The Play Games app is riding high with a series of recent changes and still a few more things to come. The latest update doesn't bring any revolutionary changes, but it does change the icons adorning the built-in games so they can all share a uniform style. Buried within the APK are also signs that a new easter egg is in the works that will probably launch another new mini-game.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • New icons for built-in games

New icons for built-in games

Top: Old icons. Bottom: New icons.

The carousel launcher is getting a little bit of sprucing up, assuming you haven't already hidden the built-in games. The latest update includes refreshed icons for each of the included games. Now all four have been reshaped into rounded squares with a distinct border line. These replace the sharp square icons belonging to three of the previous games, plus the completely freeform shape for the Cricket game. But it's worth pointing out that these are just new icons and none of the in-game graphics have actually changed.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are wrong or inaccurate. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that products could change or may be canceled. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk. All screenshots and images are real unless otherwise stated, and images are only altered to remove personal information.

A new easter egg game?

The latest Play Games update comes with a new set of images in the classic blocky pixel style of early video games. In order from left to right, the names are: moving_platform_sheet, normal_platform, player_death_sheet, player_noogler_hat_sheet, and player. It's not hard to imagine these belonging to a typical platformer game, though these particular images may just be part of the easter egg, but then lead to the game itself.

I've poked around in the code and the game will require API 21 (Android 5.0 Lollipop) to run. The easter egg is meant to be triggered by triple-tapping the Arcade tab once you're already on the Arcade screen, but it's currently disabled for regular users. I've briefly tinkered with forcing the activity to launch, but it has been crashing instantly, so it might not be finished quite yet.

The activity housing the game is named BoingoGameActivity, but I'm not sure if that name is particularly significant.

Easter egg activity
<activity android:name="com.google.android.apps.play.games.features.eastereggs.boingo.BoingoGameActivity" android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation|screenSize" android:exported="false" android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher_icon" android:launchMode="singleTop" android:theme="@style/Theme.AppCompat.NoActionBar" android:windowSoftInputMode="adjustUnspecified|stateHidden|adjustPan" />

Updated text for each level

The last teardown of Play Games included a huge bundle of lines to be shown to players as they ascended the ranks by gaining XP. Those lines turned out to be fairly short-lived as a new set has been put in place with more flavorful commentary. Gone are the specific percentages, and in their place are more basic lines to try to encourage getting back to the games to build more XP.

strings
// New
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_1">Let’s do this! Play some games to level up.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_2">Tip: Most games have challenges that unlock achievements</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_3">Tip: More achievements get you more XP (the cape comes later)</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_4">Wait, some achievements give more XP than others? Yep. True.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_5">We knew you had it in you. Level 6 is closer than you think.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_6">Look at you go. Good game, high five.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_7">You’re really on a roll. Well done, you.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_8">Sure, luck is great. But you’ve got serious skills.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_9">Blazing toward level 10!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_10">Genius. Keep up the impressive work!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_11">Look how far you’ve come! Cheers, mate.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_12">You’re becoming quite an expert. Keep it up.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_13">How did you get so good?</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_14">Next stop, level 15. Like a boss.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_15">You’re kind of winning the internet with your skills</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_16">This is clearly no accident. Well done, you.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_17">You’re making this level-up thing look easy</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_18">Keep up the good work. Party at level 19!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_19">Only %1$s more XP and you’ll be sportin’ a level 20 wreath</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_20_to_29">This is definitely what success looks like</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_30_to_39">Way to rack up the XP!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_40_to_49">You. Legend.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_50_to_59">Hey, that wreath looks amazing on you</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_60_to_69">Brilliant. That’s what you are.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_70_to_79">The skills are strong with this one</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_80_to_98">Not all heroes wear capes. It’s true.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_99">Greatest of all time? Hmm, interesting idea.</string>
// Old
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_1">Let\'s get started! Earn achievements to level up.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_2">Nice work, you\'ve earned your first 1,000 XP!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_3">Each achievement is a step towards leveling up.</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_4">More than half of all gamers are above level 5! Keep playing to level up!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_5">Level 5 XP blurb</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_6">Level 6 XP blurb</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_7">Level 7 XP blurb</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_8">Level 8 XP blurb</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_9">Level 10 will put you in top 25%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_10">Level 11 will put you in top 15%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_11">Level 12 will put you in top 12%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_12">Level 13 will put you in top 10%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_13">Level 14 will put you in top 8%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_14">Level 15 will put you in top 5%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_15">Level 16 will put you in top 5%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_16">Level 17 will put you in top 2.5%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_17">Level 18 will put you in top 2%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_18">Level 19 will put you in top 1.5%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_19">Level 20 will put you in top 1%% of gamers!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_20_to_29">Congratulations, you are in the top 1%% of gamers! You are awesome!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_30_to_44">Congratulations, you are in the top 0.1%% of gamers! You are spectacular!</string>
<string name="games__profile__xp_blurb_level_45_to_max">Congratulations, you are in the top 0.01%% of gamers! You are one of the best!</string>

Of some note, the old lines changed with each level up to 20, then stayed the same for 10 levels at a time, and finally stopped changing at level 45. The new lines keep the same basic pattern, but it continues all the way up to level 99, which is the current max.

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Google Play Games
Google Play Games
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free