Tech Challenge

Tech Challenge (formerly Google Games) brings fun competitions to the computer science and engineering community, giving students a glimpse into Google’s culture, logical thinking, collaboration, and on-the-spot coding.

  • About

    What is Tech Challenge?

    Tech Challenge (formerly the Google Games) is a fun and friendly global puzzle and coding challenge for those interested in computer science and engineering. It also serves as a way for students to get a glimpse into Google’s company culture, and exposes its participants to the ideas of logical thinking, puzzle solving, collaboration, and on-the-spot coding; all of which are key components to successful Google software engineers.

    Tech Challenge is also a celebration of the passion and creativity of engineering students from universities across the Globe. It's your chance to compete with your peers and see a bit of Google culture and office. You could win prizes that will showcase your love for Google and all participants will walk away with some cool swag. Here's what at stake:

    • Top three teams with the most solves get awarded prizes.
    • Top team that showcases the best team spirit can also win prizes.
    • Winners will get a chance to be featured on our global site and Google social media.
    • And more!

    Want Tech Challenge at your campus? Reach out to your campus representative and let them know.

  • The puzzles

    Puzzle solving tips

    Starting out

    1. Look at all the puzzles. Some may be easier than others.
    2. Read the title. Does it seem to be referencing something?
    3. Read the instructions. Are any of the words specially highlighted? Does any of the wording seem contrived to hint at something?

    Initial solving

    1. Are you familiar with all of the information being presented? Even if you are, maybe you’ll find out something new if you Google it.
    2. Are there blanks with letters filled in that you can’t get the rest of? Maybe will help.
    3. Are there pictures? Reverse image search might help.
    4. Have you made any assumptions about the puzzle that could be incorrect?

    Next steps

    1. You have a bunch of answers of some sort, are they related at all, or do they have something in common?
    2. Do you have numbers associated with groups of letters? Indexing into the letters might work.
    3. Are you left with a bunch of numbers in the range 1-26? What happens if you convert them to letters?
    4. Did you receive more instructions from your solutions?

    Sample puzzle

    Mystery Agents

    1. Spy: _ _〇_ _ _
    2. Vietnam War chemical: 〇_ _ _ _ _
    3. Helps book flight reservations: _ _ _〇_ _
    4. Athlete without a contract: _ _〇_
    5. Web browser OS info: _ _ _〇
    6. Sells houses: _ _ _ _ _ _〇_ _ _

    Sample puzzle solution As the puzzle title suggests, each line refers to a type of agent.

    Spy: SECRET

    Vietnam War chemical: ORANGE

    Helps book flight reservations: TRAVEL

    Athlete without a contract: FREE

    Web browser OS info: USER

    Sells houses: REAL ESTATE

    Examining the circled letters in order from top to bottom reveals the answer.

    Answer: COVERT

  • FAQ

    Registered to attend Tech Challenge? Here’s what you should know.

    Can we have fewer than five members on our team?

    We strongly recommend having the maximum number of members – any less and you'll lose your competitive edge. But yes you can have fewer than five on a team.

    Do you have to be a current student to participate?

    If you received an email from your school about participating in Tech Challenge at a Google office, then yes, you must be a currently-enrolled freshman, sophomore, or junior (first, second, or third-year undergraduate student). Seniors and graduate students are not eligible to participate in the April Google Games events held at Google offices.

    If you received an email from your school about participating in Tech Challenge on your campus, then you can participate, as long your are currently enrolled at your school. These events typically happen in the fall.

    Should our team wear costumes?

    Show your team's spirit however you choose: costumes, uniforms, team dance, team flag or poster, cheer, fight song, etc. A prize will be awarded to the team with the most spirit.

    Should I bring my laptop?

    It will give your team a competitive advantage to have all members work from their own laptop in the challenges. If you don’t have your own, see if you can borrow one from a friend. Don’t forget the charger!

    Do I need experience solving puzzles to attend Tech Challenge?

    Nope! All levels of puzzle solvers are welcome. It helps to have reviewed our puzzle solving tips tab if this is your first time participating. We also recommend a background in computer science.