I love easter eggs in games. A hidden message, image, or joke from the developer that can only be found by undertaking a particular set of actions.
Their origins can be traced back to the late 1970s. It's said that because Atari didn't give video game programmers credit in their games, many developers took to hiding their initials somewhere in the game instead.
What's interesting is now we're seeing more and more Easter Eggs in other forms of media too and they're becoming a great way to engage and surprise users.
One of my all time favourites can be found on the Vogue UK website. It's been there for many years but unless you know the famous Konami Code you'd never know it's there.
Enter the Konami Code and BAM! A velociraptor appears from nowhere.
To see it yourself, simply head to Vogue UK and enter the following to see a sneaky raptor appear: "↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → b a".
What about this year?
Well when Easter lands on April Fool's day like it did this year we know we're in for a treat.
Let's have a look at some of my favourite Easter Egg's/April Fool's from this year that are game and/or gamification related.
First up, Google!
Google always really embraces the April Fool's spirit. Sometimes in ways which can eerily predict the future (*cough* Pokémon Go *cough*).
This year was no different. We saw an extensive Where's Waldo (we call him Wally here in Australia) game added to Google Maps.
For this game Waldo was hiding in different locations around the world and you had to find him and his friends in some classic Where's Waldo drawings.
All the childhood memories. Thanks Google!
Pokémon Go 8 bit
Speaking of childhood memories, Pokémon Go also wanted to visit the past with their April Fool's joke.
Sadly the switch only lasted a week and then it was back to the regular 3D characters.
Fitbit has been using gamification for a while to encourage us to walk.
However, apparently they wanted to step up their game a little to help those of us looking for love to find a "solemate".
Although a joke, April Fool's day does give companies a platform to test out ideas in a safe environment to see how users respond.
Who knows, if we like the idea of finding a solemate would Fitbit actually consider adding it in the future?
Finally, from the company that brought you the excellent gamified language learning app Duolingo, comes Brewolingo!
It seems like everyone is brewing their own beer these days and Duolingo want us to think they're getting in on the action.
Any why not? Apparently they found appropriate research to support their cause.
Although research does need replication to help support the findings... so if anyone from Duolingo is reading and wants to run their own study then consider this my application to help out for science! 🍻
So there are a few of my favourites from this year.
For a pretty complete list of other April Fool's jokes from 2018 check out this page from The Washington Post.
Bonus! Add your own Easter Egg
Do you want a quick way add a Konami Code Easter egg to your website?
View this old article with some Konami code information for inspiration.
Any I missed?
Where there any other great game/gamification April Fool's jokes I missed? Post them in the comments below.