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Review: Wonder – teach yourself to be creative

A new brain training game that hopes to turn you into a creative genius

Price: Free
Version: 1.0
Size: 9.0 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Developer: Bielionaire AB


Wonder is a starting point for great ideas. What starts as a simple word game expands into a playful idea-generation machine; a series of inspirational thought experiments.


Work out your brain, get inspired, save ideas

The app starts by showing you a random word, and asking you to write down everything that comes to mind on that topic. Essentially it’s a word association game. There are no points, no targets, and no checking that your answers make sense; it’s an exercise in which success can only be judged on what you get out of it. The inclusion of a 60 second timer does force you to think quickly, though, encouraging you to keep your thoughts unfiltered.

Complete your list of words, and the app will throw up a second topic for you to ponder, again asking for as many keywords as you can conjure up within a minute. Finally, the two lists of words are displayed side by side, and you’re tasked with combining two or more of them into a creative answer to a random question: what would make a good fairytale, or movie plot, or business idea? You can save as many ideas as come to mind, along with notes, to check back on at your leisure.


The random word can be interpreted however you like

At its heart this is a very simple idea, and one that could be replicated easily wish physical flashcards – in fact, the a printed version of Wonder for hands-on use in groups is already available. The developers rhapsodize about the benefits of creative thinking at work or in school, and built the app after personal experience playing a rudimentary version of this game every morning before work to get the creative juices flowing.

The ideas you think of are not supposed to be tailored to real life problems. Rather, this is an abstract intellectual exercise intended to flex your creative muscles and get some practice thinking unconventionally. Through regular play, Wonder attempts to hone the more inventive side of your brain. Practice makes perfect, eh?


Link words to help generate new ideas

Wonder offers an inspirational ‘tip of the day’ to help you adjust your thinking patterns and be more open to creative thought, and if you get bored of the strenuous job of thinking for yourself, you can explore a random selection of ideas from other users. Swiping through stranger’s suggestions ranges from the amusing to the bizarre, and it’s nice to think that your own madcap ideas might just inspire someone on the other side of the world.

You can view the submissions online, though it doesn’t look like Wonder has amassed quite enough users yet to really flesh this section out. The suggestions from other users range from the amusing to the bizarre, with the odd genuinely good idea thrown in to give you hope that it is possible to birth decent ideas out of nothing.


Some of the ideas generated by users of Wonder

Wonder can be a powerful tool to kickstart your imagination, but it’s a shame that just the one mode is included. We’d love to see the concept expand to include a few more mini-games or different ways to battle creative blocks, and thankfully it looks as though its creators plan to add additional “workouts” in future. For now, it’s an interesting concept but a fairly limited one. Certainly worth checking out, though: maybe it’ll be the catalyst for your next great idea?