Check out brilliant hidden games on Google and Facebook

28 Sep 2016

Pac-Man. Image: naulicreative/Shutterstock

Google is full of Easter Eggs, often themed and packaged for one-off times of year, but occasionally more long-lasting than that. Here are some secret games you may not have been aware of.

Last November, Google’s Easter Egg game hit the big time, allowing users to choose a side in celebration of the Star Wars movie released at the time.

Logging into their Google account, users either chose a black or white to adorn their screen, within which they would browse the web, handle emails etc. It was one of the more prominent, well-received Easter Eggs, though that’s not to say it was the best.

Future Human

Easter Eggs

Pac-Man fever

Last March, Goggle let users play Pac-Man through their own city’s streets, wasting thousands of working hours over the course of the day.

Pac-Man is one of the Easter Egg themes that has remained on Google. If users simply type ‘Pac-Man Game’, up pops a small version of the arcade classic.

Other nice gimmicks include searching for ‘Atari Breakout’ in Google’s image search, or ‘Zerg Rush’ in a standard Google search for a more bizarre variation on the theme.

Beyond Google, there are also Easter Eggs on mobile sites and social media. In Facebook’s Messenger tool, for example, you can play chess or even basketball with someone over your chat.

Your move

Open up a conversation with a friend and type ‘@fbchess play’; if your Messenger is up to date, then a chess board will appear.

Then you can just use standard algebraic notation to move your pieces, beginning each instruction with that opening command. ‘@fbchess Pe6’ would move your pawn to square E6, for example. ‘@fbchess help’ will open up instructions.

Chess Messenger

Then, of course, shooting some hoops.

Beyond Facebook and Google’s standard search engine lies even more Easter Eggs, constantly changing, appearing and vanishing.

Below is an infographic from Euroffice, highlighting some of the better ones across Google’s services, should you need a distraction today.

Easter Egg

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic