Memory Trainer is, as the name suggests, a memory training app. In fact its description on the Google Play store says very simply: “This application is for memory training.” I’m not really sure what else to tell you.
You’ve heard the argument before: the brain is a muscle, and the crutch of technology has made it lazy and full of flab. The logical cure is exercise, using … technology? Hmm. Well, if Wii Fit can get you off the couch then I guess a phone app can help my brain work a bit harder. And my memory could definitely use some exercise given how utterly dependent I am on Facebook Events to tell me what I’m doing on any given day.
Memory Trainer is pretty straight-forward. You’re given a nine-by-nine grid with some of the boxes filled with numbers, letters or colours. You’re allowed to look at them for a few seconds before they disappear, and you’re asked to tap where they were. Easy in principle, but more of a challenge that I’d maybe like to admit.
Each category starts off pretty simple and ramps up the difficulty as you progress. Interestingly I found that having it set out on a grid made it far more challenging – give me a sequence of four numbers to remember and I won’t have any trouble, but scatter those numbers out over a plane and suddenly I’m struggling a bit (I assume this is common for many people and a conscious addition on the part of the developers, rather than any weird cognitive lapse on my part. I hope so, anyway).
The puzzles are functionally the same whether they use letters, numbers or colours. The puzzles that combine all these different elements, however, are far more challenging – it’s easy to memorise the sequence for numbers or letters, but does 2 come before B? And which one comes before yellow?
The app is free and while it does display ads along the top of the screen, they’re unobtrusive and don’t impede you using the app. The design isn’t the most beautiful I’ve seen but it’s perfectly functional and inoffensive. Whether or not games like this actually improve your memory remains to be seen. I’ll check back with you in a few weeks – and if I don’t, then I guess you’ll have your answer.