Google teamed up with Japanese animation house Studio 4°C to create a series of 16-bit minigames patterned after some of the summer Olympic events like table tennis, skateboarding, archery, and rugby.
Google launched the “Doodle Champion Island Games” Olympics-themed minigames on the search engine’s main page on Friday (July 23), in time for the Games’ opening ceremony.
Against all odds, Japan carries on with the Games and so Google teamed up with Japanese animation house Studio 4°C to create a series of 16-bit minigames after some of the summer Olympic events like table tennis, skateboarding, archery, and rugby.
Google also released a five-minute video of behind-the-scenes interviews with the creators on how they came up with the concept, design, and story for one of the biggest Google Doodle.
“The story follows Lucky the Ninja Cat arriving on an island where a festival is being held,” said Director Takahiro Tanaka. “There are a variety of sports challenges happening at this festival.”
On Google’s main page, anyone can play as Lucky and challenge the different champions of each of the seven games in the festival with only your arrow keys and spacebar.
Other than Lucky being a calico ninja cat, the other characters are also designed after animals, imaginary beings, legendary and historical figures from the Japanese culture such as the kappa, a tengu, and Nasu no Yoichi.
“I want folks from other countries to become interested in knowing more about these characters’ stories as a catalyst for people to learn something new about Japanese history and culture,” Takahiro added.
Like some of Google’s recent Doodle games, player scores will be tracked on a global leaderboard. Players get to choose their team from Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green and see their team’s scores after they’ve completed all games.
Google had aimed for old-school video games popularized by Japan in the past and also for Doodle players to enjoy the Games in the virtual world.
Because of the pandemic, the Olympic events will be held without any spectators cheering for and motivating the athletes.
In a way, playing the Doodle Champion Island Games will let people around the world celebrate the Games and gain an appreciation for the sports as well as the Japanese culture from their homes.
Tags: #GoogleDoodle, #onlinegames, #TokyoOlympics, #Studio4C