Take a crack at this playable Google Doodle and see if you can win at pétanque

bocce, pétanque, tomayto, tomahto

A lot of cultures have this game where you aim and launch stones to try and get them as close to a target as possible while trying to block your opponent’s stones from doing the same. You might be familiar with bocce, lawn bowling, or even curling, but in France, they call it pétanque and an upcoming Google Doodle lets us play a game or two. Or, uh, twenty-three. Look, TikTok isn’t for me, okay?


The doodle is set to go live tomorrow, but the Google Doodles blog (via 9to5Google) has all of the illustrations that you’ll see with it along with a playable 3D game of pétanque that you can parttake in against a friend or some strangers. Green and purple olives pit themselves against each other (ugh, these things write themselves) in getting steel balls or boules right up to the target ball or cochonnet. The most proximate boules from one team to rest near the cochonnet each score one point. The score ranging goes as far as to the opponent’s closest boule. While in most traditional games the teams would play to 13 points, the doodle game’s matches last three rounds.

I’ve had a lot more trouble getting consistent throws on the mobile doodle — users need to consider both their swipe force as well as the rest position of their finger. It’s way too easy to go wayward, especially if you happen to have an unfortunate hook like I do. One tip I have is to do a simple downward flick instead of faffing around with the pad of your finger. But in any case, you’re much better off playing the desktop version which lets you click on the boule to sling it back and give it a real trajectory. There’s a singles and doubles mode, so if you and three friends are particularly antsy in your office or home cubicle, you all might want to try this out. It’ll be available for as long as the Doodles blog is alive.

By the way, I mentioned curling up in the intro and it turns out that Google also had an animated doodle — one in a series called “Snow Games” that ran during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea — featuring a turtle sliding themselves and hitting the button. Google also had a playable doodle last year styled after an RPG.

Alright, anyone hungry for tapenade?

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