Pac-Man invades Google Maps for April Fool's Day

Turn your neighborhood into a Pac-Man game with this early April Fool's joke from Google.

Chris Gaylord/Google
Google Maps has a Pac-Man view, just in time for April Fools.

You can already get your Google Maps directions in bicycle routes, walking paths, or public transportation.

Now your route comes in Pac-Man.

Just in time for April Fool's Day, Google created a “Pac-Man” viewing option on Google Maps that turns your maps and routes into a version of the arcade game, complete with point pellets and ghosts in hot pursuit. This time, however, they’re racing down your neighborhood’s streets.

When you open Google Maps, you’ll see a small Pac Man screen shot in the lower left hand corner. Click on that, and your view will be transformed into the arcade cult classic. One caveat: there needs to be enough roads to play. Pac-Man doesn’t dive into the ocean. But otherwise, you can go pretty much everywhere. If you get sick of playing on your town’s streets, hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button and it will take you and Pac-Man to places all around the world. Even the Taj Mahal, one Wired reporter found.

On the support page, Google offers a few more clues of famous places where Pac-Man may pop up:

  • Head to the valley of the sun and earn your grade in the art of the game.
  • How well can you navigate the radiating streets of the distrito federal?
  • Victory is like gothic glockenspiel musik to our ears.
  • PAC-MAN and Ms. PAC-MAN can't agree on which side is prettier: the American or the Canadian. Which side do you fall on, eh?
  • Whether they're flashing blue or sporting their natural colors, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde are always kakkoii. Even Vogue agrees they're living in the trendiest of neighborhoods.
  • After a chat with the Sphinx, PAC-MAN sounds more like "Dokki Dokki".
  • Pause game play to admire Chagall's stained glass windows and have a bit of chocolate.

Plus, they tease that more clues are on the way.

This isn’t the first time Google has brought Pac-Man to its main pages. In 2010, Google dedicated one of its Doodle’s to the game, letting Googlers play Pac-Man on a "GOOGLE" shaped maze.

No word yet on whether this April Fool's fun will last beyond April 1. But until then, Pac-Man is on the loose. 

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