Timewasting website of the day: Tonematrix


Tonematrix is a site that generates sinewaves in a pattern that you determine. If that sounds complex, then go ahead and click here, then draw something on the grid. It’s far easier to understand if you just give it a try. Far easier than understanding the developer, who says:

“The sound generation is basically a polyphone synthesizer with a simple delay with a variing read-offset to make the tones vibrating in the end.”

Despite the fact that the first thing everyone will do is draw a penis, there’s actually quite a sophisticated synth running in the background. It’s possible to make loops that sound pretty awesome. What would be even more awesome is if you could adjust the BPM on the fly. Or use it to play Battleships with a friend. Either would do.

Tonematrix (via @scdsoundsystem)

Fire Service launches minigames


It seems that the boys in the Fire Brigade have been using their spare time to learn flash coding, because the government’s just put out a flash game that teaches people how to prepare for emergencies.

Aside from the slight insanity of kites blocking your safe path out of your house, it’s really well put-together and quite good fun. I got to about 6,000 points or so before feeling like I ought to get on with some work. How well do you manage? Give it a try right here:

Fire Brigade



The competition is certainly hotting up. The mysterious Vince won last week’s challenge with a mighty 13,728,350 score, obliterating the second place score of 34,170 from Neil. Vince says he played for an entire semester to get that good. That or he’s making up numbers. We’ll never know.

This week, we’ve got Perfect Balance. It’s less reliant on having a good mouse, you’ll be pleased to hear. It’s more of a puzzler, involving the stacking of blocks so that they don’t fall. I managed a score of 16091, on level 18, before getting stuck. How far can you get? Entries in the comments below, please.

Perfect Balance

Previous challenges: Winterbells | Armour Academy

Flash Game Challenge: Winterbells


Last week’s Flash Game Challenge was won by the illustrious, the magisterial, the benevolent and formidable commenter David. He rules, ladies and gentlemen. For a week anyway. Want to take his crown? Well then you better be good at making little rabbit sprites jump into bells.

That’s right, this week, the game I’ve picked is Winterbells. To coincide with the mountains of snow outside, this game features frozen water too. Tonnes of it. I managed a top score of 4690, but I just know that you can do a lot better than that. Prove me right in the comments below.


Previous challenges: Armour Academy | The Crossing



Last week’s Flash Game Challenge victor was won by Neil, with a world-beating score of 16,045,290 on his 3rd try. Not bad at all. Give yourself a pat on the back, Neil.

This week, there’s a more cerebral game for you. It’s a bit like a budget version of amazing TV gameshow Catchphrase, where it presents you with a phrase depicted graphically, and you have to work out which one, of three, it’s supposed to be,

You’ll need your thinking cap on for this – get it wrong, and you lose a life. Lose three lives and you’re out. I scored 24 in 112 seconds on my second go. Beat that, and post your winning score in the comments below.

Armour Academy

Previous Challenges: The Crossing | Topspinner



Last week’s cricketastic Flash Game Challenge was won by commenter Alan, who hit my score for six with a mighty 127 runs. A polite round of applause for him, please, ladies and gentlemen.

As for this week, well, today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, so I wanted to pick something to warm your cold little hearts. How about helping some deer cross a forest stream, with rays of light cascading all around? On my first go, I scored a pathetic 9750. The second time, I scored a far more respectable 4991950. Can you beat it? Entries, as ever, in the comments.

The Crossing

Previous FGChallenges: Topspinner | Achievement Unlocked



This is brilliant. Why has no-one come up with the concept of downhill bowling before? Fling a bowling ball down a hill and see how many strikes you can get on the pins scattered about the hillside on the way down. Plus there’s bombs!

Install the Unity Web Player (It’s not virus, spyware, etc), and then restart your browser and give it a quick go. I had difficulties running it in Chrome, but after swapping to Firefox, I notched up a whopping score of 7180 on level one. Beat that, and leave your score in the comments for someone else to top.

Downhill Bowling (via RPS)

Related Flash Games: Metro Rules of Conduct | Max out your Flash gaming habit with Flash Game Maximizer

FLASH GAME CHALLENGE: Metro Rules of Conduct


If you’re a commuter, or if you’ve ever used the underground in London during rush hour, then you’ll be familiar with the horror of having millions of people around you, without being able to look at any of them. Instead you’re forced to stare vaguely into space down the carriage.

This game perfectly simulates that experience. Use your arrow keys to look around, look at people’s stuff for points. But don’t get caught looking! That’s a recipe for someone thinking you’re some kidy of stare-y weirdo. I got 8968 points. What’s your best score? Tell us in the comments.

Metro Rules of Conduct (via RPS)

Xbox 360 "Jasper" hardware variants spotted in the wild – efficient and with built-in memory for game saves


Microsoft’s been fiddling with the internal organs of its Xbox 360 again, with the long-rumoured “Jasper” hardware re-jig apparently rolling out across the world right now.

The new Xbox 360 – as found and disassembled by a user on Xbox-Scene – features a lower-Wattage PSU (150W instead of 175W) that’ll keep Greenpeace happy when it does its next name & shame list.

But the most thrilling enhancement for you, humble end user, is the addition of 256MB of internal flash memory…