Google does not take itself too seriously. After all, few companies fiddle with their logo and break it apart on special days. That’s why Google Doodles and Google Doodle Games have become part of our online culture. Every Google Doodle game pays homage to key events, people, and even fictitious characters from nerd culture.
For me and you, it just makes that vanilla search page so much more fun. Which are your favorite Google Doodle Games? Any on this list below?
1. Rubik’s Cube
Count 1… 2… 3… 4… 5. Someone somewhere in the world has solved a Rubik’s Cube. A teenager has already broken the five second barrier. It will be broken again in the World Rubik’s Cube Championship in July at Melbourne. Most of us won’t be there, but we can open our browser and enjoy this Google Doodle game
It was a grateful nod to Hungarian inventor and Professor of Architecture Erno Rubik who launched it on May 19th, 1974. The toy celebrated its 40th anniversary on Google Search homepage. You can still play it with the help of shortcut keys.
This rendition of the classic arcade game started it all. PAC-MAN was the first Google Doodle game and it was a little demo of what a browser can do. If you are still nostalgic for those retro games from your childhood then head to the Google archives and insert a virtual coin.
The Maze is shaped like the Google logo. Enable a two-player co-op mode (with Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man) with another click on Insert Coin after the game has already started. Keep eating the dots till the 255th level.
It took a petition from 4000 Doctor Who fans to spark this 8-bit interactive doodle (or the “Whodle) game. Like the iconic British TV show, you get to choose one from the 11 Time Lord’s identities and then battle your way through the levels. The goal is to rescue the Google letters from the diabolical Daleks.
Hit the Play head in the middle and jump across the obstacles in your imaginary TARDIS.
The first word across is a three-letter noun that connects the spirit of the crosswords to the doodles. “Fun” should be a verb when you look at how the humble crossword has enlivened gloomy newspapers across the globe. The Google Doodle game came out on the 100th anniversary and it was also a mindful tribute to Arthur Wynne, the inventor of the crossword puzzle.
Select the clues on the right and then use the keyboard to fill the boxes. If you are a Google fan, then try 70 Down and let me know the answer in the comments!
Can you imagine the connection between an email giant and one of the most enduring symbols of the Old Wild West? The Pony Express existed as a mail delivery service for a mere 18 months and was a financial loss. But it captured everyone’s imagination, just like Google has done today.
Climb a pony, collect letters, and avoid obstacles to deliver 100 letters. It’s much easier than what it was 159 years ago. Just watch out for the cacti.
In an ultimate nudge to laziness, Google tried to stop you from trick-or-treating through the town. Just kidding… this Google Halloween game was Google’s first-ever multiplayer interactive game Doodle. You had to join a team of four ghosts and compete against another four-member team to collect the “wandering spirit flames before the moon is gone”.
The ghost who collected the most spirit flames unlocked special powers such as speed boosts, night vision, and more. You can still play the game, Halloween or not.
7. Shadow Art
The Lunar New Year is celebrated in many countries across Asia. For instance, the Chinese New Year (also called the Spring Festival in mainland China), is one of the Lunar New Years. According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2019 marks the Year of the Pig. Google celebrated this sign of prosperity with AI-enabled shadow puppetry in one of its doodles.
Puppetry has a special place during the festivities. So you can switch on your webcam and then use your hands and fingers to form one of the twelve animal zodiac shadows. The doodle still exists as a demonstration of how AI has arrived in Google’s Chrome browser.
Just remember that you have only 20 seconds to cycle through the twelve animals.
Who doesn’t like aimless throws into a circular hoop? Quite a few timewaster games for browsers and mobiles have been built on this idea. And they continue to be popular because Google says that one billion souls played this basket doodle game in their browsers when it was launched in 2012 around the London Summer Olympics.
The game gives you 24 seconds to get as many hoops in. Shoot basketballs with the spacebar. The longer you hold down the space bar, the more power you can draw to shoot the ball.
There are more than 4000 Google Doodles in the archives. From the first static Doodle for the Burning Man Festival in 1998, a growing portion of them are now interactive Doodle games. Since it’s impossible to rank them all, here are a few more worthy mentions:
- Magic Cat Academy
- Valentine’s Day 2017
- Google Doodle Cricket Game
- Celebrating Garden Gnomes
- Robert Moog’s 78th Birthday
- Mother’s Day 2013
- Birth of Hip Hop
Never Miss a Google Doodle Game
Rest assured Google will continue innovating with such games. You can bet that the games are going to get more interactive and exciting as the Chrome browser trots out its latest developments. Even if you miss a doodle game or two, you can catch them on the Google Doodles archive.
The games are not as common as the static doodles. But they can get addictive. So if you decide to switch off the sound and visuals, then try these text-based games in your browser. And if you want to play with friends, try these cross-platform multiplayer games.