• The Current UMSL

Olympic (themed) Games

Bring home the gold from your web browser





One of the biggest sporting events in the world is happening in Tokyo right now, but have you checked your browser? If you use Google or Google chrome you may notice colorful artwork right above the search bar. Now, Google is no stranger to adorable little games or designs in their famous logo. From cute animations to little rhythm games or even more elaborate games involving the mouse or arrow keys and levels, there's always a chance for something colorful to distract you from the work you were supposed to be doing.

But this “doodle” as Google calls them is very special. This doodle is an RPG- or role playing game, a genre of game where you are the “main character” so to speak. Basically, in the game the characters refer to the character as “you” as opposed to the name of the character. For example, a line of dialogue would read “you must go to the top of the mountain” instead of “Gary, you must go to the mountain”.

Anyway, this is a fully fledged tiny game in a browsing window, which is very impressive. The game is modeled after the Olympic Games. You, a cat named Calico, traverse the surprisingly detailed Olympic Island to win gold and defeat the Olympic champions and take their place as a champion of the sport. You can play several mini games- surfing, climbing, running and rugby to name a few. Your victory is marked by a shiny new statue over the icon of the sport. In addition to the mini game sports, you have the option to explore the island and talk to NPCs (non-playable characters) and pick up side quests. You can even join a team: red, yellow, blue or green (Google’s logo colors and four out of five of the Olympic rings) and add your points to a real and constantly updated leaderboard from players all over the world! The only thing missing is an inventory system, which I only noticed because a character pointed it out in a cheeky line of dialogue.

This game is absolutely charming. The art is in the style of sprites- nostalgic of the pixelated characters that became the hallmark of RPGs when they started in the mid 70s. It controls very well using the direction arrows on your laptop. The dialogue is simple but immersive enough to make you forget you’re looking at a web browser. And with about four hours of playtime, you’re definitely not getting that paper done any time soon!

If you have time to kill (or work to avoid) you can play the game right in the Google browser. However, if you don’t use Google, here is a link!


https://www.google.com/doodles/doodle-champion-island-games-july-24

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

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