Google is notorious for its homepage doodles representing special holidays and figures. This Valentine’s Day, Google has dedicated its Doodle not only to the Pangolin, an endangered species but raises awareness for it through a romantic video game.

Google's twist on Valentine's Day

Google’s twist on Valentine’s Day Photo Credit: Google (Screenshot)

For every US and international holiday, Google transforms its homepage logo into a creative doodle representing the special day. However, this year’s Valentine’s Day doodle has been dedicated to more than just the day it represents. Google’s latest doodle features a video game for users to play, which just happens to raise awareness for an endangered animal known as the pangolin.

The pangolin is the world’s only scaly mammal whose meat and scales are widely trafficked. As a result, all 8 pangolin species across its native Asia and Africa are endangered. Yet, Google’s decision to make a game about pangolins was not intentional. The game designers initially just looked for an animal that rolls and although the armadillo and pill bug were debated, the pangolin was agreed upon for its worldliness.

More interesting to Google was pangolin’s rare mating habits. It is one of the only animals that mates once in its lifetime. The aim of the doodle game centers on helping a pangolin travel across four countries (four levels) to meet its mate for the first and last time.

Inadvertently, Google’s romantic personification of an endangered species became a Valentine’s Day ecological campaign for the tech giant. This has become one of Google’s most in-depth doodles that took over a year to design and create features that link to the World Wildlife Fund page, inviting users to donate to help protect them.