Just last night I was telling my mom how I’d love to get her an iPad and plug in as many cognitive stimulation apps in it for her to use. She knows that with age comes a certain degree of cognitive decline, so she asked me to send her a ‘cognitive care package’ full of activities for her to do. So, while I’m in the process of putting one together, I decided to write about one of my favorite apps on the App Store: Image Quest.
This game’s no lightweight. Right now it’s on the App Store for $0.99 but you can check out its Lite version for free just so you can get an idea exactly what I am talking about here. Image Quest lovingly messes with your recognition, association and word retrieval skills via pictonyms: distinctly different images that share a common word. The startup screen asks you to choose your game style: Standard Play or a Tournament Play. Select, say, Standard Play, and you need to choose your category. The Full version packs a total of 30 Levels, some of which are:
- Easy – Things
- A is for…
- Three, Please
- Garage Sale
- Grab Bag
… and so on. Right now I am on Level 12.
Each level gives you one kind of keyboard or another to play with: a Scrambled Keyboard (8 select yet scrambled letters), and a Full Keyboard. Tap on a level to start the game. When the timer starts a set of pictonyms flashes on the screen. You, as the player, must look at the image very closely and try and see the associations the pictures have with each other, what their common characteristics are, how these pictures’ labels correspond to the other pictures, and retrieve a common word.
Sounds complicated? Not really. It’s the TIMER that gets to you, consider yourself forewarned. You are given 20 seconds to study the pictonyms, make associations, retrieve a word, and type your answer in.
What makes this app truly awesome:
- attractive gaming concept: perfect for those who frequently want a cog fix
- well-designed splash screens
- clear and specific pictonyms (no matter how small they end up looking, them being scrunched up in an iPhone / iPod Touch’s screen
- a scoreboard that gives one feedback how they’re doing in terms of correct vs. wrong answers plus gives the player a boost for retrieving words fast.
- 30 different levels! All of gradually-increasing levels of difficulty.
- 500 pictonym puzzles! Totalling to 7,500 different images
- you get to play with other I.Q. gamers via the Tournament Play option
- one can customize the app’s music and instead allow the user’s music to play as the game continues
- bigger, more responsive keyboard: I found myself tapping a tad bit harder for the game to recognize my tapping.
- bigger pictonyms: of course, this may be bigger on the iPad compared to the iPod touch
To perfect this game, the player must get 3000 points. 3000 points!!
This app is not strictly an app for therapy. However, taking into consideration that there can be individuals with aphasia who have better semantic systems than the rest of them combined, plus the significant number of cases of high functioning autism, who knows? Maybe this app could actually attain a therapy material designation!
- facilitating visual attention
- facilitating image recognition
- recognizing similarities and differences among the pictonyms
- identifying the common factor among all the pictonyms presented
- word retrieval