In 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google, and like all companies, it has undergone some restructuring and changes – it is now operated under the umbrella company called Alphabet. Larry Page became the CEO of Alphabet and Sundar Pichai is now the CEO of Google. Through all of these transitions, one thing has remained constant – Google’s sense of humor. It loves to name its operating systems after sweet treats – Marshmallow, Nougat, and Oreo, etc. – and it likes to include hidden gems called ‘Easter Eggs’ within its search function, among other places. Here we will look at some of those ‘Easter Egg’ gems found in the search bar, where they also reflect Google’s penchant for fun.
Let's look at a couple of classic games - Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe. All you have to do is to type "solitaire" or "Tic-tac-toe" in the search bar, hit enter, and you will be presented with a game to pass the time. One note about Tic-tac-toe - if you have any sense at all, you will soon learn that you can never lose, but it is fun to play.
Rolling The Dice & Flipping A Coin
Are you undecided about what choice to make? Whenever you have a tough decision to make, let Google's search bar help you out in a number of ways. You can 'roll a die', "spin (or play) dreidel", or you can always 'flip a coin'. The first two options give you the feeling of gambling, but flipping a coin is a more direct answer for your dilemma.
This gem is just downright crazy! Simply type in the word 'askew' and not only will the definition appear - crooked, lopsided, tilted, or angled - but the display itself will be askew. Talk about a sick sense of humor, and that is exactly what Google is all about.
Another crazy Easter Egg - type "Do a Barrel Roll" and click search and watch the entire screen display do a complete 360-degree 'roll' of your display! Click search again, and it will continue to barrel roll the display. We agree that this feature helps you in no way, but it is fun to watch.
When you type in an incorrect word in the Google Search bar, it will always ask you, "Did you mean:" and then offer the correct spelling. Try typing in the correct word, 'anagram', which is of course, 'a word, phrase, or name formed by rearranging the letters of another, such as 'cinema' form from 'iceman'. Google will ask you, "Did you mean: nag a ram", which of course is an anagram for the word anagram.
This is not only a fun Google Search Easter egg, but also an educational one for young children to help them learn the sounds of many animals - Dog, Falcon, Antelope, Guinea Pig, Sheep, Duck, Bee, Chicken, Alpaca, Turkey, Raccoon, African Grey Parrot, Alligator, Anteater, Ape, Bat, Bowhead Whale, Buffalo, Cat, Cow, Dove, Elephant, Horse, Humpback Whale, Lizard, Lion, and a dozen more – quite the combination of a barnyard and a zoo!
'Fun Facts' is just that...a way to get the answers to some rather interesting questions. This is a good site for trivia buffs to play a game to see which one of you is most knowledgeable. Simply keep clicking on the 'ASK ANOTHER QUESTION' bar at the bottom and Google will keep returning facts - some more interesting than others.
Classic Console Games
The Google Search bar will also allow you to conjure up some classic game titles – though not all are as easy as playing on a console setup, they are never the less fun. If you search “Super Mario Bros,” and click on the flashing golden “?” you will hear that classic coin-dispensing sound from the original games.
Gotta Go Fast. Sonic Fast
The readers that have a soft spot in their heart for Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog can see the mascot does his famous spin by searching for “Sonic the Hedgehog" and simply clicking on him in his laidback state and you can make him spin to your heart’s content.
Just for fun, if you type in "Zerg Rush" a flurry of "O"s will start to fall from up above and devour everything in their path. The first wave of Os will make the first section of your display disappear, and then after a quick pause, the Os will drop and attack the next group of text on your display. After everything is consumed, you will be left with two large "G"s staring at you.
Doing a Google Search, on “PAC-MAN” will bring up one of the most beloved games of all time. Google gave this gem back in 2010 to celebrate PAC-MAN’s thirtieth anniversary – can PAC-MAN lovers really be that old? It is a little hard to move the little yellow guy around the board, but with a little practice, it can be quite fun.
Do a Google Search on "Atari Breakout" and the click on the "More images" block to the right and you will be treated to a stirring game of the classic Breakout on your display. Breakout was a simple, yet addicting game as you try to rid the display of all of the colored blocks with a bouncing ball and a paddle - a more sophisticated game of the basic Pong.
For those musicians in our group, simply search on "Metronome" and you will be able to set the BPM (Beats per Minute) and then click on the arrow to start your metronome tick-tocking away. You can increase or decrease the BPMs by clicking on the "+" or "-" symbols, and you can do this while it is ticking.
Before we end, we wanted to give you a gem that works only on your mobile device. Do a Google Search on "bubble level" and it will transform your smartphone to an actual bubble level. It works great in a pinch to level a picture or to place a line on a wall.
Google likes to develop these Easter Eggs, and is constantly coming up with new ones – especially to celebrate a holiday or the anniversary of a classic game. There are so many it is hard to count even just how many Google has embedded, mostly in their search engine. This is just a very small sampling of the jokes and games that are available. Enjoy the ones we have told you about and have fun looking for new ones yourself.