Google Stadia launches one last game before it dies

Google Stadia controller resting on a black surface
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Yasin Hasan)

Google Stadia may be shutting down in just a couple of days, but that hasn't stopped Google from releasing one last game for the ill-fated streaming device.

Worm Game, available to play now on Google Stadia, will be very familiar to anyone who owned a phone in the early 2000s. It's essentially Snake, albeit with some modern flourishes thrown in, like colorful visuals and multiple game modes.

If you've kept hold of your Google Stadia subscription right until the bitter end, you can give Worm Game a go by heading over to its Stadia page. You can even try it out for free, for a whopping three hours, with the Google Stadia trial. 

Don't be too quick to think Google released a Snake clone as a joke, though. Worm Game's store page explains that the game was used to test many of Google Stadia's features, from its 2019 launch up until its imminent demise.

And as Snake-likes go, Worm Game is certainly a mite more involved than what you'd boot up on your Nokia 3310 during those long car journeys to Wales. It's not much to write home about, but at least an important footnote in Google Stadia's short history.

A fitting end?

Google Stadia controller

(Image credit: Future)

Google Stadia's shutdown on January 18 is unsurprising. An oddball subscription model paired with inconsistent streaming quality led to the device sitting lukewarmly with all but its staunchest proponents.

Stadia wasn't entirely without wins, though. I'm a big fan of Google Stadia's excellent controller, and now that Google has finally confirmed Bluetooth support, the pad has at least been granted a new lease on life. At least for players who want to continue using it wirelessly on PC and, hopefully, devices and consoles beyond.

Unfortunately for Google, a handful of other streaming services like GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming have offered more attractive game libraries, with better quality streaming. Stadia, as a result, was never able to find a sizable and dedicated audience across PC, mobile, and console.

The streaming service itself isn't exactly going out with a bang, but I'd argue certainly not a whimper, as evidenced by the release of Worm Game. It's a game that's clearly important to the development of Google Stadia, however primitive and basic.

Whether Google decides to eventually throw its hat back into the game streaming ring remains to be seen. But if it does, the tech giant would do well to learn the lessons of its first experiment's shortcomings.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.