Google birthday doodle strikes again

For its 15th birthday, the search giant has returned from the party store with a candy-filled piñata to hang on its home page.

Google birthday doodle
Another Google birthday doodle swings into action. Google/Screenshot by CNET

It's a truth universally acknowledged: the older someone gets, the harder it can be to come up with a fresh birthday idea. So it is with Google.

For its 15th birthday , the search giant has returned from the party store with a candy-filled piñata to hang on its home page. It's a celebratory flourish Google has used before -- a piñata also graced the page for the company's ninth birthday.

But this is no ordinary regifting. Where the piñata in 2007 was (apparently) static, though it cleverly incorporated the numeral 9, this year's pinata swings into action. It's a miniature video game.

Set it in motion, and the second O becomes a star-shaped piñata, while the second G dons a blindfold and wields a stick. Using your space bar or your mouse, you can spur that G to swing away at the piñata -- which picks up speed as you strike it. You'll have 10 swings to knock pieces of candy free from the battered target before the game ends -- it doesn't matter whether they're hits or misses. Try again (and again and again) if you're hopeful to set a new personal best.

Fun and games and empty calories are all well and good, but if you're still hungry for more on this Google birthday, consider these entrees:

• Google celebrates 15 years of its biggest product: You
• At 15, Google's ambitions remain unbridled
• Easter egg lets you Google like it's 1998

Correction at 8:42 a.m. PT:The game ends after 10 swings at the piñata. It is not time-limited.

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