Google has been creating elaborate April Fools' Day jokes for nearly 20 years, dating back to 2000

By Dave Quinn
April 01, 2019 02:10 PM
The Google Inc. logo hangs illuminated over the company's exhibition stand at the Dmexco digital marketing conference in Cologne, Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Dmexco is a two-day global business and digital economy innovation platform, attracting the industry's most important personalities and corporate decision-makers. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It’s April Fools’ Day, and that means that companies everywhere are trying to figure out their best ways to prank unsuspecting readers online — tricking them into believing everything from new menu offerings (like the McDonald’s milkshake sauce pots) to outrageous new features (Tinder claims to have a new height verification feature coming to solve the problem of men lying about how tall they are).

Of course, none of that beats Google, which has for years now have tried to outdo everyone else in the space with a handful of outrageous hoaxes and hilarious jokes.

This year, the tech giants have topped even themselves.

Over on Google Maps, they’ve reimagined the classic game Snake — introduced back in the day on the early Nokia cell phones — for a whole new generation. Interested players need just download or open the Google Maps app in Android or iOS, where a Snake icon in the top left corner of their menu will launch the game (for those without the app, there’s also a standalone desktop site).

The goal is to pick up as many passengers or landmarks as possible without hitting the edges (or yourself). Cities including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo are all at play.


That’s not the only classic game Google has reimagined for April Fools’ Day.

Over on Google Calendar, they’ve rebuilt Space Invaders, creating a shooting game where calendar appointments fall down from the top of the screen.

“The game you’re about to play teaches you how to clear your schedule,” Google jokes on the intro message to the game, which can be found by clicking the gear icon and choosing “Play a Game” in the drop-down option. “Clear your meetings one by one with laser sharp precision.”

They didn’t stop there.

Other April Fools’ pranks include the introduction of Google Tulip (a device from the Netherlands that translates the “Tulipish” language the plants understand so that users can communicate with them); the Gboard Spoon Bending Version (a gadget from Japan that lets users input characters by bending a spoon); Spring Cleaner (a feature in the Files by Google app for Android that will actually “wash away smudges and polish” your physical screen); and a new service extension for Google Fi’s cellular service — the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

All were met with their own level of excitement from fans on social media.

Google Maps’ April Fools’ Day game is Snake! Awesome!” wrote one of the Snake game.

Another Google enthusiast added, “Well, there goes my productivity.”

I love when a company gets creative on April Fools,” said a fan on Twitter, linking to Google Tulip.

I wish all my houseplants gave me that reminder!” journalist Vanessa Ruffes of FOX-13 quipped.