Google today turned its homepage into a Halloween-themed animated game that follows young Momo the cat on a mission to rescue her school of magic from ghostly thieves.
Players are tasked with helping the feline cast out spirits by drawing the shapes that appear above a ghost's head. Use your mouse on the desktop or finger on a touch-screen display to quickly draw straight lines, carets, hearts, and more, which will help Momo vanquish the invading ghosts and rescue her stolen spellbook. If they advance on Momo, she will lose one of her nine lives, so draw fast.
As Google's doodle team explains, the inspiration for the doodle was artist Juliana Chen's real-life Momo.
"The original concept for the game involved a magic cat making a soup that was so good, it raised the dead," Google says. "Connecting soup to Halloween proved too abstract, so the team shifted the idea to a wizard school. This opened the door to a more robust world filled with interesting characters and paw-some themes."
The game follows Momo through five levels of the Magic Cat Academy: the library, cafeteria, classroom, gym, and building's rooftop. "Doodling for a whole Doodle game was very exciting for us," the Google artists say.
Not every idea made it into the final race-against-the-clock game, though. "Plans like the 'Eiffel Tower spell' were abandoned, and similarly, gag spells didn't make the cut," Google says. "Regardless, we loved the process of dreaming up the possibilities."
The game is available today in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. Watch PCMag's Sascha Segan and Max Eddy play on a Microsoft Surface Hub in today's episode of Random Access (embedded below).