Valentine's Day is all about love, so why not love of the wildlife too? Google's playable Valentine's Day doodle lets users have fun while raising awareness of an endangered species: pangolins.
Protecting the wildlife may not be among the top things that come to mind when thinking about Valentine's Day, but Google thinks it should. The latest Google Doodle that went live on Monday, Feb. 13, is about spreading the love just in time for Valentine's Day, and wildlife preservation is among the themes with Pangolin Love.
Valentine's Day Google Doodle: Pangolin Love
The doodle features a cute interactive video game that took roughly one year to develop and it's among the most in-depth Google Doodles launched so far. The new Valentine's Day Google Doodle stars two enamored pangolins, which are a species of scaly mammals native to Africa and Asia. Pangolins look like a mix of anteaters and armadillos and they're the world's most poached and trafficked mammals. The pangolin is the only truly scaly mammal in the world, rocking a full armor of scales so they can roll up into a ball when threatened.
"Pangolins are the most-trafficked mammals in the world, in high demand by consumers for their meat and their unique scales. More than one million pangolins have been illegally taken from the wild to be used in fashion products and purported medicinal remedies," the World Wildlife Fund points out.
"There are eight species of pangolin, four each in Asia and Africa, and all are under threat, including two species listed as Critically Endangered. Pangolin populations have been devastated by poaching, including at least 80 percent of pangolins in Asia," adds the WWF.
Google's playable Pangolin Love doodle includes a link to the WWF's page, where users can virtually adopt a pangolin to donate and protect the endangered species. It costs between $25 and $55 to adopt a pangolin and the most expensive adoption kit includes a 12-inch plush pangolin, a photo, adoption certificate and species card, and a gift bag.
Google Pangolin Love: How To Play
The Pangolin Love doodle is fun, cute and easy to play. Much like Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog, the Pangolin Love doodle is a side-scroller and users have to control the pangolin and make it jump over obstacles. Users also have to help the pangolin woo its mate by collecting ingredients to bake a cake, learning a love song and dancing to the rhythm of its love-struck heart.
The journey to the loved one is long and spans four different countries — Ghana, India, China and the Philippines — each with its own adventures. The game is available on desktop, Android and iOS through Google's home page and it's pretty entertaining to play.
The four mini-games that make up the Valentine's Day Google Doodle are complete once the love-struck pangolin masters all levels and tasks and collects everything they need for a romantic gift to surprise their pangolin soulmate on Valentine's Day.
Head over to Google's homepage to play the mini-game and show some love for the endangered pangolin.