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Form is a VR puzzle game that’s all in the mind – Polygon

Form is a virtual reality puzzle game in which I manipulate large and mysterious objects in order to unlock secrets. You can watch a gameplay video above.

Developed by Vancouver-based Charm Games, it seeks to use the spatial freedom and scale of VR to create puzzles that require a bigger picture. While gaming puzzles generally take place inside a relatively small area, Form requires a more physical sense of looking and reaching.

Many of the early puzzles I played at a recent press event come down to fitting the right shape in the correct box, but I enjoyed the sense of bigness, most especially in the physical artifacts I handled. They have a solid feel about them.

The game follows a story of a Doctor Devin Eli, stranded on a remote lab complex. Eli has “superhuman powers of geometric visualization” which allow him to recognize shapes that other mortals cannot comprehend. When he discovers an ancient artifact he embarks on a journey into the depths of his own mind.

All this narrative dressing gives the designers of Form free reign to create esoteric puzzles to do with light, shapes and sequences. There’s a lot of grabbing things and turning them over to check where they might fit, which is just the sort of 3D logic that entrances children, and still has fascination for adults. The success of VR puzzles like Obduction, Fantastic Contraption and Floor Plan shows that there’s a great interest in physical and logical manipulation games.

Form is out later this year on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, with a PlayStation VR version planned to follow.

Read more here:
Form is a VR puzzle game that’s all in the mind – Polygon

Puyo Puyo Tetris review: puzzle game titans are better together – The Sydney Morning Herald

Mashing the well-known, meticulous play of Tetris together with some other totally different puzzle game sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Sega’s Sonic Teamhas done just that and made Tetris the most enjoyable it’s been in years.

A party-ready puzzle game with heaps of modes and content to keep you busy, Puyo Puyo Tetris introduces Western gamers to an incredibly popular Japanese franchise, while also providing familiarity via its familiar block-fallingtwist.

For the unfamiliar, Puyo Puyo is an addictive, competitive game that challenges playersto match coloured balls of goo in order to clear the screen. Crafty combos send hard-to-remove garbage blocks to opponents, filling matches with tense risk/reward strategies. Outside of this core gameplay, the series is known for its quirky anime-style characters and odd-ball narrative, as well as its various alternative game modes.

While attempts were made to bring an English language version of the puzzle format to Sega and Nintendo platforms in the mid-nineties (disguised as Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and Kirby’s Ghost Trap respectively), none of the main entries in the 25-year-old series have actually made it out of Japan.

Of course Tetris, by contrast, is verywell known in Australia and around the world, and this mash-up provides plenty of great ways to play that game alone or with up to three friends. But the real star of the show is the smart way the two games collide.

My favourite mode to play with friends, for example, is Swap. This has players switching between bothgames at timed intervals, testing their ability to manage both rule-sets and be the last one standing.

Also fun is the classic Versus mode, where each playeris free to choose whether they’ll compete by playing Tetris or Puyo Puyo. Against all odds, games do feel competitive and cohesive even though the players are playing totally different games, with the Puyo players building towards a massive waterfall of combos and the Tetris players meticulously trying to slot in that last block that will give them a five-line Tetris.

Of course to make the two games compatible with each other some flexibility is required, and the version of Tetris here isn’t exactly the same asyou may remember from your Game Boy. Fortunately, I think the game is largely improved thanks to its PuyoPuyo influences.

The biggest change is that removing multiple lines at once will send garbage tiles to your opponent, making the incentive to line up a five-linereven greater. Garbage lobbed at you from an opponent will appear as grey tiles at the bottom of your board that must be painstakingly removed lest they force you into a game over.

Many of the other modes, including Party and Fusion, mix the games more directly by having Tetrominos and Puyos appear together on the same game board. This can make for some hectic fun, but is a bit too messy to be as satisfying as the other game styles.

The most surprisingly full-featured mode is thePuyo-Puyo-style Adventure mode,which isfully voiced and introduces a new cast of characters from an alternative dimension whereTetris, notPuyoPuyo, is the world’s greatest obsession.

The story’s totally daft (as expected), but the characters and performances are charming. Each level sets up a challenge that players will be awarded between one and three stars for completing, so perfectionists will likely spend hours here.

Elsewhere the game even features a range of lessons to teach players the finer points of each game, and an online suite where you can take on the world.

This is certainly a Puyo Puyogame at heartwith chatty cartoon characters and fast-paced competitive fun prioritised over high scoresand analytical block-droppingbut Tetrisfans shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss it. After years of attempts to freshen upAlexeyPajitnov’s formula, with incredibly mixed results, this game delivers the most fun puzzle experience to bear the Tetris name in a very long time.

Puyo PuyoTetris is out now for Nintendo Switch (reviewed) and PlayStation 4.

Go here to see the original:
Puyo Puyo Tetris review: puzzle game titans are better together – The Sydney Morning Herald

Can You Solve The 25 Horses Puzzle? Google Interview Question

Here is a problem that has been asked as an interview question.

There are 25 horses. What is the minimum number of races needed so you can identify the fastest 3 horses? You can race up to 5 horses at a time, but you do not have a watch.

As this question is a bit vague, here is a more precise version you can solve.

Interview Question (with more details)
There are 25 mechanical horses and a single racetrack. Each horse completes the track in a pre-programmed time, and the horses all have different finishing times, unknown to you. You can race 5 horses at a time. After a race is over, you get a printout with the order the horses finished, but not the finishing times of the horses. What is the minimum number of races you need to identify the fastest 3 horses?

I was suggested this problem by email from puzzle maker and speaker Terry Stickels.

This is also a classic interview question asked during programming interviews at tech companies like Google. It took me a good 10-15 minutes to figure it out. Can you figure it out? Watch the video for a solution.

Can You Solve The 25 Horses Puzzle? Google Interview Question

Or keep reading.

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Answer To The 25 Horses Riddle

Here is how you can find the fastest 3 horses in 7 races.

Step one
Divide the 25 horses into groups of 5, and race the horses in each group. (5 races)

Step two
Take the winner from each group and race those 5 horses. The winner of this race is the fastest horse overall. (1 race)

Notation
Label the 5 groups from step one as a, b, c, d, e to correspond to horses finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th in step two. Write a subscript to identify the order that the horse finished in the group, so a2 means the horse that finished 2nd place in group a.

Step three
Do one more race with horses a2, a3, b1, b2, c1. That is, race the second and third fastest from group a, the fastest and second fastest from group b, and the fastest from group c. The top 2 horses in this race are the 2nd and 3rd fastest horses overall. (1 race)

Why does this procedure work?

The logic of finding the fastest horse is straightforward. First the 25 horses are split into 5 groups. Any horse that loses a race cannot be the fastest overall. This eliminates 20 horses that finished in 2nd to 5th place.

Now the 5 winners race against each other. The horse that wins this race is faster than the other winners, and the other winners are faster than the other horses in their group. The fastest of the winners is therefore the fastest horse overall.

Now, how can we find the second and third fastest?

The fastest horse is denoted a1. There is no need to race this horse again as it is identified as the fastest overall. Which horses could be the 2nd or 3rd fastest overall?

We can first eliminate all horses from groups d and e as top 3 possibilities. This is because even the fastest horses in groups d and e are slower than the three horses a1, b1, and c1.

Similarly, we can eliminate every horse in group c that is slower than c1, as those horses raced slower than the three horses a1, b1, and c1.

Next we can eliminate a4 and a5, as they are slower than a1, a2, and a3. Finally we can eliminate b3, b4, and b5, as they are slower than a1, b1, and b2.

We are left with 5 possible horses to test: a2, a3, b1, b2, c1. We need to race these horses.

Here is a slightly different explanation of why these particular horses need to be raced again.

It might have been that all 3 fastest horses were in group a from the start. Thus, we have to race a2 and a3 once more.

Or it might have been that only the fastest horse was in group a, leaving the 2nd and 3rd fastest to be in group b. Thus we have to race b1 and b2 again.

Or maybe the fastest horse was in group a, the 2nd fastest was put in group b, and the third fastest was put in group c. This means c1 is a possibility too.

This leaves 5 horses that could be the second and third fastest horses. The horses we need to race again are then: a2, a3, b1, b2, c1.

The winner of this race is faster than every horse except for a1, so the winner is the 2nd fastest horse overall. The second place of this race is then the next fastest horse overall, so it is the 3rd fastest horse overall.

Here is another way of saying what was just explained. Imagine the 25 horses are numbered from 1 = fastest to 25 = slowest, but we do not know which groups the top 3 horses belong to. After the first six races, we know group a has the fastest horse numbered 1, which is faster than the quickest horse in b and then c. So there are four possibilities for where 1, 2, 3 could be:

–group a could have 1, 2, 3
–group a might only have 1,2 and group b would have 3
–group a might only have 1 and group b has 2, 3
–group a might have 1, group b has 2, and group c has 3

To distinguish between these possibilities, we need to compare the 2nd and 3rd horses from group a against the second horse from group b and the fastest horse in group c.

Proof of minimality

We have shown 7 races is a sufficient (maximum) number of races. Why is it is minimum?

To find the fastest, you need to run all 25 horses at least once, and since you can only race 5 horses at a time, you need a minimum of 25/5 = 5 races. Then you need to compare the winners of these races, which means a 6th race is necessary.

To find the second fastest, you need at least 1 more race to compare a2 and b1 (amongst other possible comparisons), meaning 7 races is a minimum value. As we have described how 7 races is sufficient, the described procedure is optimal.

Sources

I was suggested the problem via email from Terry Stickels. This is also a very popular problem. I came across the following websites during my research to write up the problem.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-trickiest-riddle-you-have-been-given-or-have-given-out-at-a-job-interview/answer/Michael-Tan-6

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-minimum-number-of-races-necessary-to-determine-your-three-fastest-horses

http://www.programmerinterview.com/index.php/puzzles/25-horses-3-fastest-5-races-puzzle/

http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/744473/horse-race-question-how-to-find-the-3-fastest-horses

http://quiz.geeksforgeeks.org/puzzle-9-find-the-fastest-3-horses/

http://blog.dnickolas.com/2011/04/25-horses-5-lanes-no-clock-top-5-not-3.html

http://puzzles.nigelcoldwell.co.uk/fiftynine.htm

https://sites.google.com/site/idelerdennis/blog/25-horses-problem-palantir

http://www.mathgoespop.com/2012/05/run-for-the-ranking.html

http://durso.org/puzzles/horse.html

Read more from the original source:
Can You Solve The 25 Horses Puzzle? Google Interview Question

Snipperclips Nintendo Switch games review: Delightful puzzle game with no sharp edges – Express.co.uk

NINTENDO

The Nintendo Switch is starting to feel like the console that resurrected the lost art of local multiplayer.

Games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Puyo Puyo Tetris feel like they were tailor made for Nintendo Switch, even though they’ve both appeared elsewhere.

Snipperclips is another game that benefits from Nintendo’s social approach to gaming, although here the focus is very much on teamwork and co-operation.

It’s not as frantic and thrilling as a race in Mario Kart, but the simple controls, colourful visuals and bite-sized stages make it the perfect game to play with a younger member of the family.

The aim of Snipperclips is to solve puzzles by cutting lead characters Snip and Clip into different shapes.

If you want to catch a basketball, for example, then the person controlling Snip will need to cut out a ball-sized bucket shape where Clip’s head used to be.

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But simply catching a ball would be too easy. Players must first summon the ball by cutting Snip’s body into a shape small enough to push a button on the opposite side of the room.

Then you’ve actually got to get the ball into the hoop without it dropping on the floor and having to start the whole process again.

What makes Snipperclips such a success is that even when you’ve figured out what to do, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to it.

It’s a game that doesn’t just encourage communication, it actively requires it, and the shouting, bickering, trial and error soon leads to high-fives and fits of laughter.

Of course, you could just play Snipperclips by yourself, but really, where’s the fun in that? Thankfully, the versatility of the Nintendo Switch – the detachable Joy-Cons and kickstand – means that you really shouldn’t have to.

The only drawback is that Snipperclips is a bit short-lived and you could easily burn through the game’s 45 puzzles in one sitting.

Fortunately, there are a few extras that extend the action, including hockey and basketball modes for 2-4 players, as well as a party mode with a selection of madcap puzzles for more people.

There’s even a surprisingly hectic deathmatch mode in which players compete to be the last shape standing.

Snipperclips is a short-lived showcase of what makes the Nintendo Switch so successful. It’s a great fit for Nintendo’s new console, and a fantastic game for bringing people together.

More:
Snipperclips Nintendo Switch games review: Delightful puzzle game with no sharp edges – Express.co.uk

Eye In The Sky Is An Asymmetrical Co-Op VR Puzzle Game Now In Early Access – UploadVR

Im not sure which was the very first cooperative multiplayer video game, but it was certainly a fantastic addition to the medium. Some of my all-time favorite gaming memories involve someone either sitting by my side or talking to me through the internet while we enjoyed an adventure together. With the dawn of VR technology the possibilities for cooperative gaming are enormous.

Outside of traditional co-op games, like playing the latest Halo with a friend, is a sub-genre of games called asymmetrical multiplayer in which the players do not have access to the same type of experience. For example, in Evolve, one player controls a massive super-powered monster while the others play human soldiers set on taking down the beast. There have been a variety of asymmetrical VR games over the last year across all major headset platforms, many of which we listed here.

Eye in the Sky is the latest asymmetrical multiplayergame weve seen and it does something a bit differently. Instead of asking you to work against one another as you might do in Mass Exodus or most of the mini-games in Playroom VR, Eye in the Sky takes more inspirations from the Portal franchise. In this game you actually work with one another (one person in VR, the other outside of VR) to solve a variety of puzzles and try to escape multiple different rooms. Its much better than just watching someone else play a VR game.

Our main inspiration was the fact that we were frustrated with having to sit on the couch while our friends tried out our VR headsets, explainedAlex Terziev, Art Director atVinLia Games. My friends showed me this prototype they were working on and I immediately jumped on it as an opportunityYou can of course picture the influence that Portal had on us, as it has had its influence on all modern 3D puzzle games. But we wanted to take that a step further by playing around with the physicality of room sizes, room scale locomotion, and lighting. As for art style I got to push my own blend of late 70s and 80s sci-fi movie obsessions.

Eye in the Sky is currently available on Steam Early Access with official support for the HTC Vive at a price point of $14.99. Single player content is included as well, but the asymmetrical co-op levels are the real focus. What do you think of asymmetrical multiplayer games in VR? Let us know in the comments below!

Tagged with: Eye in the Sky

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Eye In The Sky Is An Asymmetrical Co-Op VR Puzzle Game Now In Early Access – UploadVR

Tumbleseed Is an Ingenious Gameif You Can Manage Not to Die – WIRED

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Excerpt from:
Tumbleseed Is an Ingenious Gameif You Can Manage Not to Die – WIRED

The Circular Motion Illusion Explained Mathematically. Sunday Puzzle

How would you describe the motion of the green dots in the following graphic?

It appears that a circle of green dots is rolling inside of the blue circle. But your eyes are fooling you: this is an optical illusion!

Today’s puzzle is the following: what is the actual path each green dot? Can you prove why this happens mathematically?

Watch the video for an explanation.

The Circular Motion Illusion Explained Mathematically

Or keep reading.

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Answer To The Circular Motion Illusion Explained Mathematically

If you look closely, each green dot is actually moving in a straight line, along a diameter of the blue circle!

This is a stunning illustration of how linear movement can result in circular movement. But why does it happen?

I highly recommend watching the video to see the animations.

The Circular Motion Illusion Explained Mathematically

But I’ll give the mathematical proof here in the post.

The reason is Copernicus’ Theorem. If a circle with radius r/2 perfectly rolls around the inside of a circle with radius r, then a point on the circumference of the small circle traces out the path of a diameter of the large circle.

To prove this, consider a point P that moves to P' after the circle rolls. I’ll write O for the center of the large circle and M for the point of contact of the small circle with the large circle.

We want to prove P' is along the diameter of the large circle. We will do this by proving angles MOP and MOP' are equal to each other, which implies that both P and P' are along the same line segment.

Because the small circle is perfectly rolling inside of the big circle, arcs MP and MP' have the same length (the point P has pivoted to P' as the circle rolled, so the distance to M is unchanged).

Because the small circle has half the radius as the large circle, the angle size in degrees of arc MP' is double that of arc MP (and the arc MP equals the angle measure MOP).

Since angle MOP' is an inscribed angle, it has half the degree measure of arc MP', by the inscribed angle theorem. So we have:

angle MOP'
= (1/2)(angle size arc MP')
= (1/2)(2)(angle size arc MP)
= (1/2)(2)(angle MOP)
= angle MOP

Therefore, angle MOP' has exactly the same degree measure as MOP which means the two angles are equal. Thus point P' is on the diameter of the large circle.

This proof works until the circle has rotated 90 degrees, clockwise or counterclockwise. At that point, the same proof idea works for the point (call it P'') that is located on the other side of the same diameter.

Thanks to all of my patrons!

Your support makes posts like this possible. Special thanks to:
Kyle
Shrihari Puranik
Marlon Forbes

Sources
Copernicus’ Theorem at Cut The Knot
http://www.cut-the-knot.org/pythagoras/Copernicus.shtml

Proof from Lines and Curves: A Practical Geometry Handbook.
By Victor Gutenmacher, N.B. Vasilyev. Preview
https://books.google.com/books?id=LuUlBQAAQBAJ&lpg=PA4&dq=Copernicus’%20Theorem&pg=PA5#v=onepage&q&f=false

You can play around with rolling circles inside and outside in a GeoGebra interactive. Set a = 6, b = 3, remove the checkmark for the “outside” circle, have a checkmark for either trace or path, and then click on “roll” to see how a point in the inside circle moves along the diameter of the large circle.
https://www.geogebra.org/m/RPx3ne5v

You can create this illusion in Powerpoint with a tutorial from the YouTube channel “The Teacher”:

Continue reading here:
The Circular Motion Illusion Explained Mathematically. Sunday Puzzle

Hands in the box: New puzzle game Statik does right by VR – Ars Technica

Enlarge / Thats how the docs face looks throughout Statik Institute of Retention. Game Details Developer:Tarsier Studios Publisher: Tarsier Studios Platform:PlayStation 4 (requires PlayStation VR) Release Date:April 24, 2017 Price: $19.99 /15.99(free demo) Links: Official Website

The first thing Statik Institute of Retention gets right is that it leans into every single limitation of the PlayStation VR platform.

The last thing Statik gets right is that it turns those limitations into a bizarre, brilliant rumination on our relationship with computers and gamesin a way that only brilliant sci-fi can pull off.

Along the way, the PlayStation VR game reveals its share of successes and failures, but through all of those, this VR debut from Swedish developer Tarsier Studios lands on PSVR as the platforms most compelling sit-down experience yet.

In real life, youre holding a PlayStation 4 controller. Statik maps your hands to this puzzle-trap devicethen keeps your hands and fingers so busy figuring it out, youll really buy into the trapped feeling.

Honestly, in practice, the sensation never felt claustrophobic or uncomfortable. For me, I simply believed I needed to solve these danged puzzles (and I felt free to put the controller down plenty of times).

Brief lie-detector interludes are amusing, if bizarre.

If youve played the free demo, you’ve seen this room. It’s a memorable one, for sure.

No, typing help into this box won’t save you.

Youll start the game holding a PlayStation 4 controller, but within seconds of loading, youll feel like your hands are trapped in a box. Its a crazy sensation, fueled by the games premise: youre in an apparent research institute, stuckin a chair, and your arms and hands are tracked in your VR field of view (since the PSVR can track controllers).

Only, you dont see your hands. Instead, you see a strange box covered in dials, buttons, wires, and other imagery, and your hands are wedged into it. Conveniently, your on-screen anatomy, including arms and wrists, matches up with how your real-life hands hold a controller. As you try to make sense of this institute, you realize that your every tap of the PlayStation 4 controllers various partsbuttons, joysticks, triggersmakes different stuff happen on this box your hands are trapped inside. What does each button press do? The lone man in the room, a strange guy named Dr. Ingen, wont tell you. You have to figure it out. Maybe your joystick will turn a dial, move a slider, or open and close a panel. Maybe your buttons will activate something on the boxor something in the room youre in.

The objective in this first room, and the other rooms you encounter, is to figure out how to solve each rooms box. And thats all you really do in Statik; you never get out of your chair to explore your world or do other things with your hands. Yet, thats okay. Everyboxhas its own strikingly different set of rules and logic, and, for the most part, Statik succeeds in revealing to players, in myriad interesting ways, a different logical language for each of its puzzles. Your button taps and joystick pushes will never do the same thing for multiple boxes. If you see, say, an alphabet-related puzzle once, you can safely expect to never see another alphabet-related puzzle again.

Each puzzle box includes a series of interlocking puzzles that ebb and flow between each other. Revealing a single one can set off a spoiler domino, so I’m staying mum here. The same even goes for explaining why the game is sowell suited for VR. At first blush, I thought that Statiks challenges could be neatly converted to a traditional television, where you must look at the TV while your game controllers movements are tracked. But not too long into my puzzle-solving, I realized how important being able to hold your puzzle boxes right up to your face is, and I also found out how important the feeling of presence plays in solving some of the puzzles.

I will confirm that, about three times, I ran into painful breakdowns of game logic. A puzzle solution required a logical reach beyond what made sense inside of the game world. In one instance, I sat for 15 minutes, incredibly frustrated by a single dead-in-my-tracks obstacle. This kind of frustration only feels more intense when youve got a bulky VR headset on. If you worry that puzzle frustration willbe too much to bear while trapped in VR, tread carefully. A few puzzle moments were cakewalks, as well, though I liked those as palate cleansers between the memorable toughies.

In both good and bad news, Statik doesnt wear out its welcome, because its quiteshort. Maybe Im just a flippin genius, but I beat the nine-puzzle campaign within two hours. The game doesnt look like it has been built for additional puzzle rooms fed by way of DLC, either.

While Id love to be proven wrong, I had to settle on a very odd consolation prize: a substantial co-opmode that isnt even advertised in the game. Knowing about this mode almost feels like being in a secret club because it requires connecting a smart device to your game via the PlayStation Appa thing Id never even installedand tapping the second screen feature without any prodding from the game.

I have no idea why Tarsier doesnt tell players about this mode, because it is mindblowingly good. Think of the split-screen game Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes, then add Statiks brand of clever puzzle solutions and out-of-nowhere control options, and you’ve got this hour-long campaign. Three of the solo campaigns puzzles return here, but theyve been remixed withmore complicated steps, along with the required use of a friends second screen. All players will see the VR users view, thanks to PSVRs screen share feature, but the smartphone user gets exclusive controls and views.The ways Tarsier involves this second screen aresneaky as heck, and theyre worth slogging through, even if the PlayStation App relies on some slightly wonky HTML5 for its trickery.

Along the way, at least, I got to know a very strange man named Dr. Ingen. Though, strangely, this character spent more time trying to get to know me. While solving puzzles, Ingen stands watch, scratching notes onto a notepad and loudly sipping coffee. (Im going to leave you, well, as alone as one can be in a room with someone else, he quips before you sink your teeth into one puzzle.) Between rooms and at other important moments, Ingen interrogates and projects in strange ways, alternating between philosophical meanderings and seeming mistruths.

Ingen (blurred face and all) spends pretty much all of Statik at your side;youre also usheredinto his personal, private world a few times. The storytellers at Tarsier walk a fine line between making him equal parts relatable and confounding, and for the most part, they pull it off. By the end of your time with Dr. Ingen, some mysteries are revealed, others are left vague, and still others are left trapped in their own veritable puzzle boxes. I absolutely crave this kind of WTF-worthy sci-fi storytelling from a good puzzle video game, and Ingens subtle, macabre demeanor, buoyed by his strange relationship with a helpful, silent computer, results in a much more mature and intriguing puzzle antagonist than Portals more lively GladOS.

In spite of some Jiminy, that wasnt fun! logic leaps and a brief runtime, Itruly loved Statik. I always felt immersed in its world, thanks to the clever trapped-hands puzzle boxes and the research institute setting. Without spoiling the ending, I appreciated how those elements fit into the games conclusion. And, man, that co-op surprise.

I will long remember Statikas an example of immaculate, interactive art. It’s as valuable for its mechanics as its sheer experience.Statikis a must-buy gamefor any PSVR rig, right next to Resident Evil 7.

Verdict: A PSVR must-buy.

More:
Hands in the box: New puzzle game Statik does right by VR – Ars Technica

No evidence that playing ‘brain games’ make you smarter – Digital Journal

Brain games make millions of in sales but do they improve cognition and arrest help prevent age-related brain decline? These are the research questions posed by Florida State University psychologists and neuroscientists and they are important given that not only is there a major industry developing and promoting brain games, increasing numbers of consumers believe games that have the aim of brain training help to protect them against memory loss or cognitive disorders (which shows the power of niche marketing). The findings, which indicate no beneficial effect from playing such games, are an example of a fact-based approach to science. For the research, the scientists looked at whether playing brain games could boost the “working memory” needed to complete a variety of tasks. To explore this they used a group of volunteer subjects. One group was asked to play a brain-training video game called “Mind Frontiers”. The second group performed paper-based crossword games or number puzzles. Following sessions carrying out these activities, the two subject groups were given memory tests and problems to solve. The aim was to see whether the test activities enhanced players’ working memory and whether they improved reasoning and processing speed. That is, whether the brain games and puzzle playing led to a cognitive improvement. If this happens, then the phenomenon is referred to as far transfer. However, the outcome of the research was that no improvement was seen and thus the theory of far transfer did not appear to occur. It was found that people can become trained to become better at completing certain recall tasks but overall memory does not improve. In essence, the researchers argue that if a senior was to take lots of crossword puzzles this would not help them to remember any better where they have left their car keys. The researchers point to things like increasing aerobic exercise, rather than mental exercise, as being as effective for brain function. In a research note one of the lead researchers, Professor Wally Boot, summarizes the research outcome succinctly: Our findings and previous studies confirm there’s very little evidence these types of games can improve your life in a meaningful way. The research has been published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. The research paper is titled Evidence for Narrow Transfer after Short-Term Cognitive Training in Older Adults.

View post:
No evidence that playing ‘brain games’ make you smarter – Digital Journal

The Rockwood Files – A weekend of brain games – Cedar County Republican (subscription)

Ours is not what youd call a sports family. We like to watch college football and basketball, and our children compete in a few swim meets during the summer, but were not hard-core about it. We dont take the kids to a practice every day, and we dont do travel teams. In the South, that almost makes us weird.

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Read more from the original source:
The Rockwood Files – A weekend of brain games – Cedar County Republican (subscription)


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