Google’s Halloween doodle arrived a day yesterday — giving trick-or-treaters extra time to beat Google’s Magic Cat Academy game that now resides on the home page.
Players are instructed to draw simple shapes on the screen to scare away ghosts creeping toward Momo, the cat-magician casting spells at the center of the game.
According to the Google Doodle Blog, the development of the game involved four different teams — art, engineering, production, and an “extra help” group that produced the music. Players navigate through five different levels of Magic Cat Academy — all set in a school environment — racing against time to swipe away ghosts headed toward Momo.
Google says it started with numerous ideas of elaborate symbols to draw, but in the end, decided a “short game against the clock” was a better option.
“Plans like the ‘Eiffel Tower spell’ were abandoned, and similarly, gag spells didn’t make the cut,” says Google, “Regardless, we loved the process of dreaming up the possibilities.” The Doodle team shared the following early mock-up of the game:
So far, I’ve only made it to level three — but, I’m not much of gamer, so my results are not the best measure of the game’s difficulty. At the end of the game, players are given the option to share it via social channels or email, and the search icon leads to results for a “Halloween” query.
Google says the game was inspired by an actual cat named Momo, who belongs to Doodler Juliana Chen. You can read more about early versions of the game and see a picture of the actual cat behind Magic Cat Academy at: Google’s Halloween 2016 Doodle.