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10 Most Popular Google Doodle Games

10 Most Popular Google Doodle Games

Daniel Horowitz
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Google’s homepage is more than just a place to search and discover new things; it’s also home to Google Doodle games. These clever little experiences are the perfect way to pass the time, procrastinate between homework assignments, or just learn something new.
Over the years, the Google Doodle team has created a number of fascinating and fun games to play directly in your browser. In this article, we’ve rounded up the 10 best and most popular doodles to date, from the Rubik’s Cube to cultural celebrations.

What are Google Doodle games?

Games on Google Doodle are more than just a time-waster. They often celebrate a specific event, including groundbreaking inventions and the 2020 Summer Olympics. While some of the Google Doodle games are more dated than others, they all meet the same goal of providing an enjoyable take on a piece of history.

10 best Google Doodle games

If you're looking for a quick way to pass the time and learn a thing or two, then you should try out some of the most popular Google Doodle games. Our picks for the 10 best games include some classic arcade-style titles and newer, more educational content.
Rubik's Cubes
Rubiks Cube
As just about anyone will tell you, Rubik's Cubes are incredibly difficult to solve. While there are certain strategies you can use to beat the puzzle, it’s remained in the public eye for so long there are so many different combinations – more than three billion to be exact.
If you don't have a physical Rubik's Cube at home but want to try your skill at solving the puzzle anyway, then Google Doodle has got you covered. The Rubik's Cube doodle was released in 2014 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the product, and it’s a great and interactive way to play with one of the most beloved toys of all time.
Pony Express
In 2015, Google released the Pony Express doodle to commemorate the 155th anniversary of the historical Pony Express. The gameplay is simple: you control a horse and pick up envelopes of mail while avoiding cacti and other obstacles, with the ultimate goal of collecting 100 letters.
What's most interesting here is the accompanying video. It explains the storied history of the Pony Express, which was founded by William H.Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B Waddel in 1860. Although it only lasted a single year due to the adoption of the telegraph and other factors, the Pony Express remains in the public imagination. It also played a vital role in connecting California and other parts of the West with the rest of the United States.
Pac-Man
In 2010, Google released a Pac-Man doodle to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the titular arcade classic. To boot it up, all you need to do is hit the insert coin button, but unlike in the arcade, it won't cost you a quarter. In a uniquely Google twist, the Pac-Man map spells out the word Google in the center, making it so that you need to navigate the contours of the word to collect all of the pellets and avoid the ghosts.
The game is otherwise a complete recreation of the original Pac-Man. As a bonus, you can team up with a friend, who takes on the role of Ms. Pac-Man. To control her, you will need to use the WASD keys, while you can control Pac-Man with the arrow keys.
Coding for Carrots
Released in 2017, the Coding for Carrots doodle celebrates 50 years of kids coding. The game teaches you basic coding principles and allows you to drag and drop blocks to make the rabbit eat carrots. The Google Doodle team, the Google Blockly team, and researchers from MIT Scratch collaborated to design the game.
The game specifically highlights the coding language known as Logo, which was developed by Seymour Papert and researchers at MIT to educate kids about coding. This was long before the days of personal computers, but it was created with the vision that, at some point in history, all kids could use computers as a powerful tool for learning.
Doodle Champion Island Games
The Doodle Champion Island Games is one of the most substantial Google Doodles. It was created to celebrate both the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, along with Japanese folklore and culture.
In this game, you play as Lucky the Ninja Cat and try to become the best in a variety of sports while helping the citizens of Champion Island. It includes minigames of table tennis, archery, rugby, swimming, and artistic swimming.
Once you win a game against one of the seven Champion Island champions, you earn a Sacred Scroll. When you earn all seven Sacred Scrolls, you’ll become the Island Champion and bring peace to the island. Unlike most Google Doodle titles, this one takes several hours to complete.
Baseball
The Google Doodle team released a Baseball doodle on July 4th, 2019 to celebrate both America's independence and its favorite pastime. The game is similar to a home run derby, which you can play as some of America' favorite foods, including the "Sluggin' Sirloin" steak, "The Triple" hamburger, and the "Big Red" watermelon.
Google Doodles Baseball takes a "three strikes and you're out" approach, regardless of how many at-bats you have. To do your best, make sure to slug as many home runs as possible with the tap of your mouse.
Scoville (spicy peppers)
You may not recognize the name Wilbur Scoville, but he deserves your thanks if you like spicy peppers. Scoville was a pharmacist who developed a method of measuring the spiciness or "heat" of chilli peppers called the Scoville scale.
Google Doodle released the Scoville doodle in 2016 to celebrate Wilbur’s 151st birthday. In the doodle, you play as a cone of ice cream with several scoops on top. To win, you need to correctly line up the meter in the green to cool down the pepper and freeze it. After all, Scoville also discovered that dairy can counteract the effects of a spicy pepper.
Celebrating garden gnomes
The Celebrating Garden Gnomes doodle appeared in 2018 to coincide with Germany's Garden Day. Garden gnomes have had some degree of mainstream popularity since the release of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. However, did you know they’re an important part of German culture dating back to the 19th century? They’re referred to as "gartenzwerg," or red-capped dwarves.
In this Google Doodle, you’ll learn a bit about the history of garden gnomes before launching them out of a trebuchet to plant a garden. You can launch a handful of different gnomes, with a goal of throwing them beyond 75 meters. The key is to time the arm of the trebuchet with a mouse click to get the most distance. Once you get the timing down, you'll decorate your virtual garden in no time.
Celebrating pizza
Celebrating Pizza
The pizza as we know it was originally created in the Italian city of Naples, but today, pizza is enjoyed all over the world in numerous ways. In fact, in 2017, the UNESCO Representative List named pizza as a part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Celebrating Pizza doodle commemorates the delicious food by allowing you to cut up pies from around the world. All you need to do is move your cursor to draw a line across the pizza, and then cut it up with the pizza cutter. You’ll start with classic pies, like margarita and pepperoni, before exploring different types of pies. They include Japanese teriyaki chicken mayonnaise pizza, Thai tom yum pizza, and Indian paneer tikka pizza.
Hip-hop anniversary
Celebrate hip-hop with the 44th Hip-Hop Anniversary doodle, which explores the history of the culture. The introductory video details its origins and showcases DJ Kool Herc as he invented one of the most popular genres in music today with the innovative use of the turntable.
After that, you can access a tutorial on how to use the turntable on your own along with a selection of influential records to choose from. As you explore the turntable more and create your own beats, you'll unlock additional information about some of hip-hop's earliest pioneers.
Summary
Google Doodle games look to both celebrate and educate while providing a fun way to explore history. Some doodles, such as Doodle Champion Island Games, are more involved and play similar to fully functional video games. Others, like Celebrating Pizza and Hip-Hop Anniversary, serve as introductions to topics. Whether you’re looking to learn something new or simply pass the time, you have plenty of options with Google Doodles.

About the Author

Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.

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