A brain teaser game

Brain Trainer

Article from Issue 248/2021
Author(s):

Gbrainy can help you develop your logical thinking skills with a collection of brain teasers.

Not only are brain teasers fun, they also promote logical thinking skills. The PC has long since replaced the good old puzzle book, making memory training far more efficient with more flexible tasks. Gbrainy, a puzzle game originally developed for the Gnome desktop, is a fun way to train your memory.

Gbrainy includes numerous logic games from different areas. The application, which can be used across all platforms, trains both your memory and your mental arithmetic skills. The games are divided into categories (Figure 1), with three difficulty levels for each category, which lets users advance to a higher difficulty level after practice. The program also keeps a success log for each user, and if so desired, a help function is available for solving tasks.

Figure 1: Gbrainy's program window gives you all the information you need to get started.

On the Record

Gbrainy can be found in the software repositories of virtually all major distributions. Some BSD derivatives already have gbrainy in their software archives, but beware of older software versions.

An overview of the existing precompiled packages is maintained by the developers on the project's website [1]. If you want to build the program yourself, the source code is also available for download as a tarball from the website.

Setup

When you install gbrainy with a precompiled package, a launcher will appear in your desktop environment's application menu. Clicking on the launcher takes you to an intuitive program window (refer to Figure 1) with basic information about the game and the different options. On the left, a vertical toolbar lists the individual game categories. At the bottom of the window, you'll find an input field.

To configure basic options, go to Settings | Preferences. Under General Settings, you can choose to skip games that use colors if you have color-blind players or automatically search for extensions at program startup.

The Preferences dialog is also where you select the difficulty level: Easy, Medium, or Master. By default, gbrainy is set to Medium. For memory games, you can also set the amount of time in seconds for users to memorize the task.

Under Player's Game Session History, you can manage when a game session is saved and the maximum number of records stored in the game history. By default, gbrainy only saves a game session after five games have been solved, with a maximum of 20 records stored in the game history. Both values can be adjusted.

Getting Started

The gbrainy games are groups of quick little puzzles consisting of a single question (Figure 2). Depending on the category, you might be asked to pick a number that matches a pattern, solve an analogy (ice is to slippery as glue is to ________?) or memorize an image then answer a question about it. The overall feeling is that you are taking an IQ test or college entrance exam (Figure 3).

Figure 2: Gbrainy questions are puzzles designed to be solved in your head.
Figure 3: Gbrainy feels like an IQ test or college entrance exam.

When you are ready to play, click on the game category button in the toolbar on the left, and the first exercise will appear in the main window on the right. Once an exercise is active, gbrainy grays out the game category buttons and activates the Pause and End buttons. Below the main window, you will find the Answer field where you enter your solution to the exercise, along with three buttons: OK, Tip (for additional help when available), and Next.

During game play, a status bar at the bottom shows the number of games played, your score, the elapsed time, and the current game title. After entering your answer in the Answer field, click OK, and gbrainy displays the correct solution above the input line. A green check mark and a bell indicate that your answer was correct. To move on to the next exercise, click Next.

Click Pause in the toolbar on the left if you need to take a break in the current game. While paused, the display area remains empty, so you cannot continue working on the solution. Clicking on Resume takes you back to the current exercise. When you finish the current game, gbrainy presents a graph with statistics about the game as well as hints on how to improve your performance (Figure 4).

Figure 4: The statistics provide immediate information about your most recent game session.

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