Google has some secret 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 from stress. You may even learn as you play.
Some of these games bring back memories of classic arcade games. One game tests your knowledge of the world. Another game helps you learn how to fly a plane.
An infographic shows you what the games are, how to find them, and how addictive they are.
Google Hidden Games (Credit: euroffice)
Google Maps and Earth Games
Lovers of flight and geography will enjoy these games hidden in Google Maps and Google Earth.
Flight Simulator is a hidden game in Google Earth that lets you fly a virtual jet across the sky. Go to Google Earth and download the Google Earth software to your computer to become a virtual pilot. Click on Tools, then Enter Flight Simulator to begin playing the game.
Choose the kind of airplane you want to fly. Then, decide on a departure airport. Maybe you would enjoy a takeoff from the Katmandu airport. You could cyber-soar above the Himalaya mountains.
Users can operate the plane with the keyboard or a joystick. Follow the Flight Simulator guidelines to learn how to do it.
A video from Google Earth shows you how to fly using Flight Simulator.
Test your knowledge of geography and more with Smarty Pins. The game provides questions about places around the world. You answer by placing a marker on Google Maps.
Once you are on the website the first step is to choose a subject . These include Arts and Culture, Science and Geography, Entertainment and more.
You will be asked five questions. The answer could be a country, city or 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 on the exact place, you keep all your miles. If you miss by a certain distance you lose that number of miles. You can play until all your miles or kilometers are gone.
After answering five questions, you may get an award. But, do not expect any prize money!
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 arcade game Atari Breakout without needing 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 have hit all the squares you are done. You can then use the pause button to get a link for sharing your Breakout score with others.
Learn more about the game at the Atari Breakout website.
Zerg Rush is based on the game Starcraft. Zerg Rush will attack and destroy your Google search results. Go to the Google search page and type in "zerg rush".
Zeros will start dropping from the top of your screen, erasing 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 re-created as a Google Doodle on May 21, 2010 to celebrate Pac-Man's 30th birthday. You can play it by typing "Pac-Man Google Doodle" in Google search.
Click the Pac-Man Google Doodle result to play. You move the Pac-Man so it can eat the dots, just like in the famous arcade game. Watch out for the destructive ghosts!
Android Device Games
If you have an Android phone or tablet, Google has some surprises for you. Check out these hidden games for new ways of having fun.
Flappy Droid is Google's version of the game Flappy Bird. 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 running.
Flappy Bird Hidden
Tap the Android version text several times and a new screen will open showing the letter “M.” Press and hold the “M” to see a lollipop or a marshmallow.
Tap either image to begin playing the game. Move your Droid through barriers. Be quick! The game moves very fast.
But what about when you do not have Internet? T-Rex is a game for offline play. Open Chrome on your Android device and search for "t-rex." If you are not connected to the Internet, you can begin playing the T-Rex game.
Tap on the screen to have your T-Rex hop over barriers. You can remain playfully occupied as you wait for 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 about these hidden Google games? Do you know about any other hidden Google games? Which of these games have you tried?
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* Infographic courtesy of eurooffice.co.uk
Words in This Story
infographic - n. a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data
geography - n. an area of study that deals with the location of countries, cities, rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.
virtual - adj. existing or occurring on computers or on the Internet
departure - v. the act of leaving a place especially to start a journey
joystick - n. a lever used to control the movement of images on the screen in a computer or video game
bounce - v. to cause (a ball, rock, etc.) to hit against a surface and quickly move in a different and usually opposite direction