Did you know Google has hidden games within its default Google Search? You can play these games within the default Google.com itself, without visiting any other site. That means no pesky firewall can stop you.
Then there are other games that were part of Google’s famous doodles but aren’t available easily since the doodle keeps changing. Don’t worry though, there are sites where these playable doodles are still active today.
Here are the fun Google games you can play within Google Search or the browser.
How to play: Search Solitaire in Google.
That’s right, you can play a full game of solitaire, right inside Google. You don’t need to click any links or download any apps. It is one of Google’s many Easter eggs, hiding there till you stumble upon it.
The single-player game works exactly like the classic Windows Solitaire game you’ve played on the computer. Match the cards in chronological order, alternating between reds and blacks. The end purpose is to separate each suit.
The cool part about this version of Solitaire is that it works fantastically on smartphones too. So you can fire it up on your phone with a simple Google search, and without installing anything.
How to play: Search Minesweeper in Google.
There are two games most associated with Windows computers and whiling away time. If you can play Solitaire, how could Minesweeper be left out?
The animation is different from Windows, as is the size of the grid. But the basics of the game remain the same. You’ll get a grid of numbers, each denoting how many mines are in the squares around them. Use logic and math to mark some cells as mines, and open the ones you think are safe.
You’ll need a mouse to play this free game on Google. When I tried it with a laptop’s touchpad, the sensitivity of a left-click versus a right-click ended up in mistaken clicks often, and that will end your game in an instant.
And yeah, there are easy, medium, and hard levels. Challenge your friends to beat your time!
How to play: Search Tic-Tac-Toe in Google.
When you’re bored in the office or out somewhere, play Tic-Tac-Toe with a friend. This works on mobile too, so you don’t need pen and paper for a quick game.
You can play as the cross or the circle, but know that the cross gets the first turn. Even if you’re alone, you can challenge yourself against Google’s AI. There are different skill settings for the game, so you can start easy and advance to the “impossible” level.
How to play: Search Pac-Man in Google.
Google has taken the classic Pac-Man game but reinvented the maze with the Google letters. And in the process, it’s made Pac-Man more challenging than ever before.
Like always, the aim is to move your yellow Wakka-Wakka man around, eating all the dots. Avoid the four ghosts who are out to kill you. Eating a large dot turns the ghosts blue for a short time, at which point you can eat the ghosts too.
Because of the shape of the letters, the maze has some tricky corners. It is not as straightforward as the classic Pac-Man, so you’ll need to maneuver carefully. It’s probably best to play this on a computer keyboard with the arrow keys; it was difficult playing it on a phone by swiping for directional changes.
How to play: Search Snake Game in Google.
The Chinese New Year in 2013 was the Year of the Snake. To welcome it, Google developed a playable doodle of the classic Snake game. That doodle version is gone, and now you have a classic version of Snake.
Use the arrow keys to move the snake around, eating things in its path. Food will make you grow longer; avoid the barriers or it’s game over.
Google’s Snake also works on mobile screens, but like with Pac-Man, swiping to change direction is much harder than pressing arrow keys in a game that is all about speed. If you can, play it on a keyboard.
6. Atari Breakout
How to play: Search Atari Breakout in Google Images.
Brick-breaker games will never go out of style. Heck, game developers are still reinventing the classic brick-breaker today. Google has quietly tipped its hat to the grand-daddy of these games, Atari’s Breakout.
Searching for it in Google Images will activate a neat animation. All the photos jumble up to form a line of bricks, and magically, a paddle and a ball appear at the bottom. Start breaking the bricks, using the paddle to keep the ball from falling off the screen.
Finish the game and Google will run a new search of a beautiful location, making bricks out of it. And then your next game starts, breaking those bricks of gorgeous places. More fun on the computer than a phone, but hey, it’s entertaining either way.
7. A Google a Day
How to play: Go to the A Google a Day page.
Usually, trivia games and quizzes implore you not to search the question on Google. A Google a Day proudly lets you search the internet, and makes the game about speed and your ability to use Google search wisely.
Every day, the site poses three trivia questions. The window is split into two halves. The question appears in the bottom half of the screen, with a Google search window in the top half. Once you see the question, use the top half to search for the answer using the right keywords. It’s all a way to improve your Google search skills.
A Google a Day gets tougher with every day of the week. The quiz on Monday is the easiest, and quizzes on Thursday and Friday take some serious Googling abilities to crack. It makes the perfect homepage for your browser, as you will learn something new every day.
8. Spooky Cat
How to play: Go to the Spooky Cat doodle page.
The large repository of Google Doodle games has some addictive casual games that you should check out, but the best one is the Halloween 2016 Doodle, the Spooky Cat game. It’s great on computers, but even better on mobile.
Help Momo the cat defend the magical secrets of her school from a bunch of evil ghosts. Above each ghost is a shape. Draw the shape on your screen to kill the ghost. Do it fast, before the ghosts reach Momo and take one of her five lives.
Spooky Cat has only five levels, so you will finish the game soon. But it’s so well-made that you will want to keep playing it over and over. Lovely animations, great sound effects, and addictive gameplay make this one is a winner.
Other Great Online Games
Apart from these hidden games on Google Search, there are several other games tucked away throughout Google products. The most famous among these is probably the Dinosaur Run game in Google Chrome, which starts when you are offline. You can also play the Chrome dinosaur game when you are online by visiting “chrome://dino” in a new tab.