Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 22.55.46

You may remember Google’s April Fools’ challenge last year, since it was pretty epic. If you missed it, Google came out with a game where you could search for Pokemon on the Google Maps app on your mobile device. It got rave reviews and it’s such a shame that it was only available for a limited time.

This year, Google is reaching out to a slightly older generation of video game lovers, letting us play Pac-Man on real streets of Google Maps!! Of course, being Google and April Fools’ Day, there is a catch, but more or less, you can transform neighborhoods into Pac-Man game screens.

The 34-year-old Namco video game is making a fun, if fleeting, come back and the game is available today, April 1. You better believe that we’ve already tried it.

Unlike the Pokemon challenge where you were limited to playing on mobile phones, there are two ways to play the Pac-Man game: on your mobile device or on your computer.

We’ll start with the mobile device version. You don’t have to download any special apps (unless you don’t already have Google Maps), so all you have to do is open up Google Maps on your smart phone. Granted that you’re not standing in Time Square, observing the Arc de Triomphe, or at some other famous locale, chances are you won’t see the Pac-Man symbol just yet. First, you have to find where Pac-Man is hiding using the clue list.

▼ Sorry, we gave away the first two already.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 23

Hopefully, you can crack those clues because the Pac-Man mobile game is only available for certain streets around the world. (Even if you can’t figure out the clue, if you search for famous places, you may happen upon the yellow-warrior.

▼ We decided to take a spin around Paris’s Arc de Triomphe:


▼ Click on the icon and… same roads, but Pac-Man style.


Some places like this have really cool roads to drive on, making it more exciting than the boring old grids of traditional Pac-Man. You can control your guy easily using your finger to swipe the direction you want him to go, but otherwise, the rules seem to be the same. Be careful though, it gets addicting.

The browser-based computer version of the game not only lets you play in the streets of famous places, but you can also play in everyday streets.

▼ Just for fun, we looked up the RocketNews24 headquarters in Tokyo.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 22.58.42

▼ Sure enough we get to play Pac-Man around the (zoomed-in) neighborhood!

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 22.59.58

▼ Unfortunately not all areas are available for play, we got this a few times in search of a fun location in rural Japan.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 22

▼ Because we’d gotten that unfortunate notice so many times already, it was quite surprising to find that this map worked, despite having only one road…

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 23.45.31

Google has once again succeeded at making a game so playable and so addicting, we will probably be totally consumed by it, paying only minimal attention to the surrounding world, making us easy targets for April Fools’ jokes and pranks. Maybe that’s what they had in mind all along…

If you’ve made it to the end of this article (thank you), but you should probably open a tab to Google Maps right away and start playing. The clock is ticking!

Source: Google Support via Famitsu
Images: Google MapsGoogle Support