Back in the day, there was the Tamagotchi. There was Pokémon. There was Habbo Hotel and even Runescape, for chrissake.
Which all point to one thing; that when we were in our early teens, we wanted to escape from reality as much as possible. Because go figure; being 13 sucks.
"Bless us," we think today. "We were young and restless then, but now we have no need for such distractions," as we simultaneously hope the train taking us to work sets on fire.
In other words, yes, we do need a way of escaping from reality as much as we did as kids. And thanks to the wonders of modern technology and those touchy screeny rock things everyone's been holding lately, a selection of apps can take us far, far away from this cruel world for just a while.
1. Neko Astume
Bless whatever mighty being that created the cartoon cat. Basically, in Neko Astume, you have your own back yard which you can fill with treats and toys to lure cute AF little kitties into your garden.
Watch them hypnotically roll back and forth with a red rubber ball. Look at their little cartoon cat butts poke into the air as they stand, motionless in a 2D paper bag.
Never part from your phone screen again.
Check out Neko Atsume here.
2. Alto's Adventure
This app is just so beautifully animated it'll make you question most things in life. Sure, it may technically be a game, but it describes itself as an 'endless snowboarding odyssey' and that's what we shall name it henceforth.
Check out Alto's Adventure here.
If the noises you mostly hear in life are of children screaming (where do they all come from?), roadworks and the deafening silence of your own lonliness, Noisli is a selection of pretty noises you can add together and listen to as you close your eyes and pretend you're somewhere else.
Suddenly you’re in a cafe inside a forest nearby some calming train tracks in the rain. Don’t take us back to the world of loudness ever again.
Check out Noisli here.
It's pretty likely you've heard of Headspace, the mindfulness app, before.
But before you run away thinking we're going to convert you to veganism, toe massages and life-long detoxing, it's actually a pretty neat little app that makes you medidate all the way to your own little zen cloud in the sky.
Or to put it more realistically, you'll feel hella chilled afterwards.
Check out Headspace here.
Succulents: The squishy, submissive flatmate you never had.
Sure, actual gardening may be up some people's streets, but you could be playing a game in which you look after succulents instead. It’s an outrageously-chilled game that's like real-life gardening, but without having to come to terms with the fact that all living things die.
Bonus: It has a haunting The X-Files-y soundtrack.
Check out Viridi here.
Which will you use first? Bonus points to anyone using all of them at once (the snowboarding will prove a challenge).