Today’s Google logo has been replaced with a Pony Express game, marking the 155th anniversary of the first Pony Express ride that took place on this date in 1860.
The goal of the game is to grab as many of the 100 letters placed along the trail from start to finish, while avoiding boulders, rivers and snow dumps. Players navigate the Pony Express delivery rider on desktops using arrow keys, or by simply touching phone screens for the mobile version.
The final screen shows how many letters were delivered, total points, and the option to share the game on social media or via email, restart a new session, or perform a search for “when was the first mail delivered via the pony express.”
At the risk of showing just how bad I am at video games, here is a screen shot of what happens when you get to the end of the trail. (My mobile score was even worse.)
According to Google’s doodle team, the inspiration for the game came from the idea of “triumph through adversity” that is attached to the Pony Express.
“When William H. Russell, Alexander Majors & William B. Waddell founded the Pony Express on April 3rd, 1860, they set in motion a wonderful yet daunting method of communication,” writes the doodle team, “What a concept – riders with letters on horseback racing from California to Missouri and vice versa to deliver mail on time!”
Google’s doodle page also included the following video, offering both a quick history of the Pony Express and an overview of how the game was developed.