Who remembers Brain Training on the DS, or working through balance training on the Wii? Neuroplasticity was a big thing in gaming for a little while, as publishers and developers realised that not only were games not bad for you, they could also be transformatively good for brain development. Although the conversation may have shifted somewhat to getting gamers up and moving – enhancing their bodies rather than brains – there are still many games out there that may help you think better on your feet and improve your memory.
Luckily, many of these games are now on mobile and free-to-play, making them more accessible than ever. With no set-up and no waiting around, you can easily dip right into these brain exercises for a little boost. To use a recent example, Happy Clinic, a new time-management game from Nordcurrent, has the ability to do just that.
In the game, you are tasked with the running of a hospital, which is enough to get anyone’s brain ticking over. This includes upgrading equipment, hiring staff, and finding specialists, all while performing your duties as an emergency department nurse. Time is limited and Nurse Mary has to make decisions about how best to utilise her time and resources in the face of many challenges.
Happy Clinic may sound like a lot of responsibility, but the difficulty curve moves alongside you, keeping things challenging but ultimately doable as you learn to be more efficient. It also keeps things lighthearted and fun, looking to engage with the rewarding side of healthcare provision and show a nurse’s job in a positive light. So how does this translate into real-life benefits?
Life can often feel a bit overwhelming, and to tackle this, many apps and journals have been produced that help you “gameify” your life. It can be easier to see things in terms of resource and time management, breaking down your many plans into smaller and more manageable tasks, rewarding yourself for wins along the way. This mindset can be extremely helpful for many people who feel they have just too much to do, as it reinforces the idea that it’s okay to do enough rather than absolutely everything. Other methods can be used alongside these games with ease, like journaling, using to-do list apps, and meditation, which can reset your mind and open it up to learn new things.
When your resources are limited and time is running out, Happy Clinic encourages you to make choices to the best of your ability, improving your confidence as you go. The pace is always high, but the game becomes a relaxing way to connect with your concentration and bring focus back to the forefront. Each level can only be completed when finite resources are skilfully distributed, enhancing your hospital to make everything flow smoothly. Unexpected challenges may pop up, and you’ll need to grab some specialists to help you, keeping your mind sharp throughout.
Playing games like Happy Clinic could not only wake you up and get your focus back on track (ideal for a lunch break at work), but might also gear you up for a day of quicker decision-making and seamless multitasking. Working either from home or in the office can be tricky, especially in the last few years when things have changed so quickly, and we are expected to juggle all aspects of our lives alongside each other and in equal measure. Pairing a game like this with a journal, some water, and a to-do list might just improve that post-lunch slump, and help you feel more able to spread your own finite resources efficiently.
Happy Clinic is free-to-play and available right now on the App Store and Google Play – give it a try today and see how good your time management skills really are!