The game hidden within today’s Google Doodle is out of this world. Users play as a cute, big-eyed alien who’s just crash-landed on a placid farm in the middle of the night. The goal is to collect a series of items that will get the extraterrestrial back to his flying saucer so he can return home – which, in practice, pretty much means wildly clicking on anything and everything onscreen just in case it turns out to be useful later. (Hint: It always will!)
The Doodle, of course, commemorates the 66th anniversary of an event near and dear to conspiracy theorists, Katherine Heigl buffs, and X-Philes everywhere: the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident, in which a mysterious airborne object crashed on a ranch near the small New Mexico town. Tinfoil hat aficionados swear it was an alien spacecraft; the military insists that supposedly unidentified flying object was just a fancy weather balloon.
Nearly seven decades later, Roswell has turned its brush with interstellar visitors into something of a cottage industry. The town’s Main Street is stuffed with alien memorabilia stores, a UFO-shaped McDonald’s, and the International UFO Museum, a must for any curious road-trippers. (Trust me on that one.)
If you can’t make it to the Land of Enchantment, though, Google’s game is a pretty good approximation of the Roswell experience – minus the alien-head-shaped streetlights.