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This new Easter Egg kicks into effect when an Android device is trying to access the Google Play Store without an internet connection. Instead of having to twiddle their thumbs until their Android device comes back online, Play Store users are being asked if they want to try out a new game to keep them busy. As reported by Android Police, this game is called Hot Air Balloon and boasts old-school graphics that you’d find on retro consoles from the 70s like the Atari 2600.
As the name suggests, in the game players take control of a hot air balloon, which you have to move from left to right on your screen as it rises through the air.
To increase your score you have to collect bubbles, all the while avoiding spiky platforms which if you hit brings you to a game over screen.
You can then either quit the game, and hopefully by this point your internet connection woes are over, or press replay to try to better your high score.
Proof of this Easter Egg was initially discovered in the first few months of the year by notable feature hunters Jane Wong and Alessandro Paluzzi.
Google Play Store: How to update on an Android device
However, as we draw to the end of 2020 it appears the Easter Egg is being rolled out more widely.
The option to play this game appears when you’re greeted with the ‘You’re offline’ screen in the Google Play Store on Android.
Below the ‘check your connection or get a notification when you’re back online’ message you should see ‘Play while you wait’, along with an option to launch Hot Air Balloon.
This isn’t the first time that Google has added a little mini-game to keep people occupied when they’re hit with internet troubles.
Back in 2014, a pixelated dinosaur game was added to Google Chrome which is playable when a device doesn’t have internet access.
In the game players move a dinosaur through a desert – hoping over cactus and later on other dinosaurs.
The Chrome dino game can be accessed by hitting the spacebar when offline on Google Chrome.
Like with the Hot Air Balloon game, the Chrome dinosaur game boasts a monochrome colour palette and simplistic – yet addictive – gameplay.
Previously, any high scores a user posted in the Chrome dino game were lost when they stopped playing.
But back in 2018 Chrome version 72 made sure high scores were saved, with scores also syncing between devices.
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