YouTube is testing bitesize games on desktop and mobile

It's only available for select participants at the moment.

Unsplash/Christian Wiediger

YouTube is launching an in-app platform for bite-sized games, adding to the ways you can interact with content on the popular video service. Sadly, this is no full-fledged cloud-gaming experience — think of it more like Miniclip living inside the social video site.

This is an experimental offering and, as such, only available to select participants or beta testers. How to know if you’ve been chosen? Open up YouTube and look for a “Playables” tab alongside content on the home feed. For the lucky few, games work on both the desktop website and mobile devices.

There’s no list of published titles at this time, but 9to5Google reports that there’s a game called Stack Bounce available that involves a ball smashing through rings via well-timed clicks. If the title sounds familiar, that’s because Stack Bounce was already offered on Google’s GameSnacks service.

Also, moving a 3D ball around is a far cry from the kinds of games Google Stadia was offering when it shuttered, though the company notes that the system will save game progress, which is accessible via the “History” tab. In other words, more complicated experiences could be forthcoming, as there isn’t much progress to save when moving a bouncing ball through rings. For now, though, it's a repository for minigames.

YouTube isn’t the only video-streaming service dipping its toes into cloud gaming. Netflix has made a pretty significant push into the space in the last couple of years, most recently expanding services to select smart TVs and personal computers. Even TikTok is experimenting with simple in-app games, in addition to live trivia contests with cash prizes. Google’s Stadia cloud streaming service went belly up back in January.