Google Games – Hidden Gems and Easter Eggs, a user guide to the Google’s galaxy of user engagement.
Google is an American multinational technology company that was started in 1996. It was Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California. It all began as a research project by the fellow students. They wanted to change the way that search engines worked. Conventional engines showed up results based on how many times the search term showed up on a page. Larry and Sergey developed a system that would check the relevance of the website by the number of pages, backlinks and the importance of the page. The name Google comes from the misspelling googol. Googol is the word for the number one followed by a hundred zero. However, the search engine was called BackRub, and then later changed to Google. At first, Google ran on Stanford’s website, with the domains google.stanford.edu and z.stanford.edu.
As now one of the most valuable companies in the world Google reaches over 1 billion unique visitors a month.
The Company has always put a lot of emphasis into communication with the public and design. Ever since 1998 it has been rotating logos on the Google the homepage. The first logo was designed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin themselves in honor of Burning Man, and the purpose was to notify users if the server was down. However, in 2000, they asked an intern to design their logos for Bastille Day, and ever since, they have been designed by the team of Google “doodlers”. The complexity of doodles increased heavily in 2010, with the first animated doodle being made for Isaac Newton. Since 2010, more than 3000 doodles have been made. Making Google one of the only companies in the world to change their logo so frequently.
Google Atari Breakout
One Google Games Breakout is an Atari game that was built by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. On the 37th anniversary of the game’s release, Google incorporated a hidden version of Breakout in their search engine. You can access it by typing Atari Breakout on the Google Images search section. After searching the phrase, the image files start to change color. A little ball and paddle appear at the bottom of the screen. This is where the game starts, and it has simple controls either by mouse or keyboard.
Google Zerg Rush
Google commemorated the StarCraft game by incorporating the “zerg rush” Easter egg into their search engine. Zerg Rush is a popular term in games that means attacking and outnumbering your enemy in an early phase of the game. Zergs are creatures in the StarCraft game that can multiply quickly, explaining the origin of the name. To access this game, all you have to do is type “zerg rush” into the Google search bar. O’s then start to appear from the top of the page, and you have to continuously click them to kill them. It’s still unclear why Google Games added this Easter egg. However, it’s very awesome of them.
For the 30th anniversary of the beloved Pac-Man game, Google Games decided to code an interactive doodle that allowed players to play the famous Pac-Man game. The whole game was created with HTML5, and the map was the logo of Google. The game has straightforward controls using your keyboard, and it is very easy to play. The objective is to avoid getting eaten by the ghosts and consume all the dots on the map.
Google Smarty Pins
Google Smarty Pins is a trivial interactive game that asks you questions that you can answer on a map. While this may sound complicated, it’s actually quite simple. You are given kilometers as a health unit, and once you run out of them, the game is over. Google asks you a question that can be answered with a location, such as a city, etc. Then, you drop the map pin onto the location you think is the right one. If you answer right, no kilometers are deducted. If your answer is wrong, then your kilometers are deducted based on the distance of your pin and the right location. This is a very fun and interactive game that will test your geographical and trivial knowledge.
This is one of the most famous Google games, mainly because it’s so easy to access. To play the game, you have to disconnect your internet connection and try to load up a website. As usual, make him jump. The objective is to run as far as you can while jumping and ducking through obstacles and birds. This game, however, is only playable through the Google Chrome browser.
Google Easter eggs
A barrel roll is an aeronautical maneuver that involves rotating the aircraft around its longitudinal axis, and it has been used as a joke when giving life advice ever since its appearance in the famous video game “Star Fox.” This Easter egg incorporated by Google does the exact thing, rotating the search results. To do this, all you have to do is type “do a barrel roll” in the search bar.
If you want to experience the effects of gravity in the best search engine in the world, all you have to do is type “Google gravity” in the search bar and hit I’m feeling lucky. If you can’t get this to work, then it is probably because of Google Instant, which you can disable by accessing the Settings pane located on the bottom-right side of the screen.
Chuck Norris is one of the most mentioned actors and stars on the internet, as he has been a meme for quite a long time. Google Games has shown us before that it likes to blend with popular culture, and this is no exception. If you type “Walker Texas Ranger” in the search bar and hit I’m feeling lucky, no results will appear. Google says that it can’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows that you can’t find him, Chuck Norris finds you. It also suggests you run or try a different person.
Google MentalPlex was originally an April Fool’s joke in 2000, but it has been preserved ever since for being one of the funniest jokes ever pulled off. MentalPlex claims that it can help you search the internet by using just your mind power and staring into the little hypnotizing animation. While this may not work on everyone now, there are some not so tech-savvy people who would still fall for it.
One of the greatest features of Google Maps is the Street View function. It allows you to see how that place would look as if you were actually on the street. If you want to check out how Antarctica looks on Street View, Google Maps allows you to do that. Once you use Street View in Antarctica, you can notice the small orange icon representing a human transform into a cute fat penguin.
Binary is the language in which our computers operate, using solely 0 and 1. If you search for “binary” in Google, you will get normal results. However the number of results will be represented in binary. This is also valid for hexadecimal and octal, also numbering systems used by computers.
Google Docs is a new platform created by Google to make document sharing and processing easy, by allowing users to store and edit documents on cloud storage. One of the coolest features of Google Docs is the little prompt that is given every time you press Shift and F12. The little message will say “Congratulations, you have slain the dragon!”.
Android Games and Easter Eggs
Android is a mobile OS developed by Google. The system is based on the Linux kernel, and it’s mainly designed for touchscreen devices. It is the most used mobile OS in the world and has millions of applications in its application store, Play Store. The OS is open-source, and the code is available for public download. The popularity of Android is heavily affected by its easy and high level of customization, allowing manufacturers to alternate the system according to their devices. The open-source code of the system has made it the number one system for developers and enthusiasts. Being part of Google Games, Android is no exception when it comes to hidden games and Easter eggs.
Considered to be the first Easter egg found in Android versions, this Easter egg is the most terrifying of them all. Found in Android 2.3, this Easter egg shows the Android logo in a painting with a gingerbread man surrounded by zombies, in a creepy painting. To access this Easter egg and the following ones, navigate to Settings, choose About Phone and repeatedly tap on the Version until the Easter egg appears.
This the second Easter egg found in Android phones, but luckily it’s not as horrifying as the first one. Found in Android 3.0, this Easter egg features a bee that seems to be inspired by Tron, carrying a small box that reads “REZZZZZ.” In Tron language, ‘rezzing’ means to instantiate and create an object or person in the game.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich
One of the most viral videos of 2011 was Nyan Cat. The famous pop-tart cat hybrid that stole the hearts of everyone. Google was no exception, and there is an Easter egg that confirms this. This Easter egg found in Android 4.0, shows the famous Bugdroid in style similar to that of Nyan Cat, and holding it down will release multiple Bugdroids into space.
Android Jelly Bean
Android 4.1 has one of the cutest Easter eggs, with many colorful jellybeans floating your screen. You can also interact with them by swiping and changing their direction.
The Easter egg found in KitKat is more of an homage to all the previous versions of Android. It can be accessed the same as the previous ones, and by holding the Kit Kat logo, you can reveal all the older logos of the Android operating system.
Android Lollipop & Marshmallow
For the first time, Google decided to add a game into the Easter egg of its Android operating system. Accessed in the same way as the versions above, this simple game plays very similarly to the famous Flappy Bird game. In the Lollipop version of Android, the obstacles are lollipops, and in the Marshmallow version, well they are lollipops.
The latest version of Android is Nougat, being released on 22 August as an Over The Air update for smartphones that support this system. Instead of focusing on a simple game, they decided to create something more immersive. After you open the logo of the OS, repeatedly click on the logo and then hold on it, and once you see a cat emoji, the Easter egg has been activated. Now a button is available on the quick settings pane; that is accessible by swiping down.
Click Edit, and add the Easter Egg option to the quick settings pane. Once you do that, click the new Empty Plate button that you see in the notifications pane. This will bring a popup with multiple choices, and you can choose what kind of food you want to use. The main objective of the game is to collect cats in the background, and when a cat is collected, it is added to your inventory. You can rename and share your cats with your friends if you like.
Google has always paid a lot of attention to popular culture and has constantly tried to prove that they are more than just a big company, by using humor and breaking the “serious” corporate communication manners that many corporates today use. This approach to the market has made Google one of the lovable and valuable companies on earth.