Google is celebrating the spooky season with its own Halloween Doodle that is sure to raise a smile.
The tech giant often celebrates the holiday in its own unique way, and this year’s no different, with the company delivering a cutesy browser game that is surprisingly satisfying to play.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is this year's Halloween Doodle?
This year’s Halloween Doodle is actually a sequel to a similar one which debuted a few years ago.
Diehard Doodle fans will remember the Magic Cat Academy, which was first shown off as part of Google’s Halloween celebrations in 2016.
That quirky game had you playing as freshman feline Momo on a mission to rescue her friends from the school of magic, and this year's offering treads a similar narrative.
This time there's more of a watery theme however, with restless spirits haunting the oceans and Momo donning her breathing apparatus to take her spell-casting to the briny blue.
How do I play it?
The game is deceptively simple, though proves a worthy distraction thanks to responsive controls and eye-catching animations.
As Momo, it’s your job to cast out the mischievous spirits by using your mouse to swipe in the shape of the symbols above the ghosts’ heads before they get too close to you.
Things start off easy enough, but before long you’ll be battling hordes of aquatic apparitions with increasingly complex symbols above their spectral heads.
It's a perfectly cutesy way to waste a few minutes of your Halloween, and kids are especially likely to get a kick out of the game.
What’s the story behind the game?
Momo, the real life inspiration behind the game (Photo: Google)
The game begins with a short animated sequence, recounting the heroic events of the previous entry.
Momo and her friends are celebrating the retrieval of the master spellbook, when over their shoulders, ghosts flood the seas.
Wasting no time, our hero pounces into action as a friend casts a protective bubble around her, allowing her to breathe underwater.
Momo the cat was actually inspired by a real-life black cat of the same name belonging to a member of the development team.
The first game’s initial concept involved a magic cat making a soup that was so good it raised the dead – though connecting soup to Halloween “proved too abstract”, and the idea was changed.
"That’s all for meow,” says Google. “We hope that every human, creature, and ghost has a purrfectly magical day.”
What other Google games can I play?
The latest Momo the cat adventure joins a large library of browser games that Google has given us over the years.
Older playable Doodles are even making a comeback in the midst of coronavirus. Google’s own archive allows you to go back and relive any Doodle from history, and as people’s tedium reaches new levels, they’re digging out the ‘classics’.
The first ever playable Doodle commemorated the 30th birthday of Pac-Man, brightening up the day for office workers across the world, and Google gave users the chance to celebrate the 78th birthday of Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, by recording and saving songs on an animated replica of his famous creation.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Scotsman