You can now enjoy a great new Google Doodle that lets you play pétanque with other people over the internet. If you don’t know what pétanque is, like I didn’t before I wrote this post, it’s a sport that’s similar to bocce ball.
In pétanque, the goal is to get your ball, called a boule, as close as possible to a smaller ball, called a cochonnet, that is placed in front of the playing field. On a desktop computer, you “throw” the ball by clicking on it and dragging your mouse back to slingshot it forward. On a mobile device, you toss the ball with your thumb, similar to how you throw a Poké Ball in Pokémon Go. You get points if your opponent has more boules near the cochonnet than you do. After three rounds, the winner is the person with the most points. When you first start playing, Google will give you a helpful walkthrough of the game it made.
You can compete against other online players one-on-one or in teams of two by exchanging links with them or being randomly paired with other players. Google also lets you practise, and if you’re playing the game on your phone, you should try out different strategies. When I threw with my thumb instead of a mouse, something just didn’t feel right, but when I used my computer, I was always more accurate.
If you haven’t seen today’s Google Doodle yet, you can see it as a GIF here if you haven’t already. The cute olives that are part of the game are shown on the Doodle.