Part game, part search practice

Screen capture.

A Google a Day is a website that acts as part training tutorial and part puzzle. The website uses brain twisters to prompt and encourage searching skills from those who use Google. While the game is intended to help users learn to use their searching skills, it also encourages them to cheat and work outside the box.

The game prompts questions that can’t be answered with a simple Google search. The question for Nov. 6 prompted users to find the answer to: “Three days after the birth of the man who was the first to see the rings of Saturn, a famous artist died. Who was that artist?” To make certain that a simple Google search of the question will not bring you the answer, the website is what Google refers to as a time machine, saving Google as it was the day before the question was asked and preventing the answer from coming up in trending search results. The website is powered by Deja Google. Not only does it access a previous version of Google — it excludes websites that have the answer directly on them.

What makes this game challenging is that you are competing against the clock and yourself. For those who are really competitive, the goal is to solve the question in shorter times. Users are also able to share the question with their friends via Facebook or email. This allows those who like to brag to show off how quickly they’ve managed to conquer the question and challenge their friends.

The game doesn’t just leave users out there by themselves. Those who are struggling can ask for hints. Frequently hints give users the answer within a few simple clicks. The hints serve a dual purpose. They allow users to find out how they should search for the answers to complicated questions, and it allows users who are struggling to ask their friends for help on particularly difficult questions. In this, it allows users to cheat to an extent and talk to someone outside of Deja Google.

While A Google a Day may not be the most visually interesting game, it’s a game that teaches users valuable skills while imparting them with trivia they may not encounter any other way. While at its core it may be a puzzle game, it does much more for users. It would be nice to see the game update some of the sharing options to include Google+. Overall the game provides an entertaining and challenging way to pass time.