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video game easter eggsGoogle Docs contains a dragon, YouTube’s video player contains a hidden game, and zerglings are waiting to devour your search results when you challenge them to a battle. Over the years, many video game-related Easter eggs have crept into Google – several of which are playable games.

These Easter eggs pay tribute to retro video game culture. Many Google employees are obviously video game fans who grew up playing the classics, everything from Tetris and Pac-Man to Starcraft and Star Fox.

Starcraft

Search for “Zerg Rush” on Google and your search results will be attacked by little O characters. They’ll come from the top of the page and start to destroy the elements on the page, each of which has a health bar. Protect your search results by clicking each enemy multiple times to defeat it.

video game easter eggs

This Easter egg references Blizzard 3 Best Video Game Publishers On The Scene Right Now [MUO Gaming] 3 Best Video Game Publishers On The Scene Right Now [MUO Gaming] I love video games, and I am assuming that because you are reading this article, you probably do too. Well, in order to have video games, we need solid companies out there working hard to... Read More ’s Starcraft 10 Most Pirated Games Of All Time 10 Most Pirated Games Of All Time While we would never endorse piracy, it’s fair to say that the best games get downloaded more than others. In fact, games that are well pirated generally mirror their performance in the retail world -... Read More real-time strategy game. In the series, the Zerg are an alien race of enemies that attack in massive numbers. Each O character is similar to a zergling.

Pac-Man

Google replaced its logo with a Pac-Man doodle on Pac-Man’s 30th birthday. This doodle was special because it was actually playable. Some people estimated that the Pac-Man game on Google’s homepage resulted in over $120 million in lost productivity as people played the game on Google’s homepage instead of working.

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While the game isn’t available on Google’s homepage anymore, you can still play it online.

easter eggs for video games

Also see: 7 Quick Games You Can Play On Google Search 7 Quick Games You Can Play On Google Search 7 Quick Games You Can Play On Google Search Read More .

Snake

YouTube’s video player has a built-in Snake game. To activate the game, press and hold the left and up arrow keys while the video player is in focus. If you don’t see anything after pressing these keys, click the video player to focus it.

The Snake game is best played on a black background — pausing a video before it starts is one way to access a black background. You can actually play the game while a video is playing, although it may be difficult to see. Some people have created special videos with black backgrounds and retro music, designed for playing the game over.

easter eggs for video games

Also see: The Top 10 Interactive YouTube Games The Top 10 Interactive YouTube Games The Top 10 Interactive YouTube Games Read More .

Google used to offer a snake game in Gmail, which you could activate by enabling the “Old Snakey” lab 7 NEW Gmail Labs Extensions You Must Check Out 7 NEW Gmail Labs Extensions You Must Check Out Read More . Unfortunately, this appears to have been removed.

Star Fox

Search for “Do a Barrel Roll” on Google and Google itself will do a barrel roll – a 360-degree spin.

easter eggs for video games

“Do a Barrel Roll” is a popular meme A Brief Overview of Internet Memes & How You Can Quickly Create Your Own A Brief Overview of Internet Memes & How You Can Quickly Create Your Own Read More that originated in Star Fox 64.

Konami Code

The Konami code (also known as the Contra code) is a cheat code used in a wide variety of retro games. It’s since found a place in popular culture.

Google Reader responds to the Konami code, showing a special ninja background when you enter it. To enter the Konami code, press these keys in the following order:

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A

game easter eggs

The Konami code also works on Facebook A Brief Overview of Internet Memes & How You Can Quickly Create Your Own A Brief Overview of Internet Memes & How You Can Quickly Create Your Own Read More  and several other websites.

Slay The Dragon

There’s a dragon in Google Docs– yes, seriously. And you must slay it, brave adventurer!

To slay the dragon, open a spreadsheet and press Shift-F12.

game easter eggs

It’s a rather easy dragon to slay.

Flight Simulator

This one doesn’t qualify as an Easter egg because it’s an actual feature – Google Earth contains a flight simulator. To access it, click the Tools menu in Google Earth and select Enter Flight Simulator.

Select an aircraft and start position to start your virtual flight – you can even control the aircraft with a joystick. The flight simulator uses Google Earth’s satellite imagery.

game easter eggs

We’ve previously covered the flight simulator Feel The Need For Speed with Google Earth's Flight Simulator Feel The Need For Speed with Google Earth's Flight Simulator Read More in more detail.

8-Bit Maps

Perhaps one of the greatest Google April Fools pranks 4 Free April Fools Prank Ideas Your Friends Will Love 4 Free April Fools Prank Ideas Your Friends Will Love Read More of all time was 8-bit Google Maps. According to the prank, Google was implementing a version of Google Maps for the Nintendo Entertainment System. On April 1, 2012, Google actually implemented this as a special layer in Google Maps – the “Quest” layer.

Unfortunately, I can’t find a way to access the 8-bit Google Maps layer anymore; the video is all that remains. Please leave a comment if you know a way to access it!

The Lord of the Rings

Ask Google Maps for walking directions from The Shire to Mordor and Google will provide a warning. “One does not simply walk into Mordor”.

image

This one is clearly inspired by the Lord of the Rings books, but it’s thematically similar – and there were Lord of the Rings video games, after all.

ZX Spectrum & Tetris

Over the years, Google has also paid tribute to the ZX Spectrum 7 Great Cross-Platform Emulators For 5 Classic Computer Platforms 7 Great Cross-Platform Emulators For 5 Classic Computer Platforms In the same vein as the recent flurry of console emulation articles, today we're focusing on classic computer platforms of decades gone by. Whilst there were quite a few, we've chosen 5 of the most... Read More and Tetris with special doodles on its home page. Unfortunately, unlike Pac-Man, these doodles weren’t playable.

video game easter eggs

Which is your favorite Google Easter egg? Leave a comment and let us know!

  1. james
    February 17, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    star fox one not working bro.

  2. Wandomperson3748
    January 25, 2016 at 3:01 am

    There is another one. Type Atari breakout into Google, then go to images. Works on IOS as far as I know.

  3. Timothy Liem
    September 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Google is the funniest company I ever know! LOL to this!

  4. Arshia
    June 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    but in pacman when we click multiple times we can play it 2 player.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:33 am

      Wow, cool! I didn't even notice before. Thanks!

      (Just click Insert Coin after the game starts to activate Ms. Pac Man and enter two-player mode.)

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

      I wanted to pick a theme and focus on a subset of easter eggs here -- there are so many, I could write a list of 100 Google easter eggs, I'm sure.

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