Google engineers get bored at work just like the rest of us. As a result, they’ve hidden dozens of gags, Easter eggs, and Pokémon all over Google’s sprawl of websites over the years. And that includes plenty of video games you can play in your browser, no controller required.
Chrome’s Offline T-Rex Infinite Runner
If you use Chrome as a browser, and you can’t find the Internet, you’re likely familiar with the sad little T. Rex standing in the desert that appears with the “No Internet Connection” warning. And you’ve probably got some time to kill. Google, fully aware of this, has a little mini-game you can play while you’re waiting. Hit the space bar and the T-rex runs across the screen, and you either jump with space or duck with the down arrow to avoid the obstacles. Sure, it’s not goofing off on the Internet at work, but it gives you something to do waiting for IT to figure out what went wrong this week.
Google Earth’s Flight Simulator
Flight simulators were, for a long time, one of the most beloved kinds of PC games. Carefully designed to mirror the operation and flight of airplanes in every detail, they were fairly close to professional tools. They’ve been eclipsed by other games, over time, but they’ve still got a hardcore fanbase with some Google engineers among them. For this one, you’ll need to install Google Earth, their free virtual globe. Once you’ve got it set up, just click on the tools menu, and you’ll find Flight Simulator. It’s surprisingly fully featured with two planes, a number of airports to take off from, and will even support flight joysticks. It’s not quite Microsoft Flight Simulator, but it’s still a surprising amount of fun.