I honestly don’t expect most people have tried Google’s ‘built-in’ games much at all. They come pre-shipped with Android and Chrome OS devices and are basically Google Play Instant games or web apps. You can find them in the Google Play Games app. When you open the app, you’ll have a carousel of games which are installed. If you have no games downloaded, you’ll see the built-in games right away. Otherwise, you’ll need to swipe to the far end of the carousel to see them.
Because they’re basically games that you grew up with, you probably went straight to the Google Play Store and grabbed some cool FPS games instead. That’s okay. So did I, but I just want to let you know that most of these built-in games are pretty underrated and you should try them. They’re great for standing in line or waiting around somewhere as they provide small spurts of gameplay that are not too deeply involved. They’ve stood the test of time, so you’re bound to get some fun out of them and let’s be honest, you’re looking to have some fun today. So, why not give them each five minutes of your time? Here’s a breakdown of what Google’s offering and why you should tap the ‘Play’ button later today!
This Pac-Man game is true to form and there’s a reason for that. Google partnered with Namco Bandai to produce a very special version of the game seen here. It features a play space that spells ‘GOOGLE’! How cool is that? We always knew that Google was full of gamers, but this is just one more reason to love that about them. It first featured as a Google Doodle for Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary in 2010 and can still be played through your web browser.
Pac-Man has always given me anxiety for some reason, so it’s not my favorite, but this Play Games version is pretty smooth. It has great touch controls, but there is one problem – Each time I tried to swipe up on my Pixel 4 which has the new gesture based controls, I would accidentally close the game!
Back in elementary school, I would visit the principal’s office for something I did (yep, I was a bad kid when I was younger) and I would basically be sat down to a game of old school Minesweeper. I had no clue how to play and instead just kept clicking on random spots until I won. I think a lot of people avoid Minesweeper because they don’t understand it.
You really should try the Google Play Games version though. It’s fun! Like, party fun. You tap on a space and you have the choice of either flagging or digging in that spot. Once you win or lose, the remaining tiles will explode into confetti. The graphics are clean and the sound is great too. If you’re looking for a more challenging play on the fly, this game is it.
Snake is cool, right? I mean, it was when we played it on our old school Nokia phones. Google’s version is a pretty big upgrade though. As with the rest of the games today, it has almost a material design look, like you’ve gone out to a cartoon golf course. The sound and graphics here is probably the least good, but I like some of the things they did with the mechanics.
When you are approaching an apple (yep, snakes eat apples, didn’t you know?) the snake will open its mouth predictively. Pretty cool. Once you swallow an apple, you can see it make its way down your…stomach? As you grow in length, you morph into crazy colors. My favorite part is when you run into a wall. The snake will bump his head and look dazed. The animation here is really cool, actually. The touch controls aren’t as responsive as they could be, so that can become frustrating. This one needs a bit of an update.
Do people still review solitaire games in 2020? This is by far the cleanest and nicest of the collection. It’s easy to play and stress free. The graphics are almost material design. This is definitely my favorite! Who would have thought, right – A simple game like Solitaire? The sound of shuffling cards is satisfying and the controls are responsive.
I totally played this in the DMV before the quarantine began and I’m happy to report that it held me over until my ticket was called. This is probably the game you should consider coming back to often.
- Not my type of game, and very odd
- Perhaps because I’m an american
- least appealing out of all of the games
Is it because I’m American that I have no clue what this even is? I imagine Google included these specific Play Games as to appeal to everyone and certainly to give each region something to play out of the built-in selection. Either way, this one just isn’t my cup of tea. In fact, we named this article ‘MOST OF Google’s Built-In Games are Underrated’ because, well, this one is not. At least, not in my opinion. Without intending to offend, I just don’t understand this at all.
In the game you play an actual cricket. Yep. Cute, I guess, but the way the characters run back and forth isn’t. This one seems slapped together and I will probably never open it again. If you have played cricket in real life, please let me know if I’m missing out on some worldwide phenomenon or something in the comments below.
- The only game to not show on mobile
- dino run graphics and great sound
- pretty fun
- have to tilt a bit more than you think
Okay, last one. Whirlybird takes its cues from the likes of Doodle Jump. Do you remember that game? You know, one of the first games to ever blow up on mobile? Unlike Doodle Jump, though, this game has really clean graphics and nostalgic retro sounds. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was designed by the same person who made Chrome’s T-Rex Run. Check out the screenshots below. The likeness is uncanny, you know, aside from one being a dinosaur and the other being a whirlybird – whatever that is.
The tilt controls feel a bit resistant, but they’re not bad by any means. Probably user error. I think you have to tilt your phone a bit stronger when you’re about to land on a platform to make it. The game has items that boost you higher and spikes to land on as well. Youch. Try to get the highest score!
By the way, I noticed that this game was the only one that doesn’t show up on my Chromebooks and only allows me to play on my phone. Interesting. Most of these games are vertical play, so you would think Google wouldn’t restrict Whirlybird from appearing on some of your devices. Whirlybird was originally an Easter egg game that you had to unlock by pressing and holding the ‘Arcade’ tab on the Play Games app navigation bar.
Keep in mind that if you don’t like some of these games, *ahem, cricket* then you can hide them by tapping the three dots ‘more’ menu at the top right of the game in the Play Games app and selecting ‘hide’. How do you feel about these ‘built-in’ games that Google provides? Will you be giving them a go, or are they just not for you? Let us know in the comments below!