Whether you're doing your taxes last minute or studying for a big test, it can be hard to get motivated when you think about the long hours of work ahead. Make it easier by taking a short break every so often to do something a little more fun—like one of these fun web toys. (Just make sure to set an alarm so your break doesn’t eat up all your work time!)
1. LSD: LINE, SQUARE, DOT
LSD is a very minimalist physics game. There’s a box. You can draw lines. And a dot falls. Your goal is to get the dot in the box. Simple, huh? All you have to do is draw lines in the right place to bounce the ball into the box. It’s doable, but maddening at times. Inertia is not your friend here—if you get your lines placed just right, that ball will bounce forever. As soon as you think you’re pretty good at it, you’ll be put in your place.
3. TYPE DRUMMER
You can become a drummer just by typing, with Type Drummer. Replace the type that’s already in the box with your own. You can type complete sentences, or experiment with the different beats made by the keys on your keyboard. Load samples from other people if you need some inspiration. If you manage to make a beat you’re proud of, save it with a unique URL.
4. EMOJI MOSAIC
Emoji Mosaic by Eric Andrew Lewis is a web tool that reconstructs images using emojis. Just upload a picture, and wait for it to render. It’s not easy to see (much less recognize) each individual emoji, but if you have favorites, they may stand out. Surely you recognize Van Gogh’s Starry Night above. See some more examples here.
5. FURRY FRIEND PURR GENERATOR
Furry Friend bills itself as a “frequency-shaped cat purr noise generator.” You can change the parameters on the generator to create different purrs. The general idea is to emulate the soothing purr of a cat, which is known to have many benefits for humans. (It’s also nice for people who want a cat but can't have one.) You may be tempted to leave this on all the time, but be careful: The sound of even a simulated cat purr is so relaxing that you might fall asleep at the computer.
Don’t like cats? The folks behind the Furry Friend Purr Generator have other noise generators for every taste.
6. BOUNCY BALLS
Bouncy Balls gives you a pile of balls you manipulate with sound. The balls don't follow spoken instructions but instead move to the frequency and loudness of your typing or talking (and if you don’t want to turn your microphone on, you can throw the balls around with your cursor). You can adjust the number and bounciness of the balls, and change them to eyeballs or emojis for more weirdness!
7. PULL MY FINGER
Here’s a web toy that will appeal to the 12-year-old in all of us. Pull My Finger is the sum total of the instructions. You can guess what happens when you do.
HappyToast saw the similarities of a Piet Mondrian artwork and the classic video game Pong, and made a gif to illustrate it. This was submitted to a b3ta image challenge for video game art. You can see all the submissions here. This was such a neat idea for a game that K.M. Hansen made a playable version called MondriPong 1.2. It takes a bit of dexterity to play both sides.
9. JOHN TRAVOLTAGE
This is a one-joke web toy, but hey, it stars John Travolta! In John Travoltage, you can move his leg and arm, but that’s all. What happens all depends on how you do those things. And be sure to leave the sound on.
10. SMILEY HAPPINESS CAUSED
Here’s a web toy that could also be a game if you played against someone and made up some rules. There’s a grid of faces. Click on them, and they will either start to smile or frown. Keep clicking after you think the face won’t change any more, and it might change again (or sometimes not). There's a score kept at the bottom—which you can maximize by concentrating on the happy faces instead of the frowny ones—but there's no high score or purpose here. (The grid is different every time you load it, so you can’t just memorize the faces that smile or frown to get ahead.) The game FAQ gives you reasons to keep clicking on the faces. A vague offer of a reward for clicking more did not induce me to try for a thousand clicks.