Playing games in Google Earth

Since Google Earth was first released, a variety of people (including myself) have looked for ways to use it for gaming. While it will never be a true gaming platform, there are still some fun choices out there to play with. Here are a few of the best:
• The Flight Simulator: This was first unveiled with Google Earth 4.2, and it’s a built-in feature of Google Earth. You can fly as either an F16 or an SR22, and start from a variety of airports around the world. Press CTRL-ALT-A (or Command+Option+A on Mac) to get started. This video gives a nice overview of the controls:

GEWAR: One of the first games people thought of when Google Earth came out was “Risk”. Playing that kind of game on the Google Earth platform would be pretty cool. It was something I chewed on for a while, but couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Eventually I discovered a way to create dynamic network links and I created “GE War” in mid-2005. It was mostly a proof-of-concept game, but it became quite popular. I eventually handed the game off to some of the more active players, and they’ve been improving it ever since. You can check it out at, where they have nearly 80,000 registered players.

• Ships: Last year, released a neat game simply titled “Ships”. It gave you the ability to take the helm on 3D ships, and was very well done. Here’s a video tour of the game:

• Apollo 11 Moon Lander: The same guys that brought you “Ships” also released the “Apollo 11 Moon Lander” game. It’s a very simple game, but it’s very well executed with 3D models, responsive controls, and audio taken directly from the Apollo missions.

Beyond those, there are a wide variety of other games you can play. A few more:
GEMMO: A DND-style game.
Mars Sucks: Blast aliens from your space ship.
Milktruck Madness: Drive a milktruck around the earth. No scoring or lives (and really, no point to it), but it’s quite fun.
Football: An American-style football game.
Do you know of any others we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. Watch:

    And GeoGAmes legacy 3D simulation games at:
    Our GeoGames engine at:

  2. Demian Moth says:

    Just released was “EarthGlider”. Only for Mac but with very cool 3D control by “Flype” on the iPhone.
    Watch “”.

  3. What an interesting post! I’m going to go try some of these out right now.
    What I imagine as a game when I think of Google Earth is a game that would allow players to make global decisions that lead to global environmental changes that their choices have an impact on.
    For example, something like SIMM City where the players could construct projects that effect the environment and see the future outcome of their choices, i.e. build a dam that floods a geographic area that changes the ecosystem, or drilling for oil and a leak develops and the players have to react to it to avoid disaster.
    Kind of like real life. I would think it would be a very educational game and offer global insight to our effect on the planet.

  4. Awesome, just when I ran out of Playing games in Google Earth mentioned on google and other blogs, we get this. great!
    Thanks alot mate, this is a really nice app
    Awesome, I’m bookmarking this page!!
    thanks from Nick Games

  5. Google earth

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