Vignettes, and Other Fidget Games

I’m a fidgeter, particularly when I’m anxious. I like to keep my hands busy. I used to tear up strips of paper before graduating to pens and fidget toys. On the go, I usually fidget with my phone. Fun, but distracting, and even more socially disruptive than clicking a pen over and over and-

So Vignettes really made my week when it landed on iOS. Calling it a toy would be a disservice — it’s a great discovery game — but it’s ever so satisfying to fidget with.

Here’s a taste:

That’s how Vignettes plays. You start with an object. Rotate it into the right new perspective and it becomes another object. A lamp into a lightbulb, for example.

It’s impossible to fail. There are few distracting UI elements. You can just twist and turn objects around, tap them to interact, and work your way through a whole list of items back and forth. It’s immensely satisfying for my particular fidgetting requirements.

There are other games that almost fit, like The Room series or Monument Valley. Those games have the tactility of Vignettes, but for me, they require a bit too much attention for this purpose.

There are two others I can think of that work similarly, though. Metamorphabet is an educational game for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac that lets you play with the alphabet. It’s gorgeous, and it can be poked for ages without running out of satisfying interactions. And going a bit further back, there’s Windosill. It’s a discovery puzzle game that’s available in browser, and on iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac.

It takes a bit more active attention to advance through the game, but each room is a delightful mix of strange, tactile interactions.

So how about you? Are there any games that particularly soothe your urge to fidget? Let us know on Twitter so we fidgeters can share our secrets.

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