App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Brainbean App Poster Image
Varied games encourage creativity if you ignore scoring.

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to think differently and look at words, patterns, and problems with a creative eye. The exercises are varied -- word games, logic puzzles, and creation activities -- so kids can try new things, which is a great way to develop creativity. The 60-second limit on each game gives a fun sense of urgency but doesn't give any time for idea incubation or reflection, both of which are important parts of creativity, so parents may want to talk with kids about their ideas after they play. Brainbean is a unique app that kids can have fun playing while they also develop logic and creativity.

Ease of Play

Most games are pretty intuitive for older kids, and short written instructions are included for each game. 


Four games are available with the free download. Other games can be purchased in-app for $0.99 each or $2.99 for all four remaining games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brainbean includes several games designed by creativity experts to encourage creativity. It targets age 9 and up, but there's no objectionable content. Four games come free, and you can buy others individually or in a bundle. Each game lasts 60 seconds with the goal of developing creative thinking, so, although kids do get a score after each round, the emphasis is not on earning points or getting "right" answers. 

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What's it about?

In the fully unlocked version, kids choose from a grid of nine brainteaser-style games. They'll work creatively with words, making as many words that start with a given letter or creating as many four-letter words with given letter tiles as possible. They'll create using colored bricks or LEGO-style blocks, choose the next design in a pattern, or move puzzle pieces to create connections. They'll complete a drawing, being as creative as they want, and think critically to find another word that three given words have in common. Each game lasts 60 seconds.

Is it any good?

Creativity can be developed and encouraged, and brainteaser-type games such as those included in BRAINBEAN help with that. The problem is with scoring or assessing creativity, which is even trickier without the human touch, making the scores involved in these games pretty irrelevant. The iPad can't evaluate how creative a block structure or drawing is, so the score doesn't necessarily reflect creativity. Disregard the scoring and play to get creative and take risks. Remote Association, Lost Connections, and Pattern Tiles are excellent choices for developing logic, and Incomplete Drawing is great for encouraging out-of-the-box thinking.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what creativity means to them. How are they creative? What new ways can they find to create?

  • Use the games in the app to inspire some family-time creative play. Have one person start a drawing with a few strokes and then pass it to the next person to add to it, and then the next person adds, and so on. 

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: vocabulary
    Math: patterns
    Arts: drawing
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, thinking critically
    Creativity: combining knowledge, developing novel solutions, imagination, innovation
  • Price: Free-$2.99
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (Four games are available with the free download. Other games can be purchased in-app for $.99 each or $2.99 for all four remaining games.)
  • Release date: June 17, 2014
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: High School
  • Size: 53.00 MB
  • Publisher: Tanner Christensen
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles and apps for tweens

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