The History and Impact of the Snake Game Google Doodle

The History and Impact of the Snake Game Google Doodle


In 2010, Google celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of the original snake game with a fun Google doodle that allowed users to play the classic game right on the Google homepage. The snake game Google doodle was an instant hit, introducing a new generation to the simple yet addictive gameplay that has been a seminal part of video game history for decades.

The Origins of Snake

Snake traces its origins back to the 1976 arcade game Blockade, which involved maneuvering a line segment around a playing field while avoiding obstacles and walls. This core concept was built upon and popularized in 1978 with the release of the Snakes video game.

Snakes took the idea of Blockade and added elements like growing the snake by eating dots placed throughout the playing area. This helped establish the formula for snake mechanics and gameplay that later iterations and clones would follow.

Over the next couple decades, many developers cloned, copied and created variations of Snake gameplay, with it showing up on graphing calculators, older Nokia cell phones, and more. By 2010, snake had cemented itself as one of the most classic, iconic video games in history.

Why Google Honored Snake

Given snake’s importance and longevity in video game history, Google decided it more than deserved its own spotlight on the Google doodle for its 30th anniversary. The Google snake game doodle brought the classic gameplay to the masses by integrating it directly into the Google homepage.

The doodle served not only to celebrate snake but also to educate and introduce users, especially younger ones, to one of the games that helped form the foundation for so much of modern gaming. The simple, no frills gameplay requires players to navigate tight spaces to grow their snake while avoiding their ever-growing body. With no buttons beyond basic directional controls, snake captures video gaming in its purest and most minimal form.

The doodle helped convey why snake has managed to maintain relevance and popularity over so many years and platforms, standing the test of time better than almost any game in history.

Impact and Legacy

The Google doodle highlighting the 30th anniversary of snake left a massive impact that can still be felt today. Over the course of just 48 hours, the doodle cemented itself as one of the most popular Google doodles in history, driving over a billion pageviews.

In many ways, the doodle introduced snake to a new generation and kickstarted an entirely new wave of interest and nostalgia. Developers and studios took notice of the doodle’s popularity, inspired to revisit the game and help carry its legacy into the modern age across mobile games, apps, and more.

The Google doodle forever associated Google’s brand and history with that of one of gaming’s most seminal titles. Over a decade later, it still stands as a testament not just to snake itself but to the ability for video games to connect and engage audiences across generations through simple yet captivating interactive experiences. It serves as a pillar in Google doodle history, highlighting one iconic brand honoring another.

Breakdown of Gameplay Mechanics

The gameplay itself that the Google doodle allowed users to access boiled snake down to its absolute basics. The objective, as in traditional snake games, is to navigate and grow the snake as large as possible without running into walls or the snake’s own tail. This requires understanding some key gameplay mechanics:


Users can only maneuver the snake in four cardinal directions using the arrow keys or WASD buttons. Mastering fluid movement is essential for avoiding dangerous collisions.


When the snake’s head runs over a dot, the snake grows longer, with the size of the snake correlating to the player’s score. Larger snakes become increasingly difficult to control.

Loss Conditions

If the snake hits the screen border or its own tail, the game ends. Understanding how to leverage the entire screen while avoiding an ever-present tail becomes key.

By breaking gameplay down into these simplified systems centering on movement, growth and loss conditions, snake captures video gaming elegance at its finest.


Over a decade later, the snake game doodle’s legacy endures as one of Google’s standout interactive offerings. For 48 hours, Google users got to experience one of gaming’s most important and iconic titles, helping introduce snake to a new generation of gamers. It represented an historic intersection between two pioneering brands in tech and games while highlighting what makes snake such a timeless classic. The doodle forever cemented the simplicity and appeal of snake in the annals of video game history.






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