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Google gets into the Halloween spirit with a ghostly multiplayer interactive Doodle

If you want to take a break from work or the never-ending news cycle, Google is here to give you an escape. The search giant has launched a new Halloween-themed playable Doodle that opens up to a Snake-like game that you can play with your friends or random players from around the world.

The goal of the game is to collect as many wandering spirit flames as you can in two minutes and return them to their homebase. After time’s up, the team that has collected the most spirit flames wins. Here's the catch: opponents can intercept spirits from one another as they bring them back to homebase. Ghosts that collect the most spirit flames will also unlock special powers, such as speed boosts and night vision.

You can host a game and invite up to seven friends to play with you via a custom invitation link or choose to play with randomized players. Google says the team that developed the Doodle built several systems to enable this multiplayer gaming, all running on the Google Cloud Platform. The team utilized Open Match, which is an open source matchmaking framework co-founded by Google Cloud and Unity.

Google often uses its Doodles to commemorate historical dates and figures, but sometimes uses the feature to add a bit of fun when it comes to holidays. The new multiplayer Doodle is the sequel to Google's "Great Ghoul Duel Doodle" from 2018. The 2022 version includes new characters, game maps, special power-ups and more.