While watching a spoof Google video on becoming an autocompleter I accidentally came across an Easter egg built into the new YouTube player. With a few short commands you can start playing the classic snake game that was originally found on old Nokia phones. The snake is made from the circular loading gif that you see before a movie plays.

YouTube's hidden snake game

To get the game to appear you need to follow these simple steps.

  1. Firstly make sure the player is in focus. Pause or resume the video to make sure of this.
  2. Hold the left arrow key for around 2 seconds then press the up arrow key without letting go of the left key.
  3. The loading image should now appear and you are ready to play. Just hit an arrow key to start moving.
  4. See how long you can last.

The game can be played whilst watching a movie (though it may be hard to see if it is a light movie). As you collect the flashing dots your snake will get larger making it harder to navigate around the video without hitting yourself or the sides.

This trick only works in YouTube’s new player, which is only available for videos that don’t include annotations or ads. It’s limited to the videos played on YouTube’s site and it doesn’t work for embedded videos.

YouTube is not the only Google product that lets you play games. Gmail has a Labs feature called “old Snakey” that adds a Snake game inside Gmail.