Don't look now, but Google Maps is rolling out yet another awesome April Fools' gag, yet again paying homage to one of the greatest video games of all time. Back in 2015, Google played a similar trick, allowing users to turn on a filter transforming the usual satellite imagery into a crisp 8-bit world map ― like Dragon Quest meets Google Maps, basically. And now, they've gone back to the retro gaming well, although this time you can actually play! Here's how to play Ms. Pac-Man in Google Maps for April Fools' Day, because you won't want to miss your chance.
Luckily, this is about as simple as it gets. If you want to play Ms. Pac-Man in a way you've never experienced before, eschewing the standard rectangular game board in favor of, well, actual city streets, you need only click on over to Google Maps. Whether on your phone on in a web browser, you'll see an option towards the bottom of the screen you can click to activate Ms. Pac-Man ― just make sure you pick where you want the map focused beforehand! The tricky part is, the more complicated and winding the roads are, the harder it'll be to escape those pesky ghosts.
The ghosts, of course, are named Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde, and they'll be trying to hunt you down until you snag one of the large, round power pellets scattered throughout the streets. At that point, they'll turn blue, turn tail, and run, letting you chase them down and chomp them for some easy points. Ms. Pac-Man was the 1981 sequel to the 1980 classic Pac-Man, and is favored by many players for its increased complexity and difficulty.
Of course, in this version of the game, it's impossible to easily predict and memorize where to go and when ― because there's a virtually endless number of different maps to play on. Some of them, however, are complex enough to be virtually unplayable. This is especially true when you hit a big series of on-ramps and off-ramps on a freeway, for example.
Hats off to the folks at Google on this one. They always pull out the stops on their April Fools' gags, and this one is interactive, to boot. If you've ever wondered what it's like to dodge ghosts and gobble pellets on your hometown's streets, suffice it to say, this is the opportunity of your dreams. And, of course, it's a limited time proposition ― it's live right now on Friday, March 31, and will be in effect through April Fools' Day on Saturday.