Board Games and Puzzles You Can Play with Friends During Lockdown

One of the essential things in life that the lockdown and the pandemic crisis has robbed us of is the moments we could have spent with our friends and family. Because of the virus, people are forced to stay at home to prevent transmission and protect themselves from contracting the virus. Many have lost their lives while many are currently fighting for recovery. Still, there is hope. Scientists and researchers have now developed vaccines that can help us stimulate an immune system that can protect us from the virus. 

However, getting vaccinated doesn’t mean you’ll be 100% safe from the virus. Unless we develop herd immunity, we are still exposed to risks of acquiring the viral disease. This is why, until then, strict health protocols are still implemented around the world. By following these protocols, we can contribute to the prevention of pandemic breakouts.

Staying at home is one of the most important things you can do to help. But we can’t deny it can get upsetting when you’re stuck at home, and sometimes in your room. The pandemic has made everyday life seem dull. Sometimes it feels like every day is all the same. Good thing technology is advanced enough today to help us communicate with our family and friends even from afar.

Socialising while in a pandemic

People now have found various ways of socialising with their friends during the lockdown. Some have found it comforting when they talk to others through video calls. Some saw a simple conversation through chat enough to brighten their days, while some even started writing letters again. More so, when the pandemic hot and we were all stuck in our homes, movies and tv series were our best friends. Thanks to technology, Teleparty, Rave, Discord, and such, people can now watch movies together even when apart.

Also, playing various games has been one way you can genuinely have fun with your friends, even during this lockdown. It’s one of the very few ways you get to have a shared experience with your friends and have an activity you get to participate in in real-time. During these days, some of the most popular games were Among Us, Valorant, Mobile Legends, and classic word games and puzzles like Words with Friends, etc. People can get really competitive even in such online puzzles.

And these puzzles don’t only bring fun for you and your friends during this isolation period. More than you know, it also brings you several benefits that can have long-term effects.

Benefits of playing puzzles

Here are some of the benefits you can acquire from playing puzzles:

Improving your memory

A very crucial aspect of our lives throughout the years is our memory. Our memories are one of the most important possessions we cherish in life. More so, be it in our everyday lives, we need an excellent memory to function in whatever tasks we may do. When we work on puzzles, the connections between our brain cells are either reinforced or created. This improves short-term memory and prevents brain damage from Alzheimer’s.

Exercising your brain

Word games exercise your brain like no other. It doesn’t just focus on one part of your brain, but it trains both the left and right side of your brain since puzzles require both logical thinking skills and the likes, together with creative thinking for strategies and such. It’s why they call puzzles an ultimate mental workout.

Developing your Visual and Spatial Reasoning

Visual and spatial reasoning are skills you practise when you play puzzles such as jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and games like Scrabble and Tetris. These two reasoning skills have many applications in our daily lives, like driving and making items when you’re moving fit in a fully-packed car.

Honing your problem-solving skills

Puzzles are something we need to solve and require creative solutions. When we play puzzles, we are taking steps to improve ourselves and our problem-solving skills.

Lowering your stress levels

One of the reasons why many love playing puzzles is how relaxing it can be, especially those that are not time-constrained. It can encourage your brain to enter a meditative state while you concentrate on a task. Sometimes, it can get frustrating instead of therapeutic, like in Scrabble when you can’t think of any word to play with your tiles. To help you maintain a stress-free, calming, and enjoyable feeling, when you get stuck on your tiles, use Wordgiraffe.com to find words you can use with your tiles.

Improving your IQ Score

Because puzzles help develop your concentration, vocabulary, memory, reasoning, and problem-solving skills, they help improve our IQs. Study findings show that you can increase your IQ by 4 points when you do puzzles for 25 minutes a day or more.

Getting you to a better mood

As mentioned above, Puzzles can lower your stress as concentration helps you meditate. However, more than this, they can also boost dopamine production in your brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that helps in regulating your mood, concentration, and memory. Whenever you get even just a part of the puzzle solved, it results in a surge of dopamine.

Games and Puzzles to Play With Friends 

Be it virtual or face-to-face, here are some of the games and puzzles you can play with your friends (although this list mainly contains multiplayer games played online):

Words with Friends

One of the most popular mobile game apps for years now is Words with Friends. If you enjoy Scrabble and other word games, you’ll surely enjoy this app. It’s a test of luck and wit as you make the most out of the tiles you draw. This can get highly competitive as the player with the highest points wins the game. What’s more fun with this game is getting to chat with your friends while you play. You can even meet new people by using the ‘smart match’ feature.

Chess

There are mobile apps that allow you to invite friends to a chess match for people who love to play chess. Chess Time is one of these apps. You can customise your board by colour, and track your progress and compete for the leaderboards by country and rating.

Infinite Word Search

This is one of the most exciting multiplayer word games. Infinite Word Search is played like any other word search puzzles, which hide words through a mix of letters. You can find these letters horizontally, diagonally, and vertically. However, an exciting twist to this game is having an opponent play with you in real-time via the app. You get to connect with your friends and compete about finding the most words the fastest. 

You can play hundreds of games and puzzles that are enjoyable, beneficial for brain training, and shareable with your friends.

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