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15 Mind Puzzle Games Under $10 to Improve Your Creative Problem-Solving in the Real World

What do you do when you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed beyond your capacity?

Everyone has their own way of calming down and grounding themselves when life gets stressful. There are so many factors in our everyday lives that contribute to our anxiety and eventually lead to us feeling overwhelmed if we don’t have the tools to work through those feelings. However, there may just be another method to relax and work through overwhelm that many people don’t often put to good use — mind puzzle games.

Mind puzzle games are also a great way to improve your problem-solving skills, which are critical in almost every industry and range from complex to simple everyday problems. While it would be ideal if we had the tools to solve any problem we face quickly and efficiently, there is no solution applicable to every problem. Rather, problem-solving is a skill you must invest time into to truly master. 

In this article, we provide a comprehensive list of 15 of our favorite mind puzzle games that you can get for under ten dollars, not only to boost your creativity but manage stress and overwhelm as well. Let’s get right into it.

Let’s Talk About Problem-Solving

It’s no secret that relationships — interpersonal, business, and romantic relationships alive — fail all the time due to a lack of problem-solving skills. This is usually due to a misunderstanding, meaning either the problems weren’t known by the other party or they weren’t dealt with properly. In business, problem-solving is a highly sought-after skill, as many companies rely on their employees to spot problems and solve them accordingly. 

To solve a problem, it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s causing it rather than focus on the symptoms. In professional settings, it’s probably a good idea to address customer complaints when they arise. Therefore, as the employee handling the issue, you should inquire about the root of the customer’s dissatisfaction. However, solving an issue is no easy task, and you will likely need a few key skills to do so effectively.


In general, people use their intuition or a methodical approach to solve problems. You can rely on your intuition when you don’t need to learn anything new in order to make a rapid judgment and find a solution to the problem at hand. Problems that are more difficult to solve or that you have never encountered before require a more methodical and logical approach, which can only be achieved through the use of creative thought.

Research Skills

Research, whether a quick Google search or a full-fledged study, is often necessary for problem-solving. Even if you think you know the ins and outs of a given topic, it’s still a good idea to brush up on your knowledge when tackling a problem.

Team Work

In order to properly identify and address many problems, it is helpful to have the perspectives of others. Although teamwork is often associated with business, it is just as vital in other settings, such as the home and the classroom. Gaining perspective from others is an important aspect of problem-solving because you need to be on the same page to adequately understand everyone’s concerns.

Emotional Intelligence

Thinking about how a problem and its solution will affect you and those around you is also important. The capacity to recognize your own and other people’s emotions, known as emotional intelligence, will lead you to the best course of action.


Risks associated with problem-solving must be evaluated against the potential costs of doing nothing. Every solution comes with potential risks, both to you and others, so it’s important to understand every risk you are taking on when you attempt to solve any problem. 


The ability to solve problems and the ability to make decisions are skills that are strongly tied to one another. Problem-solving is a crucial aspect of the process of making decisions since you will frequently be presented with a number of options and alternatives, so you need to be able to quickly and effectively come to a conclusion when problem-solving.

Problem-Solving as a Form of Therapy

The benefits of problem-solving go much farther than business and interpersonal relationships, however, and can actually be a form of therapy. The goal of problem-solving therapy is to provide patients with the resources they need to manage the challenges brought on by various sources of stress in their daily lives. Its purpose is to alleviate the toll that mental and physical diseases have on one’s life and make it more enjoyable.

Depression is just one of many disorders that can be helped with problem-solving therapy. A physician or mental health expert is the best person to administer this, and it may be used in conjunction with other methods of care.

By adopting a constructive outlook, believing in one’s own ability to find solutions, and realizing that difficulties are inevitable, it’s possible to develop a problem-solving attitude. Conflict can be difficult to navigate, but problem-solving abilities can help you keep your cool even under pressure.

If you’re wondering if problem-solving therapy would be useful for you, talk to your doctor or therapist. Problem-solving therapy is an option to consider if you’re having difficulty overcoming real-world challenges.

What To Consider

While it’s true that some people just don’t thrive in a problem-focused therapeutic environment, problems like finding your life’s “why” can be beyond its scope. Similarly, the goal of problem-solving therapy is to address the presenting issue rather than to alter any overarching patterns of behavior or thought.

Keep in mind that problem-solving therapy is not typically used as a first line of treatment for mental health issues. Additional therapy with evidence-based techniques for your issue may be necessary if you are coping with the symptoms of a major mental disease such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Problem-solving therapy is most effective for those who have a mental or physical problem that is being treated independently but who also have unresolved life difficulties related to the original problem. All that being said, it’s time to dive into our 15 favorite mind puzzle games you can find for under ten dollars to boost your creative problem-solving skills!

1. Nintendo Brain Age

The work of the renowned Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Kawashima served as inspiration for Nintendo’s Brain Age puzzle game. The effects of reading and doing various mathematical exercises on cognitive performance were the primary focus of his research. The objective of this game was to stimulate players and boost their ability to remember and focus. The best part about Nintendo Brain Age is that you get to pick the games that you play!

2. Sudoku

We admit it — we couldn’t make this list without including some tried-and-true staples of the puzzle game world, of which Sudoku is a veteran. Sudoku is a logic game in which the digits 1 through 9 fill in a nine-by-nine grid so that no pair of numbers appears more than once. Here, you can choose from a wide array of possibilities. You can play it in your browser or download one of the numerous Sudoku apps available on the App Store or Google Play. This specific Sudoku offers more than 5,000 puzzles for your brain to work on, and they come in a variety of difficulties.

3. Solitaire

Solitaire is another game that shines brightly in the realm of puzzle-based gaming. This 52-card game, sometimes called “patience” or “cable,” is a great way to unwind or challenge yourself while you’re on your own. A stockpile of cards is utilized for drawing and playing, while the remainder is discarded into a garbage pile. After the shuffle, any cards that weren’t used to build the tableau or foundation might be redrawn from the stockpile in the same order they were originally dealt.

4. Crossword Puzzles

You probably are familiar with these, either personally or because your grandparent always worked on one in the newspaper, but they can still be a great tool to improve your problem-solving skills. In a conventional crossword puzzle, each square in the grid is subdivided into several smaller squares. The squares are either completely vacant or filled with a dark gray color. The goal of the game is to make words by filling up the grid’s empty squares with the relevant letters and alphabets. 

5. Lumosity

With Lumosity, you may play over 60 different brain-training games that will help you become more mentally agile, have a longer attention span, and solve problems more quickly. Regardless of your age or degree of expertise, you can play games that are tailored specifically to you and your play style in real time. 

Language, mathematics, and meditation instruction are also a part of the Luminosity curriculum. You may also access it via an app from the App Store or Google Play, or play it directly on your browser. Keep in mind, while there is a free version, many of the additional games are locked behind a subscription paywall.

6. Brain Teasers

It is commonly said that brain teasers serve as appetizers for the brain, and that’s certainly true for this puzzle game for adults. Brain teasers are another example of the basic puzzle games that help a person learn and build various talents such as memorizing ability, information-keeping capacity, and observation. The ability to think critically and logically can also be improved by working through brain teasers.

7. Scrabble

Scrabble, sometimes known as “the word puzzle game,” is a word game for two or more players that is played with a board or a play sheet. The puzzle board or sheet is a matrix subdivided into several identical subblocks. The goal of the game is to create more difficult words by linking together alphabet blocks. Scrabble is a great game to improve quick decision-making skills.

8. Chess

Chess is a fantastic game that promotes strategic thinking, good sportsmanship, and tenacity. Children’s mathematics understanding can be strengthened and their critical thinking abilities honed by learning how to play chess. Chess has also been shown to have positive effects on a wide range of cognitive abilities, including memory, focus, analytical reasoning, and other associated facets of mental performance. You can opt to play the physical board game or a number of online options. 

9. Brainwell

Brainwell is a fun app for iOS devices that features fifty or more mental challenges per day. There are a variety of brainteasers, games, and challenges included. Playing these games regularly can boost your intelligence, focus, and memory. Adults and children alike have downloaded Brainwell millions of times. Skills like problem-solving, focus, visual acuity, and linguistic ability can all be honed with its help.

10. Hidden Object Puzzle Games

Most hidden object games have many items in the main picture. Several items are hidden from plain sight by being cleverly positioned throughout the composition. The game’s main purpose is to find as many concealed items as possible within the given time limit. Finding all of the hidden items in a photograph results in a victory for the player.

A player’s pattern identification, critical thinking, observational skills, and problem-solving skills all benefit from playing hidden objects puzzle games. The game can also be played digitally with the help of a few apps that can be downloaded from the web.

11. Find-the-Difference Puzzle Games

Find-the-difference games are great for adults to play for both entertainment and cerebral challenge. Typically, in this type of puzzle game, players are presented with two images that, at first glance, appear to be identical but actually include subtle changes. Playing this puzzle game regularly might help sharpen your eye for detail and your ability to see patterns and is another great way to improve analytical and problem-solving skills.

12. Free the Block

The original version of the Free the Block Puzzle Game was made as a wooden board puzzle game, but later there were also some online and offline application versions of the game produced. Typically, a free-the-block puzzle game will include a wooden frame with several blocks of wood.

The object of the game is to remove the central block from the starting area. Blocks are often slid or moved in a horizontal or vertical direction to achieve this. A person’s critical thinking, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities can all benefit from playing a free-the-block puzzle game.

13. Rat Race Puzzle

Standard components of a rat race puzzle include a steel framework with numerous embedded loops. The primary goal of the game is to “extract” the main loop from the rest of the loops by sliding it across the frame and under them. The difficulty level determines whether the game is easy, medium, or hard in terms of complexity.

14. Cryptogram

The practice of cryptography — the creation and decipherment of secret messages — forms the basis of several popular cryptogram puzzle games. These are essentially puzzle games in which you have to decipher encrypted letters within a certain amount of time.

15. Rubik’s Cube

We now know that you can improve your focus, pattern identification, and problem-solving skills by playing puzzle games, and the Rubik’s cube is a classic example of this type of game. Learning these concepts through the process of solving a Rubik’s cube can be quite beneficial, as your numerical reasoning abilities will improve while playing.

Game Your Way to Greatness

At first, it might not seem like puzzle games can offer too many benefits. If you’re not a fan of puzzle games in general, we hope that there is something on this list you can try and find some enjoyment in. Everyone is different, and this list is merely just our favorites, so get out there and find a puzzle game that suits you! Your problem-solving skills will improve in no time!

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Greatness Authors is a collection of writers, thinkers, curiosity experts, and students of the world who are committed to bringing you the most up-to-date, impactful, and inspiring information surrounding Greatness topics.

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