Old Brain Games that Are Still Played Today

Do you want to challenge yourself without resorting to digital games? Board games and puzzles have been around since ancient times. Some of them are still played today.

The world’s oldest board games and puzzles may have been the Assyrian game of Twenty Squares, the Rhind mathematical papyrus puzzle and the Indus Valley puzzle. Stomachion, which requires players to form a square using the 14 different shapes, was credited to Archimedes. Tangram is also a similar type of puzzle but it consists of seven pieces.

Here are other brain games that are still popular to this day.

Chess was probably invented in India. It is played by two people, each one controlling 16 pieces. A player is defeated when one checkmates the other player’s king.

This is called the Japanese chess. It’s related to other variants of chess as well like the xiangqi and chaturanga. Two players have 20 pieces each. The winner checkmates the other player’s king.

Also called draughts, checkers probably originated in Mesopotamia. There are different versions of checkers throughout the world but the goal is still the same—capture all the pieces from the other player.

It is believed that this game is still played in its original form even after thousands of years. Two players take turns placing black or white stones on the board. One is defeated when the other player has covered more territory.

Backgammon was probably invented in Mesopotamia. Two players take turns moving pieces according to the roll of the dice. When all the pieces from the other player are removed, the remaining player wins.

Traditional dominoes have either 28 or 55 pieces of rectangular tiles called bones. The earliest form of the game may have come from China and is played by two to four people. There are different ways to play dominoes, but the simplest is to get rid of all your tiles first to win.

Also called Othello, reversi requires two players who are assigned to each of one of the two colors. They are given 32 disks each. The goal is to turn the most number of disks into your color.

This old game from India is played by up to four people in two pairs. The game was the inspiration for the ludo and parcheesi. The aim is to move the pieces out of the center of the cruciform board then back again.

This crossword game was invented by Alfred Mosher Butts. The goal is to score the most points by creating words using tiles that connect to other words placed by other players.

Charades is a guessing game invented in 18th century France. It requires one player in each team to act out a word or phrase like in a pantomime. The goal is for the group to get the correct word or phrase within a time limit.