From a recreation of the popular Carmen Sandiego game to a PC game that teaches you to build your own game, here are five new Google games you should check out.
Google has always released hidden games and Easter Eggs throughout its range of products. For example, to celebrate Wimbledon 2019, the fine folks at Google search launched a hidden Wimbledon tennis game, much like the classic Pong. Search “Wimbledon 2019 scores” and in the search results page, scroll to the end of the scores box to find it.
Whether it’s a game to teach you a new skill or just a fun recreation of a classic, these are the new Google games you should try out.
1. Carmen Sandiego Trilogy (Web, Android, iOS): Geography Game on Google Earth
Google partnered with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, makers of the classic geography-based game Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, to create a new series of games. These games unfold on Google Earth.
Much like the original games, you are a detective whose job is to track renowned thief Carmen Sandiego. You will travel to different cities on Earth. In each city, you will have to visit different famous locations to ask the locals for clues about what Carmen did there. Based on their clues, you have to figure out which country she went to next.
It could be the colors of a flag Carmen enquired about or a famous landmark or animal that indicates a certain country. Check options for where you can fly to, figure out where she went, and follow her.
For those who are new to the Carmen Sandiego games, this will be a fun test. Fans of the classic series will love this modern recreation. The only thing missing is that iconic theme music.
Here are the direct links to the three chapters:
- Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego: The Crown Jewels Caper
- Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego: The Tutankhamun’s Mask Caper
- Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego: The Keys to the Kremlin Caper
To play it on mobile, you’ll need the Google Earth app for Android or iOS. You can open the above links in it to play the games.
2. Morse Code Games (Android, iOS): Learn Morse Code and Play Games
One of the recent Google Experiments focused on teaching people how to use Morse Code, which uses dots and dashes to convey letters of the alphabet. It revolutionized telegraphs but is now part of assistive technology.
Developer Tania Finlayson partnered with Google to develop a Morse Code training game. The game is part of the GBoard mobile keyboard for Android and iOS. The game teaches you Morse Code by showing you the correct sequence of dots and dashes to indicate a letter and hl by associating it with an image. Once you think you’ve mastered it, try the little quiz to test yourself.
But the more fun part is the Hello, Emmett web-based game. You have to figure out the correct path to the exit through a maze, but at the same time, you also have to remember Morse Code. Each path has different letters. Type the correct letter’s Morse Code, or you’re going to get lost.
3. Semantris (Web): Word Association with AI
Semantris is a treat for people with a love for the English language. There are two versions of the game, both offering a whole new take on classic word association games.
Semantris, a part of Google’s AI experiments, shows you a collection of words on the screen. You must type a word that is related to the highlighted words. The closer the words are, the faster Semantris’s AI will connect the two and earn you points. These connections are based on how people often use certain words together in a sentence or a paragraph. In short, it’s word association, not synonyms.
The challenge is two-fold: either find words that the AI can quickly associate with, or find words that the AI can’t mix up with. And that’s why there are two games, Semantris Arcade and Semantris Blocks.
Semantris Arcade is a time-based game that’s all about speed. Be as fast as possible with the word association and remove the highlighted words before the stack of words reaches the top of the board.
Semantris Blocks is like Tetris. The blocks are already in place, and more are falling from the top. Remove the correct blocks—just remember that blocks connected by the same color are all removed together when you get one of them.
It’s more of a puzzle game than just word association alone.
4. Google Maps Snake (Web): Classic Snake on a Google Map
For April Fool’s Day 2019, Google released a fun little game. It recreated the classic Snake game, but with a Google Maps twist.
The “snake” now is a form of public transport in a popular location, like the red buses of London, the trams of San Francisco, or the iconic trains of Tokyo. And instead of the snake eating food, your public transport is going to pick up passengers. Once in a while, you pick up landmarks too, upping your geography knowledge.
All of this happens on an 8-bit pixel map of the location. Pick up as many passengers as you can and avoid the sides. Use the arrow keys on desktop, and swipe in the desired direction on mobiles. There’s nothing more to it, but hey, who can resist a good game of snake.
5. Google Game Builder (Windows, macOS): Build a Game Without Coding
Do you have an idea for a kickass video game, but don’t have the programming knowledge or design skills to make it happen? Google’s free Game Builder lets you get started without needing either of those.
You will immediately be familiar with Game Builder if you have played Minecraft or Fortnite. It’s a blocks-based building game where you construct your own world for anyone to play in. There is a tremendous variety of 3D characters and avatars available to populate the game, along with an even larger variety of material tools.
How the game will work depends upon you. You can add interactions through basic if-this-then-that mechanisms, such as a camera shake if a character crashes into something. Whether a child or an adult, it’s an easy game to get into and start building the game world you always imagined.
Google Game Builder is available for free through Steam on Windows and macOS. It does not work with Linux, for now.
Have You Played These Secret Google Games?
Google has publicly acknowledged the launch of these aforementioned games to draw some interest among gamers. But that’s not always Google’s style. Like with the Wimbledon game, it sometimes lets people discover these Easter Eggs.
You’d be surprised by how often Google does this. Today, there are at least eight secret Google games worth playing, and that’s in Google Search alone. There are bound to be more if you search through YouTube and other Google products.