These quirky ASMR apps offer doses of digital catharsis

ASMR apps have been taking some of the top spots across app stores during the isolation periods. We explore why they seem to be the ticket to ease stress

Almost a year ago, I wrote in these pages about digital art taking over from ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) and soap-cutting videos that had people hooked for their calming properties. Now, in these times of uncertainty and anxiety, everyone is looking for ways to deal with the pandemic and stay centred — or just get through another Zoom meeting that could have been an email. Of course, there are apps for that.

No, we are not talking meditation — Calm, Headspace and the like have their own audience. For those looking for tasks to keep them busy without resorting to playing Candy Crush (or its many variants), there are other ‘games’ that can help. All of them are available for free, and one universal downside is the number of ads you have to deal with.

That being said, here is our pick from the many in the market.

Super Slime Simulator

Slime is quite divisive in nature — you either love it or hate it. If you fall under the former category, this one is for you. Create your own slime, pick a colour and add elements like glitter, foam beads or flowers to finish. With squelchy sound effects, it is a fun way to pass the time, minus the mess.

There are also in-built games to recreate a combination, paint with slime or slime a photo from your gallery.

By Dramaton Ltd; on iOS and Android

ASMR Slicing

ASMR Slicing of the coronavirus

ASMR Slicing of the coronavirus  

When you are tired of watching YouTubers cut through kinetic sand, take things into your own hands. Slice through sculptures of Stonehenge, Burj Al Arab or even the coronavirus, accompanied by a satisfying crunch of sand.

A Challenge mode allows you to get competitive, with tasks like cutting three equal parts of a watermelon or finding hidden fish in an aquarium. Collect coins to upgrade your knife collection as well.

By Crazy Labs; on iOS and Android


Pick a colour palette and get creative with kinetic sand on this app. Pour out the coloured sand to create stunning visual landscapes that can be submitted to a global gallery. Or simply play around with patterns like you would in a Zen garden. It might take some practice to design specific images — but do not be too hard on yourself.

The main aim of the platform (which is also available in a desktop version) is to give a calming experience and boost creativity in the user.

By Beige Elephant; on iOS and Android

ASMR Breakfast

ASMR Breakfast

ASMR Breakfast  

The simplest of the lot, but also the one that will make you crave breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles. Although there is a specified goal — to add toppings of maple syrup or sprinkles — no matter what you do, every level clears with three stars. Perfect for days when nothing seems to be going right: you know you will definitely win at this.

By Homa Games; on iOS and Android

Cross-Stitch Masters

Cross Stitch Masters

Cross Stitch Masters  

Create a cross-stitch masterpiece without ever threading a needle. At the root of it, this is a colour-by-number app. But as someone who has several half-finished Anchor cross-stitch kits in the back of my wardrobe, this was the only way I completed a needle-work project.

Choose from simple 50x50 to complex 150x150 patterns, featuring animals, still-life, landscapes and seasonal designs for Halloween and New Year, among others.

By Tapclap Ltd; on Android

Reach the Star – ASMR Game

With a soothing purple gradient colour palette for the interface, this game is for insomniacs. A series of squares forms a path to a star. The goal is to reach this star using a set number of steps. Along the way, you can collect glowing orbs for a three-star score. Higher levels bring in vortex squares and other bonuses to keep things interesting.

The gameplay seems simple at first glance, but can get challenging quickly.

By Randy Huls; on iOS and Android

Oddly Satisfying Game

Squish a stress ball, crush things in a hydraulic press, cut jelly or melt crayons into oblivion in this app that combines the best of all things that we find oddly satisfying. Each section comes with one object available for free, so you will have to repeatedly use them to collect coins to buy more options.

My favourite was the hydraulic press, especially because of the accurate sound effects.

By Sarah Shahzad; on iOS

Perfect Ironing

Perfect Ironing  

Perfect Ironing

Yes, we have all had enough of household chores. But since we have been stuck at home, how many of you ironed your clothes in the last couple of months? I know I haven’t! Steam-iron shirts, dresses and more to earn stars and coins.

By Playgendary Limited; on iOS and Android

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 3:45:08 PM |

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