Google Assistant packs a lot of useful voice commands, but then so did Google Now. Assistant sets itself apart by also including some of the fun stuff Google is usually known for. These are some of the most fun and entertaining features you can find in Google Assistant on your phone, smart watch, or Google Home.
To play with any of these games, you’ll need Google Assistant, which isn’t available everywhere. You’ll need Android 6.0 or higher on phones, Android Wear 2.0 on smart watches, or Google Home. Google Assistant also works a little differently based on what device you’re using, so we’ll note where these games do and don’t work.
Play a Trivia Game Show With I’m Feeling Lucky
Platforms: Phones, Google Home
Activation phrase: “I’m feeling lucky” or “play lucky trivia”
Google’s trademark I’m Feeling Lucky button might be totally pointless ever since instant search results removed the need to click anything, but the phrase has found a new home. Tell Google Assistant “I’m feeling lucky” and you’ll trigger a trivia game complete with an old-school game show announcer voice. You and a few friends can each play, taking turns answering trivia questions while Google gives you funny nicknames like Bubbles or Cupcake.
Answer Your Burning Questions With Crystal Ball
Platform: Phones, Google Home
Activation phrase: “Crystal ball”
If you’ve ever played with a Magic 8-Ball, you can probably guess how this will work. Start the crystal ball game with Google by saying “crystal ball” and Assistant will tell you to ask it a question like, “Will the new Thor movie be the best Marvel movie of all time?” Google will then respond by giving you an answer like, “Of course.” The answers are randomized…or pre-ordained and always accurate, depending on how much faith you want to put into Google.
Play a Game of Mad Libs
Platform: Phones, Google Home
Activation phrase: “Mad libs”
Anyone who took a road trip before the advent of handheld games or smartphones remembers playing Mad Libs. For any new arrivals to the world, Mad Libs is a game where you provide words of a certain type, like “noun” or “verb.” Then, someone else fills those words into a story. The result is about 30 seconds of slightly silly fun before you go back to asking how much longer until the next rest stop. Google Assistant streamlines the game, filling in all the blanks for you without letting anyone see the story ahead of time. As an added bonus, Google’s voice-to-text gets your response wrong every once in a while (especially if you’re giggling while you speak), and the misinterpretations can be be even funnier than your real suggestions.
Relax With an Ambient Noise Generator
Platform: Google Home
Activation phrase: “help me relax”
While not technically a game, this little feature of Google Home is soothing enough to become a regular fixture. Simply say “Ok Google, help me relax” to get a random ambient noise stream—like the sound of the ocean or a crackling fireplace—for the next hour. You can also ask for a specific sound if you have a favorite. According to Google, you can ask for the following sounds:
- Relaxing sounds
- Nature sounds
- Water sounds
- Running water sounds
- Outdoor sounds
- Babbling brook sounds
- Country night sounds
- Oscillating fan sounds
- Fireplace sounds
- Forest sounds
- Ocean sounds
- Rain sounds
- River sounds
- Thunderstorm sounds
- White noise
By default, these sounds will play for an hour, but you can customize how long they play. For example, you can say “Ok Google, play running water sounds for two hours.” You can also ask “Ok Google, play an ambient noise for two hours” to get a randomized noise for however long you want.
Curiously, the ambient noise generator only works on Google Home. If you make the same request of Google Assistant on your phone or watch, Google will search for whichever ambient noise you asked for on your preferred music streaming service. Of course, there’s probably some nature sounds albums on Spotify or Play Music, too. So, the effect will be about the same, but Google’s first-party ambient noise generator is exclusive to Google Home.
Play With a Slew of Smaller Mini-Games
Google’s always adding new Easter eggs and fun touches to their products, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there are a bunch more hidden in Google Assistant. Here are some of the most fun things you can say to Google that aren’t really full games, but are still enjoyable (or even a little useful).
- Flip a coin (Phones, Watches, Google Home): Ask Google to flip a coin and it will tell you if it’s heads or tails. Handy for settling disputes like who has to take out the trash.
- Roll a die (Phones, Watches, Google Home): Similar to flipping a coin, if you ask Google to roll a die, it will spit out a number from one to six. This could be handy if, for example, your group can’t decide what restaurant to go to.
- Where’s Waldo (Phones, Watches, Google Home): Ask Google where you can find Waldo, and Google will quite sarcastically tell you the kinds of places Waldo hangs out. Like crowded public spaces, or the peppermint stick convention. If you need a more specific answer, you might try texting Waldo directly.
- Play the Name Game (Phones, Google Home): You’ve probably played the Name Game as a kid—the game where you take a person’s name, permutate it into gibberish, and call it “rhyming”—even if you don’t recall that it was a song by Shirley Ellis from 1964. Just tell Google, “play the name game with Whitson” and it will sing back to you “Whitson, Whitson, bo-bitson. Banana-fana-fo-fitson. Fee-fy-mo-mitson. Whitson!”
- Talk like Yoda (Phones, Google Home): Despite Yoda’s habit of speaking backwards being a little overblown, it’s one of the character’s most defining characteristics. Ask Google to “talk like Yoda” and it will speak a few garbled sentences, randomly re-arranging words. Which, frankly, would probably be offensive to Yoda’s species if we knew what that was.
- Repeat after me (Phones, Google Home): Much like a parrot, this feature is probably best left to those responsible enough to not misuse it. Unless it’s really funny. Simply say “Ok Google, repeat after me” then follow that up with whatever you want. Google will say back whatever you said to you. Of course, if your language is too dirty, Google might censor itself before you record it and upload it to YouTube.
Google’s not going to replace your Xbox or Nintendo Switch anytime soon, of course. However, it’s good for a little light-hearted fun every once in a while. If you’re bored in the car or just feel like showing off your Google Home when you have guests over, these games can be a nice break to the monotony.