If you haven’t heard, fidget spinners are currently sweeping the nation, the globe, and civilization as we know it. Originally designed as a means of harnessing the concentration of students with ADHD, the small plastic distractions have since become immensely popular amongst the distracted and undistracted alike. Spreading at alarming rates and creating something of a schism between their proponents and detractors, fidget spinners are both pleasing those who buy them and infuriating those slowly growing impatient with endless spinning madness.
Before we’re all consumed by fidget-spin fever, it’s worth considering what exactly can be accomplished while using these things aside from, theoretically, schoolwork. While plenty of video games require two hands and complete attention, there are dozens of others that don’t. If you’re going to multitask while you game, why not introduce the latest craze into the equation?
With that, here are ten games that should be absolutely no problem to play while using a fidget spinner.
Kirby: Canvas Curse
With Nintendo DS’s heavy push toward touch-only control schemes (especially in its early days), what better way to constantly, incessantly fidget-spin than to amass as many DS games as possible? Of course, not all DS titles will meld with your spinful lifestyle so perfectly, but Kirby: Canvas Curse is one that absolutely does.
Kirby has taken on ball form here, and as such the player’s goal is to craft rainbow roads with a magical plastic pen, guiding Kirby safely through stages and away from danger. It begins simply enough, but soon the usual buffet of powers and abilities present themselves, in tandem with the need to strategically guide Kirby’s relatively useless, spherical form safely at all times. You can even tap Kirby for a speed boost, though with zero hands to spare, taking it slow might be the wise approach.
While not my own personal classic RPG-revival favorite, Bravely Default shoots straight to the top of the list when considering RPGs to which one can also fidget-spin. The Final Fantasy-esque RPG easily spans 50 hours, while cleverly providing a one-handed mechanism of play (as the D-pad handles selection and navigation). It’s no stylus-only experience, but assuming you possess reasonable coordination, you should be alright. If you feel something in-game truly requires two hands here and there, just wait for the inevitable demise of your fidget spinner’s momentum to take care of it.
Outside of the DS realm, PC simulations make perfect candidates to distract yourself while already being distracted. You’ll need nothing but a single hand and a mouse to craft your dream theme park, not to mention the rush of nostalgia that comes with booting up the old Chris Sawyer classic.
Of course, RollerCoaster Tycoon as a franchise has continued since the early days, the most recent entry being 2016’s RollerCoaster Tycoon World. Depending on whether fidget spinning or park building is poised as your primary task and life goal, you might want to consider the classic edition to keep things simple.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
The involved nature of most Blizzard titles sends the notion of simultaneously fidget-spinning and exploring Azeroth straight out the window, but thankfully Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft bucks that trend entirely. Its card-based nature doesn’t stop it from offering hundreds of cards across a dozen or so classes, yet one hand and half-a-brain ought to be enough to enable your extra limb’s careful watch over your fidget spinner of choice.
Notably, Hearthstone is also multiplayer. No longer must you go it alone if you choose to game and fidget-spin simultaneously. Thanks, Blizzard.
Yoshi Touch & Go
Yoshi Touch & Go has become a bit obscure in the modern day, but those who played it recall its unique design language. Featuring a gameworld that spanned both the top and bottom Nintendo DS screen, the game was designed to be played entirely via DS stylus and, assuming you have access to a table or other flat surface, ought to work just fine with one hand.
Now, I’m not saying Nintendo saw the future and that said future contained fidget spinners, but they did start out as a toy company. They also have an uncanny knack for latching on to unforeseen, hyper-popular trends. Let’s just say I’m not convinced they didn’t plan for fidget spinners in advance.
Braid creator Jonathan Blow is known for crafting games both emotionally charged and impressively clever, but did you know he has a soft spot for fidget spinners? That last part may not necessarily be true, but his recent game The Witness completely enables the simultaneous use of them, so clearly there’s something at play here.
The Witness is comprised almost entirely of line puzzles, connected via environmental exploration and an engaging, colorful world. You’ll rarely if ever need to traverse and puzzle-solve at once, though, leaving an extra hand free and ready to spin away.
The Sims 4
There are few games more mindlessly relaxing than The Sims, and unless you obsess over myriad keyboard shortcuts while playing, a simple computer mouse ought to serve your needs just fine. As such, from character creation to home-building to watching your created avatars urinate on the floor, there’s little need to stop enjoying your fidget spinners while playing The Sims 4. It’s true the game had some strange issues at launch, including a bizarre lack of dishwashers (they’ve since been added), but that’s hardly you or your fidget spinners’ problem.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
Tetris has graced dozens of platforms by now, and its latest incarnation arrives on Switch in tandem with the Snood-esque Japanese Puyo Puyo. While neither game is designed to be played while wielding a fidget spinner, Sega has graciously allowed for single-Joy-Con play across all of the game’s modes. Those individual Joy-Cons are pretty tiny, which means coordinated players should be able to play each puzzler quite easily one-handed with some practice. Yet another win for the obsessed connoisseur of fidget spinners.
Platinum’s Bayonetta character action titles are among the most hardcore in gaming. How could one possibly play them, nevermind succeed, while also using a fidget spinner?
Well, the answer was ordained long ago, in the form of something Platinum calls “Very Easy Automatic Mode.” There’s a video demonstrating the concept, and as evidenced by the on-screen results, progressing with a single hand (or even a single thumb) is entirely doable. The conclusion? If you thought there would be compromises when using a fidget spinner while gaming, you were dead wrong.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Need more proof? You can even play Zelda while using a fidget spinner. Admittedly, not every Zelda title will work so well using a single hand, but DS title Phantom Hourglass and its followup Spirit Tracks were developed entirely with stylus play in mind (to the point that even movement is handled by touch controls exclusively).
Sure, there may be occasions where triggers are needed to swap items and the like, but that can be handled between re-spins. The bulk of the adventure can be taken care of via a flat surface and a stylus, meaning fidget spinner fever lives to see yet another day.