“Doodle” means a scribble or a senseless picture. Google doodles are like postcards dedicated to landmark events. They include not only a beautiful design of the search engine homepage, but also contain animation or mini-games that can be tried out in the browser. A large team of artists and engineers create doodles.
Why Google doodles are created
They have no practical use. The first doodle was created by Sergey Brin and Larry Page as an unusual сue about their participation in the Burning Man festival.
When the next doodle was created in 2000, it was also accepted by the audience. Now it was dedicated to Bastille Day. During the time log change/modification due to significant events became a tradition.
These elements have2 functions:
- entertaining – the main function of Google doodles. A funny logo allows keeping the mind off and relaxing in the middle of the workday;
- informational – a changed logo of the most popular search engine draws attention and more people become interested in why Google does this.
In general, doodles dispose a good mood. Imagine that you’ve found a funny postcard for you from your boss at the workplace. Doodles have the same effect.
Frequency of doodle creation
There is no schedule for creating doodles. About 4000 doodles have been created. If the interval between the first and second one was 2 years, later the logo has been changed on a regular basis. Google does not miss any significant event.
Sometimes doodles are released every day, e.g. as during the 2012 Olympic Games when the topic was mainly sports.
The interval between other doodles is a few days or weeks. This depends on the developers’ team that works on this task.
If we study the doodle archive, we can see that new doodles are released once a few days.
There are no strict requirements. Google makes its choice also considering the users’ opinion. There can be the following topics:
- significant historical events (e.g., the Independence Day or Bastille Day)
- significant dates for a certain country
- international holidays
- sports events
- celebrity birthdays
- game anniversaries (e.g, a game copy doodle was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man. Users could play the game in the browser.
Google is open for any offers for creating doodles. Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. The team does not reply to e-mails as there are too many of them, but promise to consider all offers when creating the next logo.
Google doodle games
Here you can find the full list of doodles as Google keeps them all including games. Below you can find examples of some interesting games.
Mexican card game Lotería
The doodle was created in December 2019 It is dedicated to Loteria – a Mexican card game. This game appeared in the 15th century in Italy, but has been known in Mexico since 1769 and has become an important part of the Mexican culture. It is still popular now.
The game looks like a lotto. There are a field and a card with pictures. The image on the card changes from time to time. If the picture on the card matches the picture on the field, the player has to put a bean on the board. The player who is the first to lay the set pattern will win.
Tu Be’av Jewish holiday
This holiday is celebrated in July-August. Most traditions of celebrating it disappeared except the prohibition to say prayers for absolution on this day. Tu Be’av is called “the celebration of love”, so it is customary to rejoice on this day. Google decided to release a doodle dedicated to Tu Be’av.
The main character of this arcade is an armadillo who is heading to his girlfriend. He collects fruit and dodges obstacles on his way. There are some time limits for completed the levels. The user controls the character with the keyboard: movements – with left and right arrows, jumps – with the whitespace.
Garden Day in Germany
This doodle was released on June 10, 2018. It is dedicated to Garden Day in Germany. The main focus was made on garden dwarfs. Although Germany is not their native, small dwarf statuettes have become especially popular in this country.
In the game, garden dwarfs should be fired from a small catapult as far as possible. During the flight, the player can control the dwarf. When pressing the whitespace, he takes a sudden nose-dive to the ground. There are some elements that can extend the flight (mushrooms and logs on the ground). This doodle can be played many times and you can even challenge your colleagues.
The invention of pH-monitoring by Danish biochemist Sørensen
Danish biochemist Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen is famous for inventing rules of pH monitoring. The term “pH” has been widely used since Sørensen released his works. Google created a doodle dedicated to this event.
The game is very simple and it is impossible to lose. The player has to place 6 items by pH level (resemblance of the main achievement of the biochemist). If you place the item in a wrong way, the scientist gives you a hint so you can make a mistake on purpose only.
Game devoted to the 50th anniversary of the programming language for children
The peculiarity of this Google doodle is that it was created by 3 teams – Google Doodle, Google Blockly, and MIT Scratch. The first programming language for children (Logo) has been developed in the 60s before the mass distribution of PCs. This game released on December 4, 2017, is dedicated to it.
The aim of the game is to set a sequence of actions for the hare to make its way and collect all carrots. The difficulty increases with each level. This game would not be a challenge for an adult but is perfect for children as there are no problems with the design and the difficulty.
The game was released on October 31, 2016. It was dedicated to the world-renown “All Saints’ Day”. The holiday can be called a global one as it is celebrated not only in the USA, but also in Europe and post-USSR countries.
In this game you need to help the kitten to overcome the ghosts by swiping in the shape of the symbols above their heads – and the enemy will be defeated!. At first, everything is very easy, but as you move on there will be more enemies and it will be harder to defeat them. The visual effects are on the ball, as for a doodle.
105th anniversary of Clara Rockmore
The doodle was released on March 9, 2019 – on the 105th anniversary of Clara Rockmore – US virtuoso and theremin player. The focus was made on her theremin skills. She was so talented in this that conductor Leopold Stokowski composed a concert for her and a symphonic orchestra.
The player can master the basic skills of playing the theremin and hear its unusual sound. This is easy – just follow the tracks displayed on the screen. It is impossible to lose here and the difficulty does not increase.
155th anniversary of PonyExpress
The doodle was released on April 14, 2015. It is dedicated to the first letter delivered by PonyExpress. Now, this logistics company is globally known. Its success story begins in 1860 when the first parcel was delivered. Google decided to celebrate this date.
The user has to control a messenger-rider with the keys and collect letters on different tracks. There are a few levels. The main character reaches the stable, changes the horse and starts collecting letters again – that is how a new level is started.
245th anniversary of Beethoven’s baptization
A mini-game dedicated to the 245th anniversary of the genius composer. The precise birthday of Beethoven is unknown, so Google chose the baptization day – the 17th of December. This doodle was released in 2015. It is focused on Beethoven’s evolving deafness that affected his musical career.
The user has to help Beethoven to restore the gone pieces by placing the fragments of music sheets in the right order. If s/he succeeds, s/he will hear an extract of one of the famous pieces.
This Google doodle was released on October 31, 2015. All Saints’ Day is celebrated in many countries. Google changed their logo many times.
The player has to collect as many candy as possible. In the beginning, the player should choose one of the 4 heroes. His task is to avoid enemies and collect all artifacts on the level. The character is controlled with one button. When pressing the whitespace the character slightly jumps. For jumping higher the player should press the whitespace several times. The level can be completed within a minute.
114th anniversary of Eiji Tsuburaya
The doodle is dedicated to the famous Japanese visual effect director. Eiji Tsuburaya created visual effects for such movies as Godzilla and Ultraman series. He is an iconic figure for cinema so on July 7, 2015, this mini-game appeared instead of the ordinary Google logo.
The user can create visual effects in this game. S/he has to solve different tasks – create a dummy building, destroy houses, become a lighting technician or a wardrobe master. Each task takes about 5 seconds and the whole game – about a minute. The mouse is the only control.
Valentine’s Day 2014
This doodle dedicated to Valentine’s Day was released on February 14, 2014. On this day sweethearts please each other and give presents to each other. Google usually does not miss this fact.
A mini-game offers to make a tasty gift yourself. Ingredients are selected, the made sweets are loaded into a box and then the gift can be send via Facebook or Twitter.
Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary
Google devoted this game to Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. This series is based on the adventures of Doctor – an alien character who can travel in time. This became the basis of the doodle design.
The game is a puzzle. The character (Doctor) is controlled with a mouse. The player has to reach the finish avoiding enemies. If s/he bumps into one, s/he will lose. Also some levels have interactive elements so the route should be thoroughly planned. The game is not hard and can be completed very quickly.
Roswell incident 66th anniversary
The doodle is dedicated to the incident that occurred in summer 1947 near Roswell. There are many versions that it was an UFO accident over the USA. In the 70s this event was confabulated as there were no clear explanations of this event. The game was released on July 8, 2013.
The player shall help the alien who has suffered an accident to repair its spacecraft and continue his flight. This game is a classical quest – you need to collect items, interact with the environment. Some game moments are scary.
Chinese New Year 2013
This doodle was released on February 10, 2013, and is dedicated to the Chinese New Year. It is the longest holiday in China and Eastern Asia. It is also known as Lunar New Year.
Google released a classic Snake game with Chinese influences on this day. Everything like in the classical game: control with arrows, different objects appear in the game field (including dangerous ones like dynamite) and the player has to collect them until they disappear. As this doodle is focused on China, hieroglyphs appear from time to time. This game does not have any certain goal – you just need to collect as many objects as possible during a minute.
The doodle is dedicated to Chinese Qixi Festival. It was released on August 13, 2013. This holiday is a Chinese counterpart of Valentine’s Day. Qixi Festival was established as dignities to the legend about the love of shepherd Niulang and weaver Zhinü. They were separated by leaving on opposite river banks. Only once a year magpies build a bridge so that they can rejoin.
The game copies the legend. The player should build a bridge of birds so that Niulang and Zhinü would meet. Just drag the birds into the corresponding fields.
Robert Moog’s 78th anniversary
This doodle was dedicated to Robert Moog’s 78th anniversary. He is famous due to inventing and developing the first synthesizer. New music genres emerged due to this device and the doodle focuses on this. It was released on May 23, 2012.
This small game includes the synthesizer developed by Robert Moog’.It has 2 types of oscillators, different filters for working with sound. The player composes a melody by pressing the buttons. After this its record can be listened and shared in Google+ or by a link.
46th anniversary of Star Trek’s broadcast
This doodle was released on September 8, 2012. On this day in 1966, the first Star Track episode hit the screen. The series tells about the scientific-research mission of Enterprise spacecraft. Later the Universe was extended and augmented.
The game introduces the Enterprise crew. The player has to solve some tasks faced by the series characters. It is not an arcade, but a very simple quest. The player needs to click on the interactive element with the cursor and the characters will do everything themselves. Google letters are Star-Trek-styled.
Doodle dedicated to 2012 Olympic Games
Google released a series of doodles dedicated to the 2012 Olympic Games. There are doodles with rowsport, football and hurdling. This game is dedicated to basketball and was released on August 8, 2012.
This doodle is an accuracy game. The player has to shoot the hoop as many times as possible. The basketball player is controlled with one button: first click for accumulating force, the ball changes hue. When you are ready to toss, press the whitespace again.
Alan Turing’s 100th anniversary
This doodle was released on June 23, 2012. It is dedicated to Alan Turing’s 100th anniversary. He was an outstanding mathematician, cryptographer and logician. Computer science is mainly based on his works. Alan was the founder of the first machine that can be considered as the forefather of the contemporary PC. During the war he showed outstanding abilities in the sphere of decryption of the enemies messages.
The game is based on logics. The player has to correct the cipher so that it would match the required one. S/he will see the cipher and the sequence of automatic steps and correct 2 figures.
Doodles make no harm. The design is performed in such a way that the games and interactive elements would not distract the user from the working process. The information component is also very important. Doodles can draw attention to an important topic.
Doodles are rather common now. Google regularly amuse its users. Although this element has appeared as a joke, currently it is associated with the brand name.