A new Easter egg turns Google Images into a playable classic arcade game with a Google twist. Head to Google Images and type “Atari breakout” to fire up “Image Breakout” and start destroying rows of images by bouncing a ball into them.
Start the game by going to Google Images and typing in “atari breakout”. The regular image results will load briefly, before your screen transforms to “Image Breakout”.
You’ll be given five balls at the beginning. You’ll lose a ball every time one touches the bottom of the screen.
The rules are pretty simple: there are five rows (sometimes only four) to destroy (blue, green, yellow, orange, and red) at the top of the screen. Use your mouse or the left and right arrow keys to control the blue bar at the bottom of the screen to angle your shots at the images you want to smash with your gray ball.
Hint: If you can make a hole and shoot your ball into that opening, your ball will bounce around and destroy several images at a time.
The “levels”, which are just different Google Images searches, seem to be pretty much the same difficulty level. After completing the first screen, you’ll be taken to random image searches – for example, after destroying the Atari images, up next for me were pictures of ginseng, mayonnaise, Tahiti, English Cocker Spaniel, and Macau.
After your game is over, Google gives you the option to share your score on Google+ (with the message “I played #breakout on Google Image Search! I made it to level x in Image Breakout! Can you beat my score of xx?”) or via a customized short URL.
I believe this is the first Google Images Easter egg.
Atari game “Breakout” debuted 37 years ago. Here’s what it looked like on the Atari 2600:
This is somewhat similar to the “Zerg Rush” Easter egg game Google put out, in which you had to shoot red and yellow zergs that devoured Google’s search results.
Google also famously paid tribute to another Atari game, Pac-Man, with a playable Doodle in 2010 for its 30th anniversary.