Case in point: go to Google Maps right now and you can play a game (or several) of Ms. Pac-Man, the classic arcade game and follow-up to the popular Pac-Man.
At the lower left of Maps on a browser, next to Earth, you'll see an image of Ms. Pac-Man that reads "Insert Coin." It will then evaluate the map and redesign it into a level from the game. If the location currently shown doesn't have enough streets to work, you can choose a random location or pick a specific city.
Google's love of video games goes well beyond April Fools' Day. For example, search "do a barrel roll" and the screen will do a 360-degree turn, in honor of the classic Nintendo series Star Fox. Type in "zerg rush" — a nod to the Blizzard game StarCraft — and you'll see several O's from the Google logo drop down and starting eating away at search results.
Also, props to Google for choosing the better of the Pac-Man games. Seriously, Ms. Pac-Man was way better than the original.
|Natt Garun / The Verge|
Looks like Ms. Pac-Man has paid a visit to the Google Maps app. Every year on April Fools’ Day, Google puts out a bunch of prank videos and Easter eggs, and it looks like the team is revisiting an old idea for 2017.
To find Ms. Pac-Man, open up your Google Maps app and click on the pink button on the right. Unlike the Pac-Man integration from 2015’s prank, it doesn’t turn your current location into the game level. Instead, you’re taken to a random spot in the world and get five lives to outrun the ghosts. (Edit: some users are reporting that the iOS version lets you pick the map, while Android takes you to randomized spots.)
If you prefer to choose your own location in Google Maps to turn into a Ms. Pac-Man game, the web version does appear to support pick-your-own levels (though clicking the button just takes me to a zoomed in version of the current map view, so maybe Google is waiting to roll out the game when it’s officially April 1st in most parts of the world.)
I personally wish Google did something more original than rehash an idea from a few years back, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be spending the whole day running around the virtual globe.
Ms. Pac-Man takes over Google Maps
WASHINGTON — It’s no April Fool’s joke: You can play Ms. Pac-Man on Google Maps until April 4.
For a limited time, the follow-up game to the arcade classic Pac-Man is available on the desktop version of Google Maps, as well as the Android mobile app.
The desktop version allows users to play the game from their current location, while the Android version redirects players to a random part of the world.
Unfortunately, those who wish to play the desktop version from a less road-heavy region will also be redirected to a random location, according to Android Headlines.
It’s not the first time Google injected a bit of the Pac-Man family into Maps.
Two years ago, Google featured the game on Maps just in time for April Fool’s Day.
In 2010, a Doodle version of the game was available for Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary.
Naturally, social media users were pretty excited.