Online games can help you stay cognitively sharp or give you something to focus on and pass the time in your golden years.
Unfortunately, there is a huge variety of online games to choose from, so you’ll want to avoid wasting money on games that are simply not interesting or appropriate.
Check out these fun and free online games to see if one of them appeals to you.
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One game that has received increased attention this year is Wordle, which was bought by the New York Times.
The game starts by having you choose a five-letter word and tells you which letters are in the solution and if any of yours are in the right spot. You have five chances to get the word right.
Wordle is new each day, and you only have one shot at the puzzle before you’re locked out until tomorrow.
Play a traditional board game on your computer with an online version of Scrabble.
The game allows you to take a set number of tiles and place them on the board to make words or build off of the words placed by your opponent.
Extra points on the board or points on your tiles can help you reach a high score.
I’m a Puzzle
Puzzles can be a fun pastime, but there can be some issues with having a big enough surface to do the puzzle or the potential to lose pieces.
I’m a Puzzle is a good website that lets you put together puzzles without worrying about space issues or missing pieces.
Check the site for different options uploaded by users and adjust the challenge level to increase or decrease the number of pieces you have to put together.
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Sudoku, which means “single number” in Japanese, is a grid game with different numbers on it.
Game players usually have a nine-by-nine board with some numbers already filled in.
You have to add a number from one through nine to each box that doesn’t appear in its vertical column, horizontal column, or the nine-by-nine box it’s already in.
AARP’s website has several options for seniors trying to keep their minds busy, including a traditional version of Mahjongg Solitaire.
Try to match tiles into pairs, which doesn’t sound too difficult until you remember that tiles are built on each other, and you have to work your way down from one level to another.
Another option on the AARP website is a daily crossword to help you work on your vocabulary skills to put words together on a grid.
There are other daily crossword options, depending on which site you prefer, so search online or try your local newspaper’s website for free crosswords to play.
Chess is a strategic game you may have played with others or against a computer.
The good news is there are plenty of free options online to sharpen your chess skills, and you can play against a computer or a friend.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play chess; sites like chess.com also have lessons so you can learn how to take on the challenging game.
One website you may want to check out is sixtyandme.com, which has a game section with plenty of fun choices.
One game to try out is Block Champ, where you put block pieces on a board to clear out rows and columns.
It may look a little familiar to you if you’ve played Tetris in the past with some different features compared to that video game.
Daily Word Search
You may remember word searches from school when you were trying to find words in a big box of letters.
Rediscover the joy of finding a word in the jumbled alphabet with word searches you can do on your computer. Each day has a daily search, so you only get one chance to find the words.
Check online for other free options that may allow you to expand your word search size or do more than one a day.
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Another once-a-day game from the New York Times is Connections, in which you get 16 words each day, and you need to connect them into four groups that each have something in common.
The puzzle can get challenging with words that have more than one meaning or words you think go together when they don’t.
The classic Atari game gets an online version to keep you busy battling incoming missiles that can attack your city.
The game is perfect to test your reflexes and give you a nostalgic trip for the video games you may have loved as a kid.
Another word game you may want to try is Word Wipe, which is similar to Boggle if you enjoy playing that game.
Check out the board filled with letters and connect them to make words. Each word you create clears the letters off the board and gives it a new look so you can try and collect more.
Each ball you get to shoot as a player is another chance for you to clear the board of bubbles.
In Bubble Shooter, you have to match your ball color to the balls in the playing field to clear the board. Bubbles disappear each time you get at least three of the same bubbles.
The New York Times tests your ability to make words with only a few letters in its Spelling Bee contest.
The Spelling Bee game gives you seven letters, with one of them being in the middle of the hive.
You can build as many words as possible with those seven letters with the challenge of making sure each word has the middle letter in it.
Check out Ballistic if you like numbers and brick-breaking type games.
Ballistic gives you a ball with a number on it to strike boxes with numbers. Each number on the ball is one shot at the box with the objective of getting the boxes shot out before they reach the bottle of the puzzle.
Another Tetris-like puzzle is 10x10, in which you have to put pieces together to clear lines off the board.
Each piece allows you to potentially clear a line and move along in the game, depending on how you can place different unique pieces together.
Solitaire has been included on computers for years as free software, or you can find it online.
Solitaire is a great game to play as you build on different cards in a deck to make rows of numbers and face cards of alternating colors.
The great thing about solitaire on a computer is that it’s easy to move cards from one place to another, and you don’t need the space you would have to get to sit down and play a game at a table.
Free games are a great way to keep your mind sharp and keep you busy when you retire. Of course, you can also enjoy playing these games before you retire.
It’s never too early to start exercising or mind, nor should you feel guilty if you’d rather spend some quality time relaxing alone instead of spending money out with others.