Google is once again up to their usual antics with a new Easter Egg. In celebration of the 37-year-old arcade game Breakout, the search giant takes us on a trip down memory game by allowing Google Image Search users to play the hit Atari game right within their browser.
To activate the hidden feature, simply navigate to Google Images and perform a search for Atari Breakout. Small thumbnails of the search results are used as the blocks in the game. If you clear all of the blocks in a series, you’ll move on to new levels that use random photos instead. Naturally, users are invited to share their score with others via Google+.
If you are unfamiliar, Breakout is an arcade game developed by Atari in April 1976. The title, marketed as a single player version of Pong that uses a ball to smash bricks, was conceptualized by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow. A young Steve Jobs was tasked with creating a prototype of the game which he promised would be ready in just four days.
Jobs offered to split his $750 earnings with Steve Wozniak, a Hewlett-Packard employee at the time. The Woz was known for being able to produce designs with a small number of chips. Based on Jobs’ description, Wozniak finished the prototype in four days time using only 42 TLL (transistor-transistor logic) chips.
Unfortunately Atari was unable to use Wozniak’s design as it was too compact and too complicated to manufacture. Instead they went with a version that used 100 TTL chips. The gameplay, however, was identical to the version that Wozniak produced.