In addition to being a giant in search, mapping, videos and more, Google has given us some tricks and treats over the years.
But Google has some secret fun for us with at least seven hidden games you can play when you need a break from life. These games are free and can be a fun way to while away the time. You may even learn about geography, aeronautics and physics as you play.
Some of these games bring back memories of classic arcade games while others test your knowledge of the world. With seven different hidden Google games, you’re bound to find one that intrigues you.
This infographic shows you what the games are, how to find them, and their level of addictiveness:
Google Search Games
Use Google search to uncover hidden games you can play on your computer, phone or tablet.
Google lets you play the classic arcade game Atari Breakout without needing to drop coins into a machine. Type “Atari Breakout” into Google Image Search. The game will appear and you can start playing immediately.
Move the bar at the bottom of the screen to bounce the ball and hit the colored squares. After you’ve cleared the board, click the pause button to get a link to share your Breakout score with others.
Note that you can return to Image Search by clicking the Return to Image Search button, in case you actually want to search for images of Atari Breakout.
Learn more about this classic game at the Atari Breakout website.
Based on the classic game Starcraft, Zerg Rush will attack and destroy your Google search results. Go to Google search page and type in “zerg rush”.
Zeros will start dropping from the top of your screen, erasing your search results. Click on the zeros to eliminate them and preserve your results.
This video shows how Zerg Rush works:
This classic arcade game was re-created as a Google Doodle on May 21, 2010 to celebrate Pac-Man’s 30th birthday. You can play it by going to the Google search page and typing in “Pac-Man Google Doodle”.
One of the results should be the Pac-Man Google Doodle. Click it to play and watch your Pac-Man chomp the dots, just like in the classic game. This Google Doodle even has the classic Pac-Man tune so you can hum along as you play.
Android Device Games
If you have an Android phone or tablet, Google has some surprises for you. Check out these hidden games for new ways of having fun.
Flappy Droid is Google’s version of the game Flappy Bird. This game is hidden on Android devices running Lollipop and Marshmallow (Android versions 5 and 6).
To find Flappy Droid go to Settings => About Phone => Android version. You’ll see the version of Android your phone is running.
If you have version 5 or 6, tap the Android version text several times and a new screen will open with an M. Press and hold the M to see a lollipop or a marshmallow.
Tap the sweet treat to begin playing the game. Maneuver your Droid through obstacles, but be quick as the game moves rapidly.
Warning: this game isn’t an easy one to master so the addictiveness level may depend on how deeply you crave conquering a challenge.
Can’t connect to the Internet? Google has you covered. Open Chrome on your Android device and search for “t-rex”. If you’re not connected to the Internet, you can begin playing the T-Rex game.
Tap on the screen to have your T-Rex hop over obstacles. Focus on the fun until you can connect to the Internet again!
Google Maps and Earth Games
Fans of flight and geography will enjoy these games hidden in Google Maps and Google Earth.
Flight Simulator is a hidden game in Google Earth that lets you fly a jet across the sky. Go to Google Earth and download the Google Earth software to your computer to become a virtual pilot. Click on Tools, then Enter Flight Simulator to begin playing the game.
Choose your airplane type and your departure location. Take off from the Katmandu airport and soar above the Himalaya mountain range.
Use either your keyboard or a joystick to pilot your plane. Follow the Flight Simulator instructions to learn how to maneuver.
This tutorial video from Google Earth shows you how to fly using Flight Simulator:
Ready for takeoff!
Test your knowledge of geography and trivia with Smarty Pins. This game asks questions and you place a marker on Google Maps where you think the answer is.
To start playing, go to smartypins.withgoogle.com and choose a category:
- March Madness (US college basketball)
- Arts & Culture
- Science & Geography
- Sports & Games
- History & Current Events
You will be asked five questions. Place your marker on Google Maps where you think the answer should be. The answer could be a country, city or building. Click the + button to zoom in and place your marker on a precise location.
Smarty Pins gives you 1000 miles/kilometers to use. If your answers are correct and you place your marker exactly on the location of the answer, you keep all of your miles/kilometers. If you don’t guess correctly, you get the distance deducted. Keep playing until you run out of miles or kilometers to use.
After answering five questions, you may get an award. You don’t get any prize money though.
Did you know about these hidden Google games? Do you know about any other hidden Google games? Which of these have you tried?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below and let the games begin!
* Google Easter Egg Doodle (edited) courtesy of Corrado Francolini via Flickr and Creative Commons
Voice of America Learning English
Enjoy learning English and technology at the same time at Voice of America Learning English. My article this week is: What to Do When Your Technology Goes Wrong