Are you bored? Do you like playing games? Does the prospect of playing games sound like a cure for your boredom? Lucky for you, Google has your back. The company whose name has become a verb for searching things on the Internet is known for their love of Easter Eggs.
As evidenced by playfully trolling users with the definition of recursion or providing the answer to the ultimate question, Google likes to play around. It should come as no surprise to find out that Google actually has a number of games hidden within its products. Whether you are procrastinating at work or bored out of your mind in class, follow these instructions to access Google’s hidden games.
1. T-Rex Run (Google Chrome Browser)
Google knows that the absence of the Internet can make people lose their minds. When you encounter the dreaded “Unable to connect to the Internet” or “There is no Internet connection” screen, watch yourself. It is almost a certainty that chairs will start flying around the room at any moment. Luckily, Google hopes to stave off violent reactions with this cute and addictive game. One of the more well-known “hidden” games, this one requires Google’s Chrome browser.
Starring a lone T-Rex in 8-bit glory, you jump over cacti and evade flying pterodactyls in this endless runner. To play, shut off your device’s Wi-Fi or fire up Chrome when you have no access to the Internet. When presented with the “Unable to connect to the Internet” screen (featuring the aforementioned T-Rex), hit the Space bar. Get ready because the deceptively-easy game is about to begin. Just keep hitting that space bar to jump.
2. Zerg Rush (Google Search Engine)
Referencing the seminal Real Time Strategy Game “Starcraft,” Zerg Rush will leave you clicking your mouse frantically. For those who have never played Starcraft, the Zerg are a race of insect-like aliens. Performing a “Zerg Rush” requires a player to quickly amass a large army of weak units and uses them to overwhelm an enemy.
Search “Zerg Rush” in Google and prepare yourself as Google Os swarm in from all corners of your screen. Eventually the Os will destroy the search results, but you can eliminate them by clicking on them with your mouse. How long can you last?
3. Pac-Man (Google search engine)
Google’s hidden Pac-Man game isn’t exactly hidden. The custom Pac-Man game appeared as a Google “doodle” on May 21, 2010. This playable version of Pac-Man was made to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the incredibly popular arcade game. To start munching on pac-dots, simply Google “pacman.” Just make sure you avoid Pinky, Inky, Blinky and Clyde.
4. Snake (Google search engine)
Prepare to feel like Marty McFly and go back in time. The Google Doodle commemorating the 2013 Chinese New Year features a classic game from Nokia-era mobile phone dominance. That’s right; a version of Snake is playable within Google’s search engine. To play, punch in “Google Snake Game,” and click on the top result.
5. Breakout (Google search engine)
Breakout is a 1972 arcade game developed by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Players control a paddle that bounces a ball into bricks arranged at the top of the screen. The goal is to volley the ball back and forth between the paddle and the bricks until all the bricks are knocked out. To access this classic, type “Atari Breakout” into Google’s Image Search. All of the search results will morph into bricks, and you control the paddle with the arrow keys or your mouse.
Honorable Mention: Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
In a 1994 interview with Premiere Magazine, actor Kevin Bacon made an offhand comment about how he had worked with everyone in Hollywood or someone who’s worked with them. This spiraled into a game based on the six degrees of separation. This concept suggests that any two people on Earth are six, or fewer, links apart. In Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, a player names any actor and attempts to connect him or her to Bacon in six or fewer people. Google technicians must have a lot of free time on their hands since they integrated the game into the Google search engine. Simply type in any actor’s name followed by “Bacon number” to see how far removed that actor is from Kevin Bacon.
Have you played any of these games? Which one is your favorite? Do you know of any others that we’re missing? Let us know in the comments!
Bonus challenge: can you find an actor with a Bacon number of four or above? If so, post the actor’s name in the comments and revel in your mastery of Kevin Bacon-related movie trivia.