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Google celebrates Atari Breakout anniversary with an 'Easter egg'

Google likes to sneak in hidden gems onto its websites every now and then, and this week it added a new one: a mini-game of Atari Breakout to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the arcade video game.

When users head to Google image search and type in "Atari Breakout," the result is quite different from other image searches. Instead of displaying multiple rows of images, the Google website rearranges itself to recreate the classic 1976 video game.

In case you don't recall, "Atari Breakout" is similar to pong and lets users control a sliding paddle to keep a ball from going past it. However, instead of facing off against another user, in "Breakout" users are trying to destroy multiple rows of bricks in order to get the highest score possible. If the ball gets past the paddle, users lose one life -- and they only have five lives.

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After users finish playing, they can then share their high score from the mini-game onto Google+ and other social networks.

The "Atari Breakout" mini-game is a fun little trick, but it's definitely not the only time Google has snuck something like this onto its website. Here are a few other famous Google "Easter eggs":

  • If you search for "tilt" on Google, the website will slightly tilt.
  • If you search for "do a barrel roll," a term from the "Star Fox" video game, the website will rotate 360 degrees.
  • If you search for "Zerg rush," a crew of the letter "O" will begin attacking and destroying your search result very quickly. This is a homage to the game "Star Craft."
  • On YouTube, if you search for "do the Harlem Shake," the video website will begin to dance.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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