Tokyo Olympics: How to play Google's Doodle Championship Island Games
The game puts players in the shoes of Lucky, the Calico Ninja Cat, who competes in seven mini-games on the epomynous island in a spectacular homage to the Games
In celebration of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Google debuted a new interactive Doodle on Thursday, July 22. Working with Japanese animation house Studio 4°C -- founded by Eiko Tanaka and Koji Morimoto in 1986 -- Google created Doodle Champion Island Games, a full-blown video game inspired by the style of 16-bit RPGs like Pokemon.
The game puts players in the shoes of a character named Lucky, the Calico Ninja Cat. She lands on the eponymous island and has to explore it and compete in seven mini-games, in a spectacular homage to the Olympics.
How does one play (and win) Doodle Champion Island Games?
As per Google, in the game, we have to “join calico athlete Lucky as she explores Doodle Champion Island: a world filled with seven sports mini-games, legendary opponents, dozens of daring side quests, and a few new (and old ;)) friends. Her ultimate goal? Defeat each sport Champion to collect all seven sacred scrolls -- and complete extra hidden challenges across Champion Island in the purrr-ocess.”
Playing as Lucky, one can join either the Blue, Red, Yellow, or Green teams, represented by Ushi (a cow), Karasu (a crow), Inari (a fox), or Kappa (a Japanese turtle-like water spirit), respectively. There’s a global leaderboard that shows which team is winning.
The objective is to find the “champions” of each sport and challenge them to minigames. These champions are inspired by Japanese history and folklore. They are Tengu, Tanuki, Yoichi, The Oni, Princess Otohime, Fukuro, and The Kijimuna.
In total, there are seven minigames, including table tennis, rugby, running, swimming, and climbing - Lucky has to collect seven sacred scrolls. There are also side quests. As per MercuryNews, if you click on the compass, it gives you a map and shows your progress in the game. If you need to cut your session short, you can close your browser and it will return to where you left off.
Google has a history of going the extra mile with its doodles, especially when celebrating something that’s both of global and local significance. It all started in 1998. As per Time magazine, when Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were headed to Nevada’s Burning Man festival in August of 1998, they wanted users and employees to know they wouldn’t be at the search engine’s helm for a while. They decided to replace the second ‘O’ in Google’s homepage logo with a stick figure resembling the festival’s logo. “It was a little bit of a joke,” Jessica Yu, the Google Doodle team lead said. “It has definitely evolved a lot since then.”
It would be two years before another Google Doodle happened. The second design celebrated France’s Bastille Day on July 14, 2000. Dennis Hwang, an intern at the time who later became the chief designer for Doodles, was tasked with creating the design. “In the early years, it was a controversial thing to do,” Hwang said of altering the company’s logo. “If you read any kind of corporate marketing or branding textbook, the one thing they tell you is to make your corporate branding consistent no matter what. But Larry and Sergey said, ‘Why not? We should have fun with this.'”