Google Doodle games are a truly novel little phenomenon, and, I don’t know about you, but they really brighten my day whenever a new one pops up. From the little dinosaur game that lightens the blow whenever your internet cuts out, to opening Google to search something serious and finding a mountain dog making bubble tea, it’s truly a delight. But can you still play them after the Doodle ends? In some cases, yes. So let’s dive into a list of the best Google Doodle games you can still play today.
If you’re on the hunt for more free browser games, check out our list of the best io games. Alternatively, we’ve got guides on how to play Snake, play Pac-Man, play chess, and more, on your mobile and Switch. Or, for even more fun facts and knowledge, we also have a list of the best educational games.
Now, grab your learning hat and get ready for some fun, as we dive into the best Google Doodle games you can still play today.
Celebrating Bubble Tea
Bubble tea, otherwise known as boba tea, is a delicious drink that has taken the world by storm. With roots in traditional Taiwanese culture from as early as the 17th century, bubble tea evolved into what we know today sometime in the 1980s, and has exploded in popularity both in Asia and overseas. Whether you like it fruity or milky, and with tapioca pearls, fruit jelly, or delicious bursting bubbles, there’s a cup for everyone – in fact, the team here at PT can’t get enough of the stuff.
To celebrate the delightful delicacy that is bubble tea, Google released a Doodle game in which you take control of an adorable Formosan Mountain Dog (indigenous to Taiwan) running a little bubble tea stall. When the customers come, tap and hold to add the right amount of boba, tea, and syrup to satisfy their requests. Then shake it up, add a straw, and watch your cute Doodle pals enjoy!
You can play the Celebrating Bubble Tea Google Doodle game here.
Gerald ‘Jerry’ Lawson’s 82nd birthday
This Google Doodle celebrates the 82nd birthday of Gerald ‘Jerry’ Lawson, who is heralded as one of the fathers of modern gaming. Throughout his career he worked at Fairchild, leading the development of the Fairchild Channel F System, which was the first home video game system console that featured interchangeable game cartridges, an eight-way digital joystick, and a pause menu, paving the way for future gaming systems like the Atari, SNES, Dreamcast, and more.
He later left Fairchild to start his own company called VideoSoft, which was one of the earliest black-owned video game development companies, and worked on creating software for the Atari 2600. You can read more about his admirable feats on the Google Doodle archives page, below the game.
Now, onto the game itself. Well, actually, this isn’t just one game – it’s made up of five unique, retro-style games, designed by three American guest artists and game designers called Davionne Gooden, Lauren Brown, and Momo Pixel.
It includes three puzzle-platforms featuring cute characters, coins, and keys, another platformer with Pac-Man-esque segments, and a Pong-like game where you need to catch a ball and bounce it into blocks to break them. But the fun doesn’t end there, either – you can also edit each of the minigames, or even make your own using the pencil function, kinda like a mini Mario Maker.
You can play these games by heading to the Gerald ‘Jerry’ Lawson’s 82nd Birthday Google Doodle page.
Celebrating Lake Xochimilco
Now, I may be biased, because I genuinely adore axolotls (then again, who doesn’t?), but the Celebrating Lake Xochimilco Google Doodle game is a truly adorable experience. You get to cruise along the lake with some lovely lizards, scouring the waterbed to spot awesome axolotls and snap pics. Simply tap on any axolotl you see as you sail by to take a picture and get a cute fact or a little quote – did you know axolotls sleep with their eyes open and can breathe both in and out of water? They also can’t read – who knew!
This Google Doodle game, as you may have guessed, celebrates Lake Xochimilco, a natural lake near Mexico City that is the last remaining native habitat for axolotls in the world. It was once home to the ancient Aztec civilization during the 15th century, but eventually landowners in the colonial period took over occupation of the lake. On March 29, 1920, the Mexican government returned Lake Xochimilco to the locals, and it now serves as a recreational site, cultural attraction, and home to our little amphibious friends, the rare axolotl species.
You can play the Celebrating Lake Xochimilco Google Doodle game by heading over to the archive.
Celebrating Pani Puri
Pani puri is a popular South Asian street food made of a crispy shell stuffed with chickpeas, potatoes, chilies, or spices. To celebrate the anniversary of Madhya Pradesh’s restaurant achieving the World Record for serving the most flavors of Pani Puri, Google created a pani puri-themed Doodle.
In this game, you work at a pani puri restaurant, where customers come and place orders. You face a box filled with rows of different pani puri, that kind of looks like a match 3, but instead of choosing the longest rows, you have to tap on the right amount of connected pani puri in the correct flavor to fulfill the customer’s orders. It’s a very simple yet fun little game and even has a relaxed or timed mode for you to choose between.
Fancy yourself as a real pani puri server? Then head over to the Celebrating Pani Puri Google Doodle game to play now.
Valentine’s Day 2017
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, it’s hard to resist a sweet, animated love story between two… Pangolins? That’s right, for Valentine’s Day 2017, Google made a Doodle that celebrates both love and an extremely sweet creature native to the wilds of Asia and Africa.
These strong swimmers rely on their long tongues and heightened sense of smell to find nourishment, but are sadly the most trafficked mammal in the world, and face significant threat from both poachers and smugglers. The Google Doodle description provides more details on these cute critters and provides a link to the World Wildlife Fund where you can learn even more and support the WWF’s efforts to save them.
Luckily, our starring pangolin is safe and sound – but he does have a dilemma on his paws. It’s Valentine’s Day, and he wants to spend it with his love. But first, he needs to get there, and preferably pull together the best gift possible to woo her.
Roll along in a cute, side-scrolling adventure across four levels based on different real-life locations, dodging obstacles and collecting items to make this the best Valentine’s Day ever. It’s unbelievably cute and wholesome, with an artstyle reminiscent of late ‘90’s to early ‘00’s cartoons, and we love it.
If you want to help the pangolins, whether in real life or in-game, head over to the Valentine’s Day 2017 Google Doodle page now.
Now, we love spooky vibes here at PT, and Halloween is easily my favorite holiday. So, of course, Halloween 2016 has to make it onto our best Google Doodle games list – and it also helps that the main character bears a striking resemblance to my little kitty, Xiao (here’s a pic for comparison).
You take control of a magical cat in a wizard’s robe, and it’s your task to protect him from all the spooky ghosts and ghoulies in each of the levels. There’s no running around in this one. Instead, you control the kitty’s wand, and have to draw shapes that match those of the ghosts in order to take them down. Initially, it’s just one vertical or horizontal line you need to draw for each ghost, but, as you progress, you need to draw specific combinations of lines and arrows, along with the occasional heart or lightning bolt.
It’s a very addictive and light-hearted game, and you get to play as a magical cat. What more do you want? So, be sure to head on over to the Halloween 2016 Google Doodle page and give it a bash – if you dare!
44th Anniversary of the Birth of Hip Hop
Ever fancied the idea of becoming a hip hop artist? Wanna get in on some of the greats, and find out where it all began? The 44th Anniversary of the Birth of Hip Hop Doodle is a great place to spark your interest.
With a mixture of smooth animation, hip hop facts, and an interactive deck, you can get yourself into the groove, playing around with different loops to make the melody of your dreams – all while learning the basics about the rich and vibrant world of the hip hop scene. I can tell you this for free – I spent way too long mixing, and it definitely got me thinking about whipping out my Akai APCKey 25 again. Not quite the same, but it’ll do.
If you fancy mixing some beats and learning some facts, head over to the 44th Anniversary of the Birth of Hip Hop Google Doodle page.
Celebrating 50 years of Kids Coding
2017’s Computer Science Education Week marked 50 years since kids programming languages were first introduced to the world with Google’s first-ever, kids-focused coding Doodle. So, to celebrate, the Google Doodle team collaborated with the Google Blockly team and researchers from MIT Scratch to put out a simple but enjoyable Doodle.
The result is this adorable little Doodle game where you must ‘program’ sequences of code by dropping directional commands into the tray in order to help the bunny collect all the carrots on each level. It’s a simple little game, but it can take a bit of thinking to complete each level with the lowest number of moves and earn the ribbons for each one.
If you fancy having a crack at the bunny-themed coding game, check out the Celebrating 50 years of Kids Coding Google Doodle now.
Lotería is a traditional Mexican card game that has roots back in Italy in the 15th century. It first moved to Spain, before reaching Mexico in 1796. To celebrate 106 years since it was officially copyrighted in Mexico, Google created a Doodle game that allows people all over the world to get in on the action – and even get the chance to practice some Spanish at the same time.
The game is multiplayer, with either random matchmaking or the option to play with friends, and functions like a cross between Snap and Bingo, where you get a selection of cards and a handful of beans. Then, the game pulls up cards and announces their names in Spanish (for example, La Chalupa or El Sol), and, if it matches one on your board, you throw a bean on the matching card. The first person to get a row of beans can call ‘Lotería!’ and win the game.
Despite the Doodle having been around since December 9, 2019, you can generally still find online matches with other people – or you can always build a team of friends to play. So, if you fancy trying your luck, head over to the Celebrating Lotería Google Doodle game today.
Earth Day 2020
We all know how important our planet is, and how much of an integral role bees play in it. But, in case you need a reminder (or a nice, relaxing way to kill some time), the Earth Day 2020 Google Doodle game is perfect for you.
Google created the game in collaboration with the Honeybee Conservancy based in New York, this little Doodle sees you guide a bee from flower to flower on a vertically scrolling screen. Pick up pollen from one flower, then use it to pollinate a flower of the same color before it passes by. As you fill the screen with flowers, you also get treated to fun facts about bees and the planet they help to sustain.
If you wanna see what all the buzz is about, head over to the Earth Day 2020 Google Doodle archive page now.
Doodle Champion Island Games
Doodle Champion Island Games is a sports-themed RPG set over several Google Doodle games, and is definitely my personal favorite. Celebrating the Olympics, the games are made in partnership with Tokyo-based animation studio, Studio 4°C, and see you take control of a calico (c)athlete named Lucky.
Explore a beautiful, 2.5D pixel world as you join a team, enter a variety of minigames, and compete with a cast of quirky characters in the form of sports champions in a quest to gather all seven sacred scrolls. Collect the scrolls and complete hidden challenges across Champion Island as you progress – you can even take a peek at where you land on the global leaderboard.
Honestly, this one is not only one of the best Google Doodle games, but also makes for an amazing standalone title that would be right at home on our list of the best cat games. Fancy a try? Head over to the Doodle Champion Island Games archive page, and let the games begin.
What are Google Doodles?
Google Doodles are unique, bespoke animations, games, or images that replace the Google logo. They usually celebrate special events and anniversaries, such as an important public figure’s birthday, the anniversary of an important release date, and cultural days of significance, though sometimes they simply highlight a topic you may not know about. If you click on the Google Doodle, you can learn more about that topic, either through educational websites and videos, or through a fun little Google Doodle game.
Google Doodles don’t stick around for long, usually just staying up for a day, though sometimes they stay up for a couple of days if the event lasts that long. However, you can browse through them all in the Google Doodles archive.
When was the first Google Doodle?
The first Google Doodle dates all the way back to 1998, not long after Google itself first came out. It was very simple – just a stickman over the search engine, as a little nod to co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin taking time off to attend Burning Man.
This was before the company was even incorporated, so, while it’s simple, it’s still a pretty interesting piece of history. Of course, much like Google itself, the Google Doodle has developed a lot since then, and now there are entire, elaborate Google Doodle games, animations, and all sorts for you to enjoy.
Can I still play Google Doodle games after they end?
While Google Doodle games don’t stick around on the search engine’s homepage for long, you can still play them long after the event or anniversary they celebrate is over, thanks to the aforementioned Google Doodle archive.
In fact, the archive has a whole list of the games, where you can simply click on one, read about its backstory, creators, and more, and play it in-browser on your PC, tablet, or smartphone – though most of them play better on mobiles than anything else, due to their primarily portrait aspect ratio and touch-based controls.
Some of the ‘games’ are closer to animated slideshows, but they’re still beautifully illustrated, interactive experiences for you to explore. Others meet some roadblocks due to them relying on online play, such as the Halloween 2022 one – which requires multiple players per match, and it’s unlikely you’ll get a match these days.
However, there are still a lot of fun little games for you to play on your own – and entirely for free – so feel free to explore. Of course, we’ve listed all of our favorites above, which you can enjoy any time, any place.
And that’s all of the best Google Doodle games you can still play today. If you fancy something a bit different, be sure to check out our lists of the best Switch RPGs, the best horror games, or the best Roblox games. We’ve also got plenty of freebies up for grabs with our Coin Master free spins, Genshin Impact codes, and Honkai Star Rail codes.