There’s a Google Search Easter egg that has flown over the heads of millions of internet users for years now. However, suppose you’re the type of user that enjoys finding fun little Google Easter eggs or a lover of retro-style games that wants a blast from the past. In that case, you’ll be interested in Google’s extra special one involving Atari’s Breakout game.
A Retro Throwback To Yesteryear
If you grew up during the years of Atari classic games and arcade games as the norm, you might remember Breakout. This title may not be much in the current gaming clime, but it was quite the star when it first launched. Designed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Breakout was a hit when it first launched in 1976. The story of the game’s design is a fascinating one. The look and the rules were defined by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow, both working at Atari Inc. at the time. The idea was birthed from Pong, the Atari title that preceded it and influenced Breakout’s gameplay.
Back in 1975, there was an engineering challenge issued at Atari to design a game with less than 50 chips to get a cash reward, and an even higher one if it could be created with less than 40 chips. This would have been an incredible feat at the time, as most games contained over 100 chips.
Allan Alcorn, having joined Atari at its formation, remembers that Steve jobs, the now president of Apple Computer) was hanging around Atari environments at the time, and he quickly made a plan to win this cash prize. With the help of his friend Steve Wozniak (who went on to design the Apple Computer, the two worked through the night for just four days to create a somewhat working program, with as few bugs as possible, that only had 45 chips. While they “got their bonus” (which Jobs kept for himself), the game used such minimized logic that it was impossible to repair.
Larry Kaplan, a designer at Atari at the time, explained why it both worked and didn’t. “Woz or Jobs liked to design things that were parallel sequential, so at a given point in time, this chip was used in one point of the circuit, and three microseconds later, it was used in a different part of the circuit. It’s a dream but impossible to debug or produce.” The aim of the game is to use a single paddle at the bottom of the screen to direct a ball at a wall of coloured bricks at the top of the screen. When the ball made contact with the brick, it would vanish, causing the ball to change speed. If a player was good, they would be able to break down the entire wall.
The classic arcade game sat in the Atari vault for 8 months before it was reworked to include 100 chips again and released in 1976. The Breakout game became a solid commercial success, with its sales skyrocketing enough to be the Atari console’s best-selling VCS. It was among the top five highest-grossing arcade video games of 1976 and among the top three of 1977. The game has endured its popularity for over 40 years since its release. Various clones have popped up over the years, such as Nintendo’s Alleyway, Namco’s Quester and the endless list of mobile games replicating it. The game was seen as the first video game that didn’t just imitate real life. Some retro games that followed in its footsteps include Pac Man, Space Invaders, Grenade Balls, and many other standard paddle controllers and coin-operated games to bring arcade gaming to the next level. Many of Apple’s own games are still modelled after Atari today.
To honour Breakout on the 37th anniversary of its release back in 2013, Google decided to implement this extraordinary Easter egg. This version is a direct inspiration of the classic game with some Google-themed aesthetics added — precisely the colour palette featuring Google’s traditional blue, red, yellow and green in a not-so-new but new game.
In this version, you can control the paddle with your keyboard or mouse. You get five lives for your attempt to generate the highest score you can achieve by breaking as many blocks as possible.
How to find the Easter Egg Atari Breakout from a Google Search
Like most Google Easter eggs, this one can also be found through a simple search for the correct term. However, there’s a slight variation you need to remember. To play this Breakout, you’ll need to type in the phrase ‘Atari Breakout’ in your Search bar on Google.com (on desktop or mobile). If you press the normal search, you’ll only get access to regular search results and resources related to the title.
The correct way to find it is by typing ‘Atari Breakout’ in the search bar and clicking on ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’. Once you’ve opened it up, it will load up a Google image search results page with various screenshots of Breakout. Don’t panic if it takes a second or two. Just watch as the results page of google images morphs into a brick wall.
There you have it! Use the arrows to play and enjoy your attempt to set a high score, adding your name to the long list of game numbers. If you look towards the address bar, you’ll also notice that it doesn’t say ‘google.com’, but rather ‘elgoog.im’.
If you’re on mobile, wait to count yourself out. You can still experience the joy of this Easter egg, just with slightly different steps required. Simply open your phone’s web browser, head over to Google, do a regular search for ‘Atari Breakout’, and tap the link from elgoog.im. This should load the game up instantly for you to enjoy.
Although some of the charms are lost in the mobile version, you’ll still enjoy an instant gaming experience inspired by the retro giants that came before our games of today right from your mobile-device browser or smartphone.
The Atari Breakout Easter egg has been a favorite of many Google users for years. It was originally added to Google Image Search in 2013 and could be accessed by searching for “Atari Breakout” and then clicking on the Images tab. However, there have been rumors that the Easter egg has been removed from Google.
The good news is that as of 2022, the Atari Breakout Easter egg is still available on Google. It’s important to note that the Easter egg may not work on every browser or device, but it’s still accessible to many users.
How do I trigger Google Atari Breakout?
To trigger the Atari Breakout Easter egg on Google, you need to follow a few simple steps. First, open Google Images on your web browser. Then, type “Atari Breakout” into the search bar and hit enter. The search results will be replaced by the game screen. You can use your mouse or keyboard to control the paddle and play the game.
Can we play Atari Breakout?
Yes, you can play Atari Breakout online, even without accessing the Easter egg on Google. There are many websites that offer free versions of the game that can be played on your computer or mobile device. Some popular websites that offer Atari Breakout and other classic games include classicgame.com, arcade-spot.com, and poki.com.
Can Atari make a comeback?
Atari has had a tumultuous history in the gaming industry. The company was once one of the biggest players in the gaming industry, but it fell on hard times in the 1980s and 1990s. However, in recent years, Atari has attempted to make a comeback with new products and games.
In 2017, the company announced the release of the Atari VCS, a new gaming console that allows users to play classic Atari games as well as newer titles. The console received mixed reviews and had a slow start, but Atari is still actively developing and promoting the platform.
Why did Atari stop making games?
Atari’s decline in the 1980s and 1990s was due to a number of factors. One of the main factors was the industry crash of 1983, which saw many game companies go out of business. Additionally, Atari’s focus on developing games for its own consoles, rather than licensing its games to other manufacturers, hurt the company’s revenue.
In the years since the crash, Atari has gone through numerous ownership changes and has struggled to stay relevant in the gaming industry. However, with its new products and a renewed focus on classic gaming, Atari may be poised for a comeback in the years to come.
Tell us, have you tried Google’s Atari Breakout Easter egg game? What are your thoughts on the Google game?