What tends to happen in Pixel Breakout is that you stop and trip out for a couple minutes. It's fun. (Screen Grab)
A Japanese developer created a little browser game about a year ago that just received an update, and will mess with your brain for a few minutes, at least. Called "????????," it translates from Japanese into "particle break," or "particle breakout." The most commonly accepted name in English is Pixel Breakout. The reason is simple: The game uses pixels as both the ball and the block.
The concept is deceptively simple: Use the green paddle to hit the pixel ball into the rainbow-colored slab. Each time a ball hits a block, that block becomes another ball for the paddle to hit. At first, it plays out like a normal Breakout/Arkanoid game, which will make it seem like a boring game, due to the thousands of pixels that are in that slab. The juggling of these flying pixels will make it a little more frustrating and tedious, to boot.
However, give this game a little time, and eventually the slab starts to unravel in a very dramatic fashion. Suddenly, a few pixels hit a choice spot, and a massive set of blocks start to float down to your paddle. Hitting all those will multiply the number of blocks hit at once to dozens, if not hundreds. Then, an errant pixel will cut into the slab itself, weaving through it like a needle unravelling a thread, creating a waterfall of pixels that just come at you and are impossible to hit back all at once. At some point, you just stop playing the game, and watch the spectacle happen before your very eyes. If you're lucky, you will hit every pixel and get a "CLEAR!" sign. But that is not really the point, is it?
This game is also completely open-source, meaning you can create your own version, with bigger screens, different paddles, even different particle and pixel behaviors. Want something other than a rainbow, like a picture? That can work, too.
You can play the game below. It's something you can enjoy for a few minutes, especially if you need to take a mental health break.