How to Play "Zerg Rush" on Google – A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

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Do you remember the good old days of browsing the internet and stumbling upon fun hidden surprises on Google? One of the most iconic and beloved was the "Zerg Rush" mini-game on Google Images.

As a long-time Google user and gaming enthusiast, discovering Zerg Rush felt like striking hidden treasure. The burst of dopamine when those little circles started enclosing on the screen, forcing you to click rapidly to survive, was priceless. Unfortunately, Google eventually removed this iconic Easter Egg in 2013, robbing us of future generations continuing the discovery.

But fear not, fellow 90s kids! In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll take you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane by covering everything you need to know about Zerg Rush:

  • What exactly was the Zerg Rush Easter Egg on Google?
  • Why did Google decide to remove this classic game?
  • How can you still play Zerg Rush on other sites today?
  • The history of other popular Easter Eggs on Google over the years

After reading, you‘ll be armed with the knowledge to relive the magic of this Google tradition with your own kids or friends who missed out the first time around!

What Exactly Was "Zerg Rush" on Google?

For those unfamiliar with the gaming world, "Zerg Rush" was inspired by the iconic real-time strategy game StarCraft. It was developed by the kings of RTS at Blizzard Entertainment in 1998 and became an international phenomenon.

In StarCraft, the Zerg are an alien race that can quickly summon a swarm of weak units to overwhelm enemies early in the game. This "Zerg Rush" strategy caught players off-guard and became infamous in the gaming community.

So when Google introduced the Easter Egg on April 27, 2012, fans immediately got the reference. Typing "Zerg Rush" into Google Images triggered the minigame. The screen suddenly filled with colorful pulsating circles termed "O‘s" by Google, meant to represent the swarming Zerg units.

These O‘s quickly multiplied and began enclosing the screen. To fight them off, you had to rapidly click on the O‘s before they overwhelmed the page completely. The frenzied clicking and rising counter as you racked up "kills" created an exhilarating and competitive experience.

This creative Easter Egg brought the classic Zerg Rush strategy straight out of StarCraft into an interactive browser-based game. It became an overnight viral hit with Google users.

Why Did Google Remove This Beloved Easter Egg in 2013?

Unfortunately, on March 30th, 2013, Google decided to remove access to Zerg Rush on Google Images. The company never provided an official explanation for this controversial decision. But based on Google‘s history, we can hypothesize a few reasonable motives:

1. Maintain Focus on Core Products

As fun side extras, Easter Eggs aren‘t central to Google‘s business. Ultimately, their goal is providing users with quick access to information, not entertainment.

Once Zerg Rush achieved widespread popularity, it began detracting from Google Images‘ core purpose – searching for and browsing photos. Google likely felt it had served its purpose and was now an unnecessary distraction.

2. Reduced Traffic and Ad Revenue

With Zerg Rush generating frequent searches, it was driving visitors away from standard Google Image results. Each game session meant less time viewing and clicking on Google‘s paid advertisements.

Fewer ad clicks mean lower revenues for Google. So from a business perspective, removing a "superfluous" but high-traffic feature like Zerg Rush aligns with Google‘s profit motives.

3. Freshness and Novelty Wore Off

Google frequently adds and removes Easter Eggs to keep things novel for users. Zerg Rush was introduced in 2012. By 2013, much of the initial surprise and excitement around the game had faded.

To reignite that feeling of unexpected delight, Google needs a constant pipeline of new Easter Eggs. Removing stale ones makes room for fresh surprises down the line.

How You Can Still Play Zerg Rush Today on Other Sites

Fortunately, while Zerg Rush is gone from Google itself, dedicated fans have recreated versions for us to enjoy today:

This faithful recreation strives to mimic the original Zerg Rush experience as closely as possible. Just like before, search for "Zerg Rush" then click "I‘m Feeling Lucky" to begin a game. It will instantly hit you right in the nostalgia.

Another clone of the classic Zerg Rush, with no frills added. It captures the simplistic retro graphics and intuitive point-and-click gameplay that made it such a widespread hit originally.

This iteration stays true to the original formula but introduces a persistent high score table so you can compare your Zerg-destroying skills against previous players. It adds a competitive social element.

Voltaoid‘s more polished take on Zerg Rush adds your current score and number of O‘s destroyed to the screen for easy tracking as you play. Clean and visually intuitive.

While the magic of unexpectedly stumbling upon Zerg Rush on Google is gone, these recreations still capture the core frantic fun of out-clicking the approaching Zerg swarm. Play these versions today to relive history!

A History of Google‘s Easter Eggs Over the Years

Beyond Zerg Rush, Google has included Easter Eggs tied to pop culture phenomena, holidays, famous individuals, and inside references:


  • Type "do a barrel roll" for a rotating screen celebrating Google‘s founding anniversary
  • Google Doodles for Halloween, Thanksgiving, World Cup, etc.

Pop Culture

  • Play Atari Breakout by searching "atari breakout"

  • Rolling a die with "roll a die"

  • See a lightsaber battle by searching "star wars"

Famous Figures

  • Search for famous scientists like "Albert Einstein" to see their formulas

  • Look up "Thelonious Monk" for a hidden musical animation

Inside Jokes

  • "Recursion" leading to more search results for "Recursion"

  • Multiple Batman Easter Eggs tied to the number Batman #46

While few matched the viral popularity of Zerg Rush, Google‘s tradition of hiding pop culture Easter Eggs delights both nostalgic millennials and younger generations. Though most are eventually removed, their discovery brings communities together to share in the delightful hidden secrets.


For those of us who stumbled upon the hidden gem of Zerg Rush in Google‘s heyday, it sparked an almost addictive obsession for days on end. Though removed in 2013, Zerg Rush remains etched in internet lore for its fresh and interactive approach to an iconic Easter Egg. Thanks to fan recreations, we can still recapture that child-like excitement today.

Beyond Zerg Rush, Google‘s ever-changing roster of Easter Eggs consistently surprise, delight, and bring users together in shared discovery. Though short-lived, they create priceless memories and inspire that unique spirit of community Google does so well.

So rally your friends, and revisit the magic of Zerg Rush or Google‘s countless other Easter Eggs. It will transport you right back to the wonder of the early internet days.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.