Sunday, October 28, 2012

iPad/iPhone App: NumberOne Brain

NumberOne Brain app
NumberOne Brain app on iTunes (free)

What it is: A matching game where you are asked to locate a target number on a board tiled with several numbers (5-10 of them, see screen image #1). Very simple, but it gets more and more complex as you play: you have to learn to ignore competing stim to find the number you need.

Screen Image #1
As you can see from the screen image at a maximally simple point in the game (the start), the tiles are spaced so there's only one per column. Visual complexity is increased by adding more tiles to choose from, and/or lining them up to have more than one per column. Also, proximity of visually similar number tiles (to the target number) can add complexity, as can the extent of similarity between the tiles (so instead of maximally different from the target number as in the screen image, you may get 101, 110, 1, 211 and 11). The colors of the tiles may also work to draw your attention away from the correct answer, and at a more difficult level an incorrect tile may compete for your attention by shaking a bit. Possibly there's something in the sound as well, but I never play games like this with sound on. Either way, this is a great way to exercise your focus and quite fun as well.

Screen Image #2
How we can use it in Tx: There are several difficulty options available for this game, and as usual I recommend the simplest: "easy". All game play gets more complicated the better you do during the round though. Also, as usual I recommend playing this without the sound unless you have a pt with very high fxn that could use the extra competing stim.

One thing to keep in mind about this game is that, although a fairly simple concept and pretty fun to play, it is timed and graded, although as of March 2013 the grading can be turned off per new update. A round lasts a certain length, and you lose seconds when making mistakes, and I think gain some if have a good run. Here's an example of the summary that shows up at the end of a round if grading is not turned off (screen image #2). Some of the data is worth having, and may even be useful to us for keeping track of progress. However, the school-like grading of "brain level" is not for use in therapy (the original version of this app I reviewed did not allow grading to be switched off, and that's where the screen image is from). The new version does allow you to avoid this grading, which is a huge bonus for our uses! A great thank you to the developers for this, and their update re the matter on this post!

Goals we can target with this app: Attention, focus, following directions, scanning and visual field neglect goals, and of course memory goals (I suggest a way to focus on memory below). A pt with severe symbolic dysfunction may benefit from number matching as well, but they may need too much time for each match to get any real use out of this game. Worth a try.

Some specific examples: There's not really a lot of things you can vary in playing this game. You can vary the level of cues provided to help pt find matching tiles, and you can focus on specific results and/or progress. So for example:

1. If you're working on scanning and field neglect then accuracy becomes an important goal, and you should consider the number of mistakes per round. However, you should also pay attention to how many of those mistakes were due to competing stim from the dominant side.

2. If you're working on focus/attention, pay closer attention to what kind of competing stim interfered most (was it color, was it motion, was it placement, etc.).

3. Here's an idea for how to work on memory goals: Every time a new target number appears, after the pt has looked at it, pause the game (the screen will turn black, covering up the playing board). Check for immediate recall of the target number. If appropriate, distract the pt with something and then check for delayed recall. Then go back to the board, let the pt find the match, and do the same for the next target number (or skip one or two numbers, then pause for the following one to check recall). If you want to up the difficulty, upon pause ask to recall the current target number and the previous one.

4. Brain-training: for the regular (not rehab-patient) population, this game can provide great training for attention and focus, reflexes, scanning, and to some extent memory. For this population the graded summary may be a great motivator to do better each time you play.


  1. We are very happy to ser our game could be used on a real world aplication. Thank you very much. By the way, NumberOne will forever stay free now on iPhone and Android. If more people would like to have a inifinite mode, without the 'arcade' that is intented we would be very happy to change that ending screen and placing a more friendly info (like the grading).

    Again, thank you!!
    Sebastián Sucho
    neotko studios S.L.

    You can send us any message or twitter at twitter/neotko or via

  2. Thank you so much for your message! I will update the price on my post and share this information on social media so fellow therapists may take a look as well. I think for the regular user the timed mode and grading at the end are kind of fun and motivating. The grading can be skipped by those of us who may use this app for therapy; if you do make an untimed mode that would be useful for us, but I think as is it's also pretty workable. It is a wonderful idea and well done indeed! Thanks again, -Naomi

  3. We are 100% working on an update that will record the data of the player and display graphic information. Also we will add a button to turn on/off the grading. We can't (for now) insert an 'export' to the data, but will allow the users to make a follow up of the progress made.
    Thanks for your input, it really motivate us to make our game better

    Sebastián Sucho

  4. Sounds wonderful! Can't wait to try the updated version! -Naomi

  5. Hello Naomi!

    We updated NumberOne with Statistics, possibility to turn off the grading on the new menu/options and a new mode for the hard core player.

    The Statistics can show the best resoults for each mode on 1hour intervals or a week/month.

    Thanks for your input, we really appreciated your input

    Best regards!
    Sebastián Sucho - neotko studios

  6. Hi! I saw that you did this in the description of the most recent update! That's wonderful. I will go in and edit this write up in the next few days to reflect the changes to the app. Thank you! -Naomi

  7. I've added a note re the ability to switch off grading. I will make a note to myself to update the screen image to reflect this as well. Again, thank you for both adding this feature and letting me know here! -Naomi