Google's latest multiplayer game is set to appear on the company's search page on Sunday and pays homage to Petanque, a sport similar to bocce and lawn bowling. Invented in the South of France in 1907, Petanque is a leisure activity played by friends, as well as a competitive sport played around the world.
Google's version features dueling black and green olives. You can check it out now on Google's doodle page. But first, you might want to read on for some tips, then you can click the link at the end of the article.
As in bocce or lawn bowling, the object of Petanque is to roll (or throw) your metal boule (or ball) as close to the cochonnet (target ball) as you can. In Google's game the player with the ball closest to the target at the end of each round scores more points. The match, which can be played singles or doubles style, gets more interesting when you use your ball to push your opponent's ball away and position yours next to the target.
And like any game of skill and strategy, this one takes a bit of tutelage, so Google has a primer to help you get started. As explained in the game's intro, you place your cursor on or behind the ball, click your mouse button, pull back and then release the button to let the ball fly.
But beware: The farther you pull back, the farther the ball will travel, and it's not hard to overshoot your target, so take advantage of the practice round. The game also gives you an arrow guide to show you the general direction your ball will travel.
Pro tip: Pulling the cursor below the ball will deliver more of an arc to the ball's movement, while a medium pull above the ball tends to produce more of a rolling action, keeping the ball on the ground.
You get one point for every ball that's closer to the target than your opponent's. The player who's farther out in the first round goes first in the second round, while the player who scored first opens the third round. The player with the most points after three rounds is the winner.
You can choose to play with friends, strangers or just practice by yourself.