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There’s a little tennis game hiding in Google Search, and I guarantee you can’t win

Published May 23rd, 2023 12:41PM EDT
Google Pixel 6a Software
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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If you’re a tennis fan, you check scores regularly during major tournaments. You can always install various apps, but Google Search is good enough, as it’ll deliver all the live tennis scores you want. I’m not the biggest tennis fan, but I use Google Search whenever I want to check on a match. Little did I know that Google Search includes a fun little tennis game to keep you entertained. But it’s the kind of game that you can’t really win.

The unnamed tennis game that Google offers right on the Search page isn’t some sophisticated title you might have played on a console. It’s something a lot more basic that can run in any internet browser, be it on a smartphone or a desktop.

The pixel graphics and gameplay progression will remind you of Flappy Bird, an internet sensation from a few years ago. That’s because the computer will eventually win. It’ll score a point against you as it moves faster and faster, hitting that ball with more power. And you’ll want to play more to eventually score a point… if that’s even possible.

Put differently, the game can quickly become addictive because each loss gets more and more infuriating.

To play the game, simply search for a tennis tournament. At the time of this writing, I went for the Italian Open in Rome, just like the Redditors who (re)discovered this trick.

Tap the tennis ball to start the hidden game in Google Search.
Google Search tennis game: Tap the tennis ball to start the hidden game in Google Search. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

You’ll find the various game categories of the Italian Open, but you won’t care about any of that since the tournament is over. You’ll want to scroll to the right all the way past Women’s Doubles and tap the green tennis ball.

Once that happens, the following screen will load. Just tap and hold to serve, and then keep moving left and right to return the ball.

Tap and hold/swipe to serve, and then keep swiping to move from left to right.
Tap and hold/swipe to serve, and then keep swiping to move from left to right. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Whatever you do, don’t lift your finger from the phone’s screen. Try to guess where the other player will send the ball and move accordingly. Be fast, too, as the player you’re up against will send over faster and faster balls as the game progresses.

When you lose, Google will tell you your score.
When you lose, Google will tell you your score. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

I haven’t been able to score a single point, although it’s unclear if it’s possible to score a point. You lose when the computer scores, at which point you’ll get your score and your high score. The game’s purpose might be to go as high as you can.

One Redditor got to 27, which appears to be the highest score in that thread. I reached 16 after a few tries and then had to pause and breathe. Another Redditor claims to have actually scored a point, but it’s unclear if he or she was telling the truth.

You can play the game on a PC in a browser, but it’s not the same experience. You’ll have to use the left and right keyboard arrows, and that’s not as fast as swiping your finger around on the smartphone screen.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.