Pearl’s Peril is available in the App Store and on Google Play.
Wood Block Puzzle
Similar to classic Tetris, Wood Block Puzzle is a fun, easy game requiring visual-spatial skills as you move blocks to fit in the empty spaces to complete a row and advance in the game. There are several iterations of this game in the App Store and on Google Play, so check the ratings, read some of the user comments, and choose one that looks like a well-supported app.
Word Wars is a Scrabble-type game you can play with others. You can also play multiple games with other players in parallel. Word Wars – Word Game by developer PlaySimple Games has no ads but requires that you log in using your Facebook account. Apps that use this method for creating user accounts allow you to post your game status on Facebook and invite your Facebook friends to play the game. Available in the App Store and on Google Play.
The Wood Block and Word Wars games, in particular, will help new touchscreen users become more familiar with the amount of pressure to apply to screens as well as dragging and moving objects on the screen.
Check back soon for the next installment in this series.
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