Google is secretly having fun with at least seven hidden games you can play when you need a break from life. These games are free and can be a great way to escape stress. You can even learn by playing.
Some of these games bring back memories of classic arcade games. A game tests your knowledge of the world. Another game helps you learn to fly an airplane.
A infographics shows you what games are, how to find them, and how addictive they are.
Google Maps and Earth Games
Flight lover and geography enjoy these games hidden in Google Maps and Google Earth.
Flight Simulator is a game hidden in Google Earth that lets you fly a virtual jet across the sky. Go to Google Earth and download Google Earth software to your computer to become a virtual pilot. Click on Toolsthen Enter the Flight Simulator to start playing.
Choose the type of plane you want to fly. Then decide on a Departure airport. Perhaps you would appreciate a take-off from Kathmandu airport. You could fly above the Himalayan mountains.
Users can operate the aircraft with the keyboard or a controller. Follow the Flight Simulator guidelines on how to do this.
A video from Google Earth shows you how to fly with Flight Simulator.
Test your knowledge of geography and more with Smarty Pins. The game features questions about locations around the world. You respond by placing a marker on Google Maps.
Once you are on the website, the first step is to choose a topic. These include arts and culture, science and geography, entertainment and more.
You will be asked five questions. The answer could be a country, a city or a building. Place your marker on Google Maps where you think the answer should be. Click the plus + button to zoom in and place your marker on a location.
Smarty Pins gives you 1000 miles or kilometers to use. If your answers are correct, and you place your marker in the exact spot, you keep all your miles. If you miss a certain distance, you lose that number of miles. You can play until all of your miles or kilometers are completed.
After answering five questions, you can get a prize. But don’t expect a cash prize!
Google search games
Use Google search to find hidden games you can play on your computer, phone, or tablet.
Google lets you play the classic Atari Breakout arcade game without having 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. When you’ve reached all the boxes, you’re done. You can then use the pause button to get a link to share your Breakout score with others.
Learn more about the game on the Atari Breakout website.
Zerg Rush is based on Starcraft game. Zerg Rush will attack and destroy your Google search results. Go to the Google search page and type in “zerg rush”.
Zeros will start falling from the top of your screen, wiping out your search results. Click on the zeros to erase them and protect your results.
A video on YouTube shows how Zerg Rush works.
This classic arcade game was recreated as Google Doodle on May 21, 2010 to celebrate Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary. You can play it by typing “Pac-Man Google Doodle” in Google search.
Click on the Pac-Man Google Doodle result to play. You move the Pac-Man so he can eat the dots, like in the famous arcade game. Beware of destructive ghosts!
Games for Android devices
If you have an Android phone or tablet, Google has a few surprises in store for you. Check out these hidden games to discover new ways to have fun.
Flappy Droid is the Google version of the Flappy Bird game. This game is hidden on devices running Android versions 5 and 6, also known as Lollipop and Marshmallow.
To find Flappy Droid, go to Settings => About Phone => Android Version. You will see the version of Android your phone is using.
Repeatedly tap on the Android version text and a new screen will open with the letter “M”. Press and hold the “M” to see a lollipop or marshmallow.
Tap on either image to start playing the game. Move your droid through the barriers. To be fast! The game goes very fast.
But what about when you don’t have the internet? T-Rex is a game to play offline. Open Chrome on your Android device and search for “t-rex”. If you are not connected to the internet, you can start playing T-Rex game.
Tap the screen to make your T-Rex jump over the barriers. You can stay busy in a playful way while waiting for the reconnection to the Internet!
I’m Caty Weaver and I’m Kaveh Rezaei
Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Did you know these hidden Google games? Do you know of any other hidden Google games? Which of these games have you tried?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
* Infographic courtesy of eurooffice.co.uk
words in this story
infographics – nm a visual image such as a graph or diagram used to represent information or data
geography – nm a field of study that deals with the location of countries, cities, rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.
virtual – adj. existing or occurring on computers or the Internet
Departure -v. act of leaving a place in particular to begin a journey
controller – nm a lever used to control the movement of images on the screen in a computer or video game
bounce -v. to cause (a ball, stone, etc.) to strike a surface and move rapidly in a different and usually opposite direction