Ah April Fool’s Day, the one day of the year where the gaming industry becomes all a bit unpredictable. It’s a day where anything is seemingly possible. So much so that a certain famous gaming heroine has taken over a street near you for a limited time only.
So what exactly am I talking about then? Well as of April 1st, you can play a round of the legendary arcade battler Ms. Pac-Man on real life streets, thanks to Google. Oh and yes, that does include Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde too.
To access this Google Maps version of Ms. Pac-Man, all you need to do is simply open up the Google Maps app on your smartphone, or alternatively the web browser version of the popular map service. Once here simply hit the “Insert Coin” button for the web browser, or the Ms Pac-Man icon for the app, and then watch as Google Maps becomes its very own Pac-Man maze. You can even choose to head to a random location if the area you are currently looking at doesn’t have enough roads to create a maze for the first lady of the arcades.
Of course, some of these custom made maps can be a little unpredictable, and you may find yourself heading in the wrong direction, or even cornered in a dead end or two. Nevertheless, whilst Google Maps Ms. Pac-Man understandably can’t live up to the genius that is the Namco’s original Pac-Man mazes, there’s certainly an awful lot of fun to be had here.
This isn’t the first time Google have allowed one of the Pac family to run wild on the streets of the world though. You see back in 2015, again for April Fool’s Day, Google did the exact same thing and made the world one big Pac-Man maze, however on that occasion it was the original Pac-Man. Google don’t exclusively utilise the Pac family within Google Maps though, in fact they have previously not only added Pokémon to the real world long before Niantic did, but they even once made Google Maps run exactly like an 80s JRPG.
Despite all this though, what’s most surprising about Ms. Pac-Man’s appearance in Google Maps, is the fact that she’s hanging around post-April Fool’s Day. How long will this all last? Who knows, but I’d certainly enjoy it while it does, as Ms. Pac Man more than likely won’t be around for long, no matter how much we’d love her to be. Now back to gobbling up ghosts outside my house.