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Dinosaur Game

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Dinosaur Game
Chromium T-Rex-error-offline.png
The Lonely T-Rex
Developer(s)Google
Designer(s)Sebastien Gabriel, Alan Bettes, Edward Jung
Platform(s)Google Chrome
Release2014
Genre(s)Endless running game

The Dinosaur Game (also known as the Chrome Dino)[1] is a browser game developed by Google and built into the Google Chrome web browser. The player guides a pixelated Tyrannosaurus rex across a side-scrolling landscape, avoiding obstacles to achieve a higher score. The game was created by members of the Chrome UX team in 2014.

Gameplay[edit]

Nighttime graphics in the game

When a user attempts to navigate to a web page on Google Chrome while being offline, the browser notifies the user that they are not connected to the Internet, with an illustration of a pixelated Tyrannosaurus rex shown on the page.[2] The game can then be launched either by pressing space or on desktop, or by tapping the dinosaur on Android or iOS mobile devices. Additionally, the game can be accessed by inputting chrome://dino or chrome://network-error/-106 into the Omnibox.[3]

During the game, the Lonely T-Rex continuously moves from left to right across a black-and-white desert landscape, with the player attempting to avoid oncoming obstacles such as cacti and Pteranodons by jumping or ducking.[4] Pressing space, , or tapping the dinosaur on mobile devices will cause the dinosaur to "jump", while pressing the key will cause the dinosaur to "duck". As the game progresses, the speed of play gradually increases until the user hits an obstacle, prompting an instant game over.

Once the player reaches around 700 points, the game switches from dark gray graphics on a white background to pale gray graphics on a black background, representing a shift from day to night, with daytime sky graphics also becoming nighttime sky graphics.[a] The color scheme then alternates as the game progresses.[5][6] The game was designed to reach its maximum score after approximately 17 million years of playtime, in reference to how long the T-Rex existed before it went extinct during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.[7]

If a network administrator disables the Dinosaur Game, an error message appears when attempting to play the game, which features an image of a meteor heading towards the Lonely T-Rex.[8]

Development[edit]

The game over header and restart button after the player runs into a cactus

The game was created by members of the Chrome UX team in 2014, which consisted of Sebastien Gabriel, Alan Bettes, and Edward Jung.[9] Gabriel designed the player character, named the "Lonely T-Rex".[2] During development, the game was given the codename "Project Bolan", in reference to Marc Bolan, the lead singer of the T. Rex band. The developers chose the dinosaur theme as a reference to the game's function, a joke that not having an internet connection is equivalent to living in the "prehistoric ages". The game was released in September 2014; initially, it did not work on older devices, so the code was updated and re-released in December of the same year.[10] The pteranodons were added as obstacles with a browser update in 2015.[11]

In September 2018, an Easter egg was added to the game in celebration of Chrome's 10th birthday and the game's fourth birthday, with a birthday cake appearing in the desert and a birthday hat appearing on the Lonely T-Rex if the cake is "eaten".[12] In November of the same year, Google introduced a feature to save the player's high score.[13] The game's source code is available on the Chromium site.[14]

In 2021, Google introduced a widget in March for iOS 14 which led players to chrome://dino;[15] a similar widget was introduced to Android later that year.[16] In July, an Easter egg for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics simulating various Olympic activities was added.[17]

Reception[edit]

The game received widespread recognition, with the creators revealing in September 2018 that approximately 270 million games were played monthly.[7]

Related media[edit]

In May 2020, a Microsoft Edge update added Surf, a game where players control a surfer attempting to evade obstacles and collect powerups. Like the Dinosaur Game, it is accessible from an error page when the browser is offline. The game allows for character customization and multiple control schemes.[18]

In August 2020, MSCHF and 100 Thieves partnered to create a modified version of the game titled Dino Swords, which featured a small arsenal of weapons and time-slowing pills; when mismanaged, the weapons could backfire and harm the dinosaur.[19]

A 2022 episode of The Simpsons, "Habeas Tortoise", contained a reference to the Dinosaur Game, in the form of an opening sequence "couch gag" in which the Simpson family are in the Google Chrome "No internet" page and jump over cacti to get to the couch.[20][21][22]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Using a device in dark mode will start the game with the same nighttime graphics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Li, Abner (May 10, 2021). "Chrome 90 for iPhone rolling out with search, Dino widgets". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on May 10, 2021. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Tumblison, Craig (March 7, 2014). "Interview with Sebastien Gabriel, a Google Chrome Visual Designer". OMG! Chrome!. Archived from the original on March 26, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Biersdorfer, J. D. (November 14, 2017). "When Dinosaurs Roam in Chrome". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 15, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Roshan, Azar (August 5, 2017). "Google Easter Eggs: 15+ Best Google Easter Eggs & Google Tricks 2017". Feeds You Need. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  5. ^ Sneddon, Joey-Elijah (September 25, 2014). "This is Chrome's Newest Easter Egg. And It's Awesome". OMG! Chrome!. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  6. ^ Matos, Clinton (May 20, 2016). "Google Chrome's offline "Dinosaur Game" now has a day-night cycle". Hypertext. Archived from the original on May 21, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "As the Chrome dino runs, we caught up with the Googlers who built it". The Keyword. September 6, 2018. Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "How to disable Dinosaur game in Google Chrome when device is offline". The Windows Club. March 31, 2021. Archived from the original on March 31, 2021. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Dinosaur Game". Poki. Archived from the original on August 12, 2020. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  10. ^ Hughes, Matthew (September 7, 2018). "4 years later, Google finally explains the origins of its Chrome dinosaur game". TheNextWeb. Archived from the original on April 11, 2021. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  11. ^ Sneddon, Joey-Elijah (June 18, 2015). "Chrome's Hidden Dinosaur Game Just Got Even Better". OMG! Chrome!. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  12. ^ Torres, JC (September 4, 2018). "Chrome T-Rex offline game parties with birthday hat, cake". SlashGear. Archived from the original on September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  13. ^ Kerns, Taylor (November 30, 2018). "Show off your Chrome dino-game skills with the arrival of cross-device high score sync". Android Police. Archived from the original on December 1, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  14. ^ Agarwal, Amit (October 26, 2015). "Play the Dinosaur Game Hidden inside your Google Chrome". Digital Inspiration. Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  15. ^ Abrams, Lawrence (April 17, 2021). "Google is adding its Dinosaur Game as an iPhone widget". Bleeping Computer. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  16. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (July 19, 2021). "Android is getting a homescreen widget for Chrome's famous 'Dino Run' game". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  17. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (July 21, 2021). "Chrome's Dino Run game gains in-depth Tokyo Olympics easter egg". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on July 21, 2021. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  18. ^ Warren, Tom (February 26, 2020). "Microsoft is adding a secret SkiFree-like surfing game into its Edge browser". The Verge. Archived from the original on April 14, 2022. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  19. ^ Alexander, Julia (August 24, 2020). "Google's Dinosaur browser game gets a dope mod that includes double swords". The Verge. Archived from the original on August 24, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  20. ^ Wang, Jules (September 26, 2022). "The Simpsons run Chrome's offline desert gauntlet in latest couch gag". Android Police. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  21. ^ Li, Abner (September 26, 2022). "'The Simpsons' 'couch gag' pays tribute to Chrome Dino game". 9to5Google. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  22. ^ Reichert, Corinne. "The Simpsons Season 34 Opening Couch Gag Pays Homage to Chrome's T-Rex Game". CNET. Retrieved September 27, 2022.