Does Your Game Have Easter Eggs?

Easter eggs in games mainly go in the category of “nice little surprising (secret) details and features that you can find”. I started thinking about the games I’ve played, but I think most of those video game Easter eggs were really short lived. I remember that I’ve played games with Easter eggs, but don’t think there was anything too stunning in them. (In fact, the best Easter eggs I can remember are from Lionhead’s Black & White game where the hype said that you could zoom under a rock to see a worm… I think that feature never got in there, and not sure if that would even count as an Easter egg).

I think video game Easter eggs can be important not only for game play but also for marketing. A witty/fun Easter egg (“hidden feature”) just might go viral and catch the attention of the press. For gameplay, they can be nice fun surprises.

How’s your game – do you have Easter eggs hidden there?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Fixed that typo Nate. You just gave one good (or the) reason to put secret stuff in games: people who like to explore the game and discover really new sort of ‘extra secrets’ will be delighted to see easter eggs in games.

  2. Spell check error: I meant to say I’m an “exploratory person,” not “exploitative.” I do not try to exploit games, but instead I enjoy exploring games. It conveyed the wrong message as it was written.

  3. A short while ago I was thinking about what I love most about video games and I realized that above most other aspects it’s the secrets that I love. I am a naturally exploratory person who prefers searching all the out-of-the-way places for what hidden things may be found. Usually whenever an NPC tells me I have to go someplace that is the last place I will travel to — unfortunately most games are rather linear and do not cater too much to explorers. Usually time is wasted without really finding anything of interest.

    Many of the good old NES games of the past had little obscure secrets hidden in them. It’s amazing how even without the internet so many people became aware of them despite who seemingly improbable happening upon them by accident may be. People love to share secrets, which cause them to spread like wild-fire, but how they were discovered in the first place is beyond me.

    The minus world in Super Mario Brothers, for example, is one extraordinary well known secret. Sure it is a bug in the game, but it merely being there seems to add something to the experience. There is a special joy in sharing this hidden area with someone for the first time. Just a few weeks ago I shared this secret with the son of a friend; he might never have known of it otherwise.

    I considered once the possibility of creating a game which was all about obscure secrets. It could be played through in a straight-forward manner from start to finish, but deviating from the obvious path unlocks all sorts of possibilities — new areas, special items, alternate endings, mini-games, etc. The secrets would constitute for nearly 80% of the game, where the fun and joy of playing the game would be in discovering new things which your friends may have been entirely unaware of. There might be a few rare people who might actually have the dedication to see it all, but most will have knowledge of a small subset which they would, hopefully, enthusiastically share with others.

  4. Of course ^_^ Some will probably be really well hidden so I can give them to family and friends, etc.

    Also, Easter Eggs can help WOM. If sombody sees a really impressive easter egg, they’ll go tell thier friends about it, or post it on Wikipedia. (EG: The Half-Life 2: Ep2 and the Dharma Initiative…see Dharma_Initiative on Wikipedia)


  5. The problem with easter eggs is that they might be never discovered by the player, because they are hidden so good, no one can find it on its own.
    On the other end of the scale there is the hidden feature which is so obvious, or there are many obvious hints about it, that it is not much fun to discover anyway.

  6. Well, usually we put easter eggs in our games. One of them has two that don’t work, basically because the people who bought it never implemented them, so they became dead-ends, which is sad. And one of them has actually another game as an easter egg.

    Other than that, we usually insert a lot of external references – from books, music, movies, real life – into the gameplay. It’s something we do for fun and because a few people will actually pay attention to all of them, but they don’t get in the way of the actual game and you don’t need to recognize them to play, so I guess they can be considered “easter eggs”.

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