On Medium, I talked about the game Doodle Champion Islands. It’s a very sweet free game that Google provided as part of their Doodle for the month, where you help a ninja cat win multiple Olympics-themed minigames. The game can also be an addicting distraction when you absentmindedly click on the Play button while searching for something else. While the minigames themselves are quick once you get the hang of them, mastering some of the harder ones can be quite a challenge.
Google spoiled us rotten with this doodle. They haven’t released a full game with a storyline before, I don’t think unless the one with Momo the Black Cat was that. Even though the gameplay is under a few hours, much shorter than what experienced gamers would normally stream, it is so much fun and a person gets invested. What’s more, you would expect to pay say ten to fifteen dollars minimum for a game like this on Steam.
When I first played the game, I realized something interesting: there was no end. You’re on this island of magical Olympics, and you can win every trophy. Yet Lucky has many reasons to stay. She feels like there is more good that a person can do. Or cat, in her case.
The game finally has an ending. With the real Olympics wrapping up, the Doodle posted an update where you can have Lucky the cat sail into the sunset, after completing two more additional sidequests. Credits play as she faces the horizon, and loses her memories of the tournament.
There’s a bittersweet feeling when you reach an ending. It’s also not really the end; you can return as many times as you like, albeit with unsaved progress. I haven’t left the island, since I know that I’ll go back to the beginning. All I need is the message that comes when the game ends:
“For all the champions out there. Thank you for playing and keep being lucky!”
This was one of the most fun distractions I’ve played. It is well worth a look.