Google birthday surprise spinner: The best games and how to play them all right now
Tech mistake |Google is celebrating its birthday in perhaps the most Google of ways: with a Doodle that lets you play through the most fun Doodles ever.
The company is now 19 years old (or is it?) and so has a huge stock of entertaining and time-wasting little animations to play through. So it has selected the best of recent years and assembled them all into the meta-Doodle, which lets people use a spinner to find which of the Doodles to play.
Using the Doodle is simple enough: you head to the Google homepage, click on the spinner, and opt either to play the option you’ve been given or have another go. But read on, because there’s a major catch.
In some cases, they’re actually better than the times they were Google Doodles. That’s because the company has made them full screen this time around, allowing you to see everything you’re doing without all that bothersome Google branding getting in the way.
For most people, picking through the games is an initially fun but quickly tiresome game of chance: you keep spinning, and are just as likely to repeatedly get a rubbish game as you are to get the one you enjoy.
But here at The Independent, we’ve spun the spinner so that you don’t have to. Instead, you can just click through the list of Google’s highlight at your heart’s content.
Snake: As far as we can tell, this is the only new game to feature as part of Google’s birthday. Heads up: unlike the classic Nokia snake game, you can’t go through the walls. But everything does move a little slower, too. (Strangely, and perhaps because it’s new, this one seem to come up less than others on the spinner.)
Pac Man: One of the greatest games and greatest Doodles, this is also the oldest on the list. It’s such a classic that you don’t even need to use the link – instead, you can just search “Pac Man”. And if you do, you’ll get all the delights you expect – a fully and faithfully recreated version of the classic game, right in your Google results.
Birthday piñata: Created to celebrate Google’s 15th birthday, in 2013, this is a stunningly addictive game where all you do is hit a piñata. The ideal is simple, but the execution isn’t, and the game tests your timing to see how much damage you can do. (It also tests your ability to eventually close and stop playing the game.)
DJing: One of the few Doodles that isn’t a game, this is still an incredibly interactive – and fun – Doodle that gained plaudits when it was released. It’s not only an entirely interactive set of decks that allow you to scratch and mix a range of tracks, it’s also an educational and interesting trip through the beginnings of hip hop.
Theramin: Created to celebrate and commemorate the great of the instrument, Clara Rockmore, this theramin also has the advantage of being both incredibly fun and a little educational. It’s not only an entirely beautiful-sounding and interactive recreation of the theramin, you also get to learn about the life of Ms Rockmore and how to play a little tune.
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: Somewhere between a puzzle, a game and a musical experience, this lets you stitch together parts of Beethoven’s famous work.
Arpeggios: The last of the musical experiences – and probably, to be honest, the most boring – this game allows you to look at the way chords and arpeggios work. It’s beautifully crafted and interesting, especially if you’re keen to learn about songwriting or musical theory. So it’s worth giving it a try – but you’ll probably not have as much fun as when you’re playing the two above. What you can do, however, is click through from that same page to Google’s Chrome Music Lab – and in there you’ll find a huge range of different, strange musical experiments.
Scovile scales: This Doodle was created to honour Wilbur Scovile, the man who created the measurements for how hot chilis are. And the game sort of commemorates that, by showing the scientist eating a chilli and then cooling his mouth down with ice cream. But that’s where it all gets weird – you’re then taken to a strange game where you have to throw ice cream at a chilli pepper with good enough timing to undo its heat. It’s as fun as it is weird – and you get to learn some great chili pepper facts on the way.
Hallowe’en spells: Google’s Doodle for Hallowe’en last year took a distinctly cute and Harry Potter-esque game that taught you to use spells and make your way through a library. Play it – if you dare.
Earth day quiz: This is probably the least interactive of the doodles, and the most unlike a game. But that doesn’t stop it being enjoyable: the quiz aims to find out what animal you’re most like, by asking a series of more or less revealing questions.