Google Doodle has always been an entertaining form of a news reporter, presenting fun images and activities that commemorate holidays and anniversaries. Today, with the unrelenting spirits of the Tokyo Olympics, Google surely has to do something to remind the universe. Doodle Champion Island Games is born with that purpose. Developed by Google and animation studio, STUDIO 4°C, it is a never-before-seen interactive JRPG set to celebrate the Tokyo Olympics in virtual.
Over the weeks, you’ll join calico athlete Lucky’s adventure in Doodle Champion Island, a place filled with seven sporting contests, legendary opponents and dozens of daring side quests. The ultimate goal is rather intuitive: conquer the seven challenges. By completing each of them, you’ll be given a scroll that signifies your success. In addition to the main storyline, branches of hidden challenges are waiting for you to discover.
The main games include table tennis, skateboarding, archery, rugby, artistic swimming, climbing and a marathon. In behind-the-scenes footage, the developers shared that the goal is to produce “something that people across all ages could relate.” The main takeaway for people, instead of the pure celebration of the Olympics, is the joy acquired through these relaxing mini-games.
Doodle Champion Island Games is also an incarnation of Japanese culture. All the allies, opponents and even mascots are outlined by well-known folktales from all over Japan. For example, archery depicts Nasu no Yoichi, a 12th-century samurai famed for his legendary aim with a bow. And the combination of Tengu and table tennis is also an interesting adaptation of the culture since Tengu always swings a fan, which is somewhat like a paddle. The in-game scenes are also culturally influenced. As the artists said in the Q&A, “we also hoped to convey the rich and diverse natural beauty of the country, including underwater, sandy tropical beaches, forests, and snowy mountains.”
Unlike usual Doodles that are only available for one day, Doodle Champion Island Games will remain playable for almost 20 days (until August 8).