Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Google plays Pac-Man

It is a dark day for productivity in offices everywhere.

Google is honoring the 30th anniversary of the classic video game Pac-Man with a "Google Doodle" logo that doubles as a fully playable version of the game, complete with what I remember as the correct sound effects. Just click the "Insert Coin" button to start playing, use your keyboard's cursor keys to navigate around a maze that includes a version of Google's logo--and, then, if you came of age in 1980s, watch as familiar reflexes take hold.


This is easily the greatest homage to Namco's arcade classic since a bunch of overactive NYU students staged a live version of the game around Washington Square Park called--what else?--Pac-Manhattan.

A Google blog post notes that this is the Mountain View, Calif., company's first playable Google Doodle, advises that it's around for the next two days and explains how to activate a hidden feature--bringing Ms. Pac-Man into the game.

I found it was too difficult to control Ms. Pac-Man with the W, A, S and D keys while steering around her mate with the cursor keys, but it's been a long time since I played Pac-Man in any form. How'd that work for you? Have you found any other Easter eggs in the game?

And here's a link to the Google Pac Man game.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  May 21, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  Digital culture  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: An expanding Android universe
Next: Facebook, MySpace leaked user data to advertisers


Given the relevance of Google web app store, is it the first web app to be on :)

Posted by: hellow | May 21, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I posted a mention of it on Facebook, and I think I got more "likes" and comments about it than anything I've posted in quite a while. Waka-waka-waka-waka...

Posted by: joseph4 | May 21, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

This is WAY cool! I discovered it earlier while using the google. But it's nice to know about the arrow keys (I had been using the mouse) and about the Ms.

Eat your heart out, Bing!

Posted by: tjconnor | May 21, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to date myself now.
The 2 restaurants in our town which had Pac-Man consoles are long gone.
Many an hour I spent playing in competition with other regulars.
We'd go have supper, and after I'd had a glass of wine, I'd say to my husband, "Do you have a quarter?"
He knew -- we'd laugh.
Not long ago, I cleaned out the console in my van and deep down at the bottom was a roll of quarters, bank-wrapped.
Guess what they were there for? :-)
At noon today, my husband called:
"Go to for just a minute."
I did and saw the game and we began to laugh.
He asked if I knew why it was up there.
I did know -- this was Pac-Man's 30th birthday.
I heard about it yesterday.
I miss the social camraderie we used to have.
Those were the daze :-)

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | May 21, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I cant believe its been 30 years. Seems like yesterday!


Posted by: clermontpc | May 21, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And interestingly, Google did NOT use Flash to create this web game. It shows up on iPhone and iPad.

Posted by: Aldebaran0463 | May 21, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe I'm older than Pac-Man!

I spent countless hours playing this as a kid, aaah the 80s, a simpler time....

Posted by: bookworm333 | May 21, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It is surprisingly buggy. After eating a power pill, sometimes my pacman passes right through the ghosts.

Posted by: slar | May 21, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

This was a great Friday afternoon distraction. Now where's 5:30...I'm ready for the weekend!

Posted by: venus31 | May 21, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@Aldebaran0463: Excellent point! Should have noted that myself. The game plays--slowly--on an older Android phone too.

- RP

Posted by: Rob Pegoraro | May 21, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

So much fun. I automatically went for the arrow keys so I had a lot of fun. I saw the doodle but didn't know it was a game until I saw about 10 of my Facebook friends post about it. Yay Google!

Posted by: elnicho | May 21, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't do pac and ms pac by myself, but I got a friend and did them as a 2 player...

Posted by: didnik | May 21, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Never would have guessed it wasn't written in Flash and thus available on the iPhone; wonder if Steve Jobs has tried it out.

Posted by: cue928 | May 21, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Pass. I played Tempest. The only video game I really liked and was good at.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | May 21, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Rob, has anyone mentioned this as a virus? I downloaded Cisco's .arf player yesterday, and the moment I opened it [or restarted Firefox], I suddenly heard the Pacman theme over and over, yet saw nothing relevant on the screen. My homepage is, so I wondered whether the game loaded in the background even though I couldn't see it onscreen.
Oddly enough, someone online said the solution was to uninstall CoolPreviews. I did and that worked, but...why?

Posted by: dude11 | May 22, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

ACTUALLY the google homepage DOES USE FLASH. the audio is streamed through flash, which is i think a secret slap in apple's face. that's why your ipad and iphone versions aren't working correctly, also it uses wasd for player 2.

Posted by: alex66 | May 22, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: celsovasquez59 | May 22, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

عيد ميلاد سعيد من اكلة الجبنة رقم مشجع واحد

Posted by: ozpunk | May 22, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I emailed them right away...the default was set to play audio and there was no icon to mute it.. By the end of the day it had changed to "insert coin" resulted in audio. The noise sounded like an alarm of some kind.

Posted by: tbva | May 23, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company