The Lemelson-MIT Program's game Brain Drain allows two players to face off or a single player to match wits with the computer.

The Lemelson-MIT Program's game Brain Drain allows two players to face off or a single player to match wits with the computer.

What’s the shortest path from Babbage’s Difference Engine to the cell phone? How about from vulcanized rubber to the World Wide Web? Play the Invention Connection game on the Lemelson-MIT Program’s Web site and choose a succession of related inventions to get from one to the other in as few moves as possible.

Or, try your hand at Which Came First and ponder such choices as neon or fluorescent? The stapler or the paper clip? Dry cleaning or blue jeans? Both of these games are inspired by the program’s book Inventing Modern America: From the Microwave to the Mouse.

Feel like some hardcore trivia? Go head to head with another person or the computer in Brain Drain and answer questions such as What product, invented by Luther Burbank, helped Ireland overcome the potato famine of 1840-1860? or Which inventor revolutionized the aluminum can through the use of the pop-top?

You’ll have to play the games to find the answers.