There’s a secret adventure game hidden in Google Search. Here’s how to play.
- A Reddit user discovered a hidden adventure game buried in Google search's development console.
- The adventure game is the latest in a long list of Google Easter eggs and oddities dedicated to video games and pop culture.
- Have some time to kill today? Read here to learn how to access this Internet gem.
Google is well-known for adding games, hidden features, and colorful doodles to its search engine, but a recently discovered Easter egg may be the most esoterically random thing the Silicon Valley giant has squirreled away in its code yet. And this is coming from a company that put a “recursion” joke into its search algorithm. (This one.)
The latest Easter egg is a secret adventure game hidden inside Google search’s development console. The game was discovered by Reddit user attempt_number_1, who shared his find on the Google Reddit page.
Have some time to kill? Some work you’d like to procrastinate on? Here’s how to go on your own Google adventure.
How to find Google’s hidden adventure game
To find the game, follow these simple instructions:
- Start by searching for “text adventure” in Google search.
- On the results page, go to the development console. You can either right-click in the browser and select “Inspect Element” or hit “Ctrl+shift+J” (Cmd+Option+J for Mac).
- When the development console comes up, select the “Console” tab along the top.
- The console will ask, “Would you like to play a game?” Type “yes” to start.
(If you type “no,” it will peevishly respond, “Fine, be that way.”)
In the game, you play as a big blue G looking for your five friends: red o, yellow o, blue g, green l, and the “always quirky” red e. You must explore Google’s Mountain View campus to find them. Along the way, you have to perform tasks like helping “nooglers” (that’s “new googlers”) get around and properly greeting a door-keeping alligator.
In the tradition of text-adventure greats like Zork, the game is presented and controlled entirely through text. You type “north” to move north, “grab” to grab an item, and “quack” to quack.
You win by collecting all your friends to complete the Google logo. You’ll also receive a tally based on your number of actions, the time you took to complete it, and a secret score that I won’t spoil here.
Google, a hidden history of secret games
Google has a long history of including video game shout outs in its search engine. To pick just a few examples; typing “zerg rush” into the search bar will cause an army of Os to attack your results (a shout-out to the alien race from Starcraft); typing “do a barrel roll” will cause the screen to flip (a shout-out to Star Fox 64‘s Peppy Hare); and typing “pacman google” will bring up a playable Pacman game in the shape of the Google logo (a Google Doodle crafted in honor of the game’s 30th anniversary).
But it’s not all video games. Google search features in-jokes and references that have no discernible reason for their existence other than they made some Google developer laugh. Some of my favorites include:
- typing “flip a coin” into the search engine will flip a coin for you;
- typing “wubba lubba dub dub” will ask you “Did you mean: i am in great pain please help me” (a reference to the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty);
- typing “the answer to life the universe and everything” nets you the answer “42” (a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy); and
- the search engine’s language settings include Pirate, Klingon, and Elmer Fudd.
Similar oddities can be found on YouTube, Google Maps, and in the Android OS. The list of Google Easter eggs is expansive, and as attempt_number_1 proved, new ones may be found any day. So enjoy them, but try to remember to get some work done today.