Most educational games for the iPad aim squarely at the kiddish-crowd. But those punk whippersnappers who need to get off the lawn shouldn’t have all the fun. Adults can enjoy their own as well, including these!
OK, yes, it’s meant for the kidlets. But we swear this $2.99 investment means some fun physics lessons and manipulative, Lemmings-esque play.
One of the top-rated chess apps for iDevices walks novices through all the basics of this ancient strategy game, but provides a challenge for more seasoned fans as well.
The ubiquitous number puzzle makes its way to the iPad with thousands of different options available at varying skill levels.
It requires a subscription fee after the first week, but for crossword puzzle junkies apps don’t come more satisfying than access to the daily New York Times crossword and more than 6,000 of its past offerings.
More entertaining than educational, the extremely popular You Don’t Know Jack trivia franchise still teach players a few things about the weird world around them.
Part cognition-building puzzle, part relaxant, these tangrams calm while encouraging the brain to increase its mad skills.
By the same developer as TanZen Lite, this tile-based puzzle game offers up a deceptively difficult task that only grows harder as users press forward.
Play the ancient strategy challenge go with friends and family, online strangers, or the computer and start sharpening that problem-solving acumen and even save old games for later review.
Learn some new words and get creative with the older ones with this classic crossword competition for vocabulary fanatics.
Pick through more than 14 maps and soak up lessons on the geological and geographical features of the planet; it counts as a game because there are quizzes to take to test your knowledge.
With the rapid-fire quizzes available on Speed Anatomy, users gain a quickie education in all the bones and organs of the human body.
Not a game so much as a stellar (pun totally intended) augmented reality experience where viewers explore the cosmos by pointing their iPads to the sky and digitally traveling and learning about the structures of the universe.
Another fabulous augmented reality application, this time developed by University of Maryland, Columbia University, and the Smithsonian. Focus the camera on nearby leaves and watch the iPad correctly identify their species.
Absorb a new word of the day in 6 different languages from eight different resources and take fast, time-killing quizzes meant to bolster that vocabulary.
Children might make up Flags Fun’s target demographic, but adults admit that matching flags to their native countries is incredibly fun, challenging, and educational.
Brain training games and exercises swarm this app, which dedicates itself to fostering neurological fitness through problem solving challenges and courses.
Now available on all iDevices (despite the website copy), this NASA product puts a simulation of the Lunar Rover in the hands of iPad owners and lets them get a feel for what the entire complex process entails.
Browse digital galleries containing some of the greatest artistic works of all time, then take quizzes to see how well all the information eventually sank in and post high scores to the Internet.
Play god! Splice blends the art of video games with science and asks players to create their own molecules by cutting apart and recombining cells.
Square Enix, the folks behind the Final Fantasy franchise, combine elements of their signature roleplayers with an education in classical music.
Hey, Jeopardy! can be educational! It exposes players to trivia questions that lead to further intellectual inquiry.
Vismory gives players a detailed object to observe, then challenges them to answer questions about what they saw purely from memory.
Another one targeting the kidlets, but not-so-secretly addictive to the over-18 crowd. Geography lessons merge with puzzles whose solutions involve interacting with and stacking the nations of the world.
More of a tool than a game, but still a fabulously fun time for musically-inclined iPad users who want to play around with a full suite of composing options.
Sid Meier, he of the epic simulation creation, brings this strategy gem to the iPad for history lessons about hegemonies, empires, and other inevitabilities.
Zen Bound 2 boasts over 100 levels of brain-teasing gameplay meant to simultaneously calm the savage mental beast by coiling rope around sculptures.
No stones must go uncrossed in this riveting, addictive puzzle for adults hoping to give their minds a workout and assist their critical thinking capabilities.
Get lost in one of the oldest matching games in the world without worrying about losing one of the many, many tiles involved.
Zynga’s number game involves shifting around within a grid and setting off chains in a brain-teasing delight meant to keep the mind sharp.
Suitable for both beginner music theorists and their more advanced counterparts, Nota provides an extensive resource involving notations, piano playing (there’s even a touch-sensitive keyboard!), chords, and more as well as the ability to take quizzes on everything they’ve learned.
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.