Available on: iOS & Android
Our rating: ****
Is your brain in need of a refresh? Or maybe you’re looking for something that will wake you up in the morning? If so, our App of the Week for this week should be a perfect choice for you.
From Peaklabs, the namesake app, Peak, provides you with numerous ways to work on your brain at times that are convenient for you. It is available for free on iOS, Android and Amazon Kindle, meaning that you’ve got little excuse to avoid your mental workouts!
So, how does it work?
The vast majority of apps out there today will have you complete a sign-up process before you can start using them. These can feel quite tedious after a while, and unfortunately Peak is no exception. However, once you pass the data entry portion of the app, you can immediately begin testing yourself with a handful of games designed to test your cognitive abilities in a number of different areas.
You’ve got the likes of language-based games that will challenge your ability to form as many words as you can in a limited time. There are the obvious memory games, which will see how well you can recall information you’ve been presented with and if you’ve took on a problem solving game, you may be asked to tap a sequence of numbers in order from lowest to highest. There are other categories to play too, including emotion, coordination and focus.
Each new day you load up the app you’ll be given four games to complete as part of your daily workout. This can easily set you into a routine of opening up Peak once a day in order to train your brain. Each time you complete a game, it gets progressively trickier the next time. This helps keep the game from getting boring and repetitive, whilst keeping you on your toes! You can play each categorised game as many times as you like each day, though you’ll still be restricted to those four categories until tomorrow rolls around. That is, unless you pay for for the Pro version, but we’ll talk about that later.
When you complete your daily brain workout, you’ll be given a report that outlines how well you did on each task. Your workout summary shows how much you’ve improved in each skill, and you can compare yourself with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. There’s even the option to see how you match up with the wider world, where your scores are compared to the average for people in your age range or even your profession. You might find you’re above average at problem solving but poor on your memory skills, giving you some goals to work towards and improve on.
Individual games have their own challenges, which when completed earns you more points towards your daily goals. These can be anything from just earning a higher score, to beating a friend’s high score and proving how much smarter you are (or how much more free time you have). Many apps you’ll see on the market today will have some sort of tie-in to social media. Some are fairly basic and just want you to share that you’ve been using the app but Peak’s use of it isn’t original. Peak adds another dimension to social sharing and lets you compete with friends.
As we mentioned above, there is a premium plan available which will give you access to a whole load more features on the app. Included are pro-only games which you can only get by paying, and it also gives you the ability to play any game you want – removing the four-a-day restriction. There are deeper analytics too, if you really love the idea of more graphs and charts about your brain.
Peak is a lot of fun, and has a lot of variety to it that can keep you coming back for a while. It can actually feel quite annoying not being able to play more than four games in a day, which does make the pro version a lot more very appealing. The app is very well suited to mobile, and you can schedule it to remind you each day to complete your daily routine. These you can plan around your day; for instance if you want help with motivating yourself in the morning.
There’s plenty of sciency stuff (don’t ask us for specifics) behind the app which Peaklabs are happy to share with you, but you don’t have to think too much into it if you just want to play a few games on your way to work.
Would Appitized recommend? Yes
As something to give you that little mental boost at the start or end of your day, we definitely recommend Peak as something you should try. We’ll definitely be using it for the next few weeks, hopefully with some improvements to show for it at the end too!