July 16
blog post

How Puzzles and Brain Teasers Affect the Mind

How Puzzles and Brain Teasers Affect the Mind

There’s a lot of speculation regarding whether or not puzzles and “brain training” can actually sharpen your cognitive abilities. Many people believe it’s all just a hoax or a placebo effect capitalized on by marketing schemes from companies trying to sell an overpriced product, and that you can’t improve brain and mental skills you already have. However, one simple Google search will prove to you that there are innumerable benefits to implementing puzzles and brain teasers as a regular part of your life and routine.

By playing simple mind games, you can change thought patterns, habits, abilities, and even reshape your way of thinking. In fact, some of the most esteemed psychologists recommend training your brain using puzzles and games to optimize your mental performance and even raise your IQ. Not only have puzzles and brain teasers been proven to slow cognitive deterioration later in life, but they can help you improve mental function when you’re at your peak as well.

Think Outside the Box

We’ve all been stuck on a mental block at some point, so we’re all familiar with the frustration that comes with not being able to find an angle or perspective to tackle it. But guess what solution has been found to combat such an ailment? Practicing puzzles and mind games.

Psychological studies have observed that brain teasers such as riddles and wordplay encourage you to pull from sources such as language and experience instead of your own brain for answers. This type of training will help you become unstuck from a proverbial rut, because you’ll be able to think your way around the problem instead of trying to power through an immovable block. Typically, the ability to think outside the box helps in a myriad of problem-solving and conflict resolution settings. This can be utilized in work, school, tests, and even in relational or parental conflicts.

Delay the Effects of Damage

Your brain is like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly to maintain peak performance, but you can also prevent future ailments and diseases by playing brain teasers. It’s not just a placebo effect like some people would have you believe. Studies have demonstrated the effects of puzzles on neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, and they’ve been proven to help slow the brain cell damage caused by these illnesses. Puzzles can also help strengthen the connections between nerve cells in your brain, therefore delaying the onset of the diseases as well. Scientists have also found a correlation between the length of time in which you’ve been solving puzzles and the delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s, so implementing this habit sooner than later is in your best interest.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Working in collaboration with other people is a lost art, but it’s one of the most useful and vital skills you could acquire in your lifetime. Certain brain teasers such as those found in escape rooms emphasize the connection between teammates in the room, how they play off each other, and their communication skills. Escape rooms are especially interesting, though, because different group sizes deeply affect the dynamic and atmosphere in the room, and there are very different tactics you have to adopt based on the numbers. In any puzzle or conflict, both inside or outside an escape room, open lines of communication are imperative to your success and performance. A Yale study supported the notion that practice makes perfect even in “group project” settings, and since you’ll likely be dealing in group efforts for the rest of your life, get your reps in now. Training yourself in teamwork-related skills aids in dealing with relationships, work, and school to improve your performance in each of these areas to help you succeed.

Reset Your Brain

Many psychologists encourage taking a break from work that’s bogging you down in order to increase productivity and boost your performance. The idea is that you’ll be able to have a moment to step away, reset, and come back to your task with increased energy, new avenues of creativity, and drive. However, you won’t feel any of the effects or benefits if your break is just watching Netflix or sitting on Instagram, because you likely won’t come back with ample inspiration to truly feel the effects of your timeout. The best method of optimizing post-break productivity is by tackling a puzzle or brain teasers such as sudoku or even an online jigsaw puzzle. This way you’re able to take a break while not being completely put into relaxation mode, and a different brain function is being challenged so you can come back to work refreshed and stimulated.

Put Your Mind to the Test

Escape rooms, puzzles, and brain teasers are some of the most under-utilized forms of self-care and maintenance, and they desperately need the attention they deserve. The best thing we can do for our minds and bodies is to keep them in shape and operating at optimal performance, but we often neglect opportunities to exercise our minds. So how can we change this and implement brain training into our regular lives in both an efficient and entertaining way? It’s easier than you would think.

There are a plethora of apps you can download onto your phone for well-rounded on-the-go training, such as Lumosity or Elevate. Or you can stick to the classic, tried and true games like crossword puzzles and sudoku, which you can do on your phone or in a small booklet. However, if you want to go big by practicing all these skills at once and bringing in a group of people for extra fun and challenge, you can try an escape room. There’s no limit to the ways you can train your brain and how doing so will help you both right now and in the future, and it’s all readily available and accessible. What are you waiting for? Download an app, buy a puzzle or a game-booklet, or visit EscapeWorks Denver and see what brain teasers can do for you.


$32 per person


1529 Champa St.
Denver, CO

The Reviews

  • There is paid parking options near this location. Friendly, helpful staff and a fun experience! Felix was a great game master! We were able to make it out in under an hour with 4 people.

    Sarah Kallsen Avatar Sarah Kallsen
    February 27, 2023

    Fabulous staff and had a great time with our teens. We usually do this in every major city we visit. This location was creative and we had a great time. We chose the hardest one with a pandemic, but succeeded!

    Carolyn K Avatar Carolyn K
    December 27, 2022
  • Visited from Michigan to see some couples from the Black Love and Marriage Program and we decided to check this place out! We had some much fun! The staff was very helpful and hospitable. Their facility and restrooms we clean. We enjoyed our time and we ESCAPED!

    Kenitha Rabb Avatar Kenitha Rabb
    December 8, 2022

    First time doing an escape room adventure for all members of our group(4). We did Blackbeards Brig. We had such a great time. Stephanie was a great host and explained everything very well. Because it was our 1st time we were a little unsure on what to expect. The clues were great, and we were able to win our adventure with 33 seconds to spare. The facilities were well decorated and clean. The clues were somewhat hard but yet achievable. Can't wait to go back for a different adventure.

    Brig Church Avatar Brig Church
    September 22, 2022
  • I had a great time at EscapeWorks Denver! We did the Egypt escape room, and it was wonderful! The team bonded wonderfully, and we now work stronger together in more business appropriate parameters. I had a great time dancing around in silly costumes and sifting through sand. However, I'm glad I came with a larger group. You'll definitely need a few sets of hands to escape (which we did!) though I'm sure the experience would be enjoyable regardless. I also did a prohibition themed room a few years back. I don't remember much about it except that I had loads of fun.

    Rebecca H. Avatar Rebecca H.
    August 22, 2022

    Helen was an amazing worker! She helped us with our escape room and she was incredibly kind. Helen really made my experience completely worth it! I would come back just to talk with Helen!

    Olivia Svenson Avatar Olivia Svenson
    August 17, 2022
  • We had a great time with the Speakeasy room. The setup was fun and the room was detailed. There was a variety of puzzles and it was fun to try to fit things together. Helen!!!! Helen was fantastic at setting the scene and helping us through with little hints when we had the right idea but just couldn’t get something to work because we were slightly off. Thanks!!

    Kaitlyn Kelly Avatar Kaitlyn Kelly
    August 12, 2022

    We just did the Speakeasy and it was great! The puzzles were designed well; challenging but not impossible and really fun to solve. The rooms themselves were high quality filled with all sorts of fun props and hidden secrets. Helen, our host, was fantastic! Our unseen benefactor kept the action moving and just made the whole experience way more entertaining. Had a blast!

    Brian Sankowski Avatar Brian Sankowski
    August 12, 2022
  • This was awesome! The escape room we did had everything—Ancient Egypt, Indiana Jones references, hieroglyphs to translate… It was challenging, but able to be solved in an hour. Our game master Tobi was really friendly & cool. And the “hints” sound was an “Easter Egg” of sorts 😉 Definitely check it out!

    Doug “K'laamas” Johnson Avatar Doug “K'laamas” Johnson
    August 12, 2022

    Just did the Egyptian tomb n I had a great time. They put a lot of effort into the design, and story. Helen helped us out and made the experience very fun. We almost went back to do a second escape!

    Liy Taliaferro Avatar Liy Taliaferro
    August 10, 2022
  • We had a great experience with 5 people in the Blackbeard room. Our first time with an escape room challenge and picked the easiest one they offered and thoroughly enjoyed completing the puzzle. Felix was a fantastic host and hints were given appropriately to keep it fun but definitely not excessively. Lots and lots of fun, would highly recommend. We will be back after having such a great time. Thank you!

    Morgan Phillips Avatar Morgan Phillips
    July 30, 2022

    This was an unforgettable experience! We did the virus outbreak scenario for a teambuilding event. Everyone raved about how fun this was, it far exceeded expectations even for a bunch of engineer dorks. The game was brilliantly designed, the puzzles were very challenging but not frustrating. Each stage or unlock brought a great sense of satisfaction and motivation to move onto the next. Many of the puzzles required unconventional thinking and multiple knowledge domains to complete. Teamwork was a must. Staff was super helpful and their hints were perfectly timed to keep us on track. 10/10, would do again. Thank you!

    Jeremy Smolik Avatar Jeremy Smolik
    July 14, 2022
  • Been to Escape Works twice now. Had an excellent experience both times. The puzzles are very clever and the rooms are fun and challenging. Particularly enjoyed the casino heist game. Stephanie was a great hostess and even spent some time with us afterwards to explain how things worked. Good fun!

    Stephen Weitz Avatar Stephen Weitz
    June 26, 2022

    Visiting my friends in Denver and we wanted something fun to do - we made the RIGHT decision here. We booked Blackbeard’s Brig and it was awesome. Well paced and not too difficult. Just the right amount of stress. Patrick was awesome he had our backs and made the experience so fun and enjoyable. He was an awesome host. Highly recommend!!!

    Meredith LoRusso Avatar Meredith LoRusso
    June 26, 2022
  • My friends and I went to Denver for the weekend and decided to do the Casino Heist room at EscapeWorks. We had so much fun trying to figure out the clues; we didn't end up 'winning' but had a great time anyway. Rose walked us through the clues to the end of the game which was a lot of fun. Thank you Rose and Felix for a fun night. If we are ever back in the area we would definitely to this again.

    Deb Gregg Avatar Deb Gregg
    June 4, 2022

    We had the best time at EscapeWorks Denver. My friends and I traveled to Denver for a fun weekend and decided to do the escape room experience. We chose the Casino Heist and had the best time ever!!! A huge shout-out to Rose and Felix who did a fabulous job of making it so fun for us!!! They went above and beyond. Thank you Rose and Felix for making it so memorable!!! We will be back!!! Signed..."The Fun Girls" from South Dakota

    Kim Klundt Avatar Kim Klundt
    June 4, 2022
  • I love this place! I went in March with my daughter and we did Blackbeard's Brig, the easiest one, since I was new at escape rooms. We were paired up with another family of three. We had a blast and escaped! It was such a positive experience, I brought my family back for my daughters birthday. We did the Egyptian Tomb as a private party, since we had a group of five, and escaped! That room was amazing too! My family still tells everyone about how much fun they had in that escape room. The rooms are really well done. The puzzles are fun, unique, not easy but also not so hard you are frustrated the whole time. The themed rooms are spot on with the stories. Everything looks well maintained and clean. The staff is professional and kind. Next Denver trip we will be back for another escape room. Thank you for making our trips fun and memorable.

    Chena Kline Avatar Chena Kline
    May 7, 2022

    The Casino Heist room was a challenge but extremely fun! It’s different than other escape rooms as you’re not allowed to ask for hints; the game master gives them to you at their discretion. Tobi was an awesome game master and only gave us hints when we were completely lost. Highly recommend!

    Amanda Bertelli Avatar Amanda Bertelli
    April 26, 2022
  • EscapeWorks in Denver is AmAzInG! The gamemasters we're great! We went first to play Blackbeard's Bring, ended up loving it soooo much that after we won, we immediately wanted to do another. We did Outbreak next which was a little more challenging but was a blast to play!!! We're going back to do the other games soon, and I recommend this place to everyone! They have weekday deals, and discounts if you do multiple on the same day!

    Jazz Ramey Avatar Jazz Ramey
    April 26, 2022

    We had a great time in the Egyptian Tomb! The puzzles and riddles were challenging and fun. Our game master Steph helped us stay on track with minimal hints. Definitely worth the money, for it was an exciting and bonding experience. It was very realistic and there was a lot of thought behind effects and puzzles. If we return to Denver again I would be happy to try out another room!

    lilly M. Avatar lilly M.
    April 15, 2022

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