[App Review] Lumosity

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

memory game
The Speed Match game tests both your memory and quick thinking, to see how fast you process information.

The Lumosity app prides itself on boosting the human brain with dozens of focus challenges, memory exercises, and mind-bending puzzles. While the jury’s out on whether or not Lumosity can be scientifically proven to increase your IQ, it’s most definitely a fun way to pass the time. Unfortunately, it has so many menus, fancy descriptions, and statistics trying to convince you how much more brilliant you’re becoming, that the fun factor gets watered down.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Lumosity is definitely a superior activity to watching reality television. Whether you’re playing Memory Matrix, trying to remember which flip cards will repeat a pattern, or Lost in Migration, where you have to decide what direction the lead bird is facing without letting the rest of the flock distract you, you’ll be firing up those brain cells.

It’s just that Lumosity wastes so much time with psychological buzz words, scientific language, and data charts, that you’ll actually start believing it’s using “neuroplasticity” to magically increase your brain. They’ll show you how your scores compare to over 50 million users and claim that their content is ultra-customized to your learning needs. It’s easy to get swept away in all the promises and feel like you’re well on your way to becoming Einstein, but countless real research studies have shown that Lumosity does not demonstrate any long-term intellectual gains. Sometimes I just want to play the games without being tricked into thinking I’m a better person after… is that too much to ask?

Okay, so how about the games themselves? Super fun! Simple, yet attractive graphics make it endlessly enjoyable to bend shapes, focus on patterns, and track the colors flashing across the screen. The sounds are kind of basic and not very memorable, but you won’t care since there’s truly a mega variety of game types to choose from – for instance, in the Memory Games category, there’s everything from Tidal Treasures with seashells to Pinball Recall and Monster Garden.

It’s a shame that so much time and effort is spent convincing you that Lumosity is legitimately turning you into a genius, and they should’ve just kept score like a normal video game rather than tying it into sci-fi mumbo jumbo. After all, if you really want to maximize that IQ, read books, do math problems, or learn a new language! So, our final verdict? We give Lumosity a “B-”.

Images courtesy of Lumos Labs.