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March 31, 2015

Google Maps has let Pac-Man loose on real city streets for April Fools' Day

By City Monitor Staff

We love maps. We write about them all the time. But we sometimes have difficulty convincing the general public that they’re quite as cool and fun as we think they are. 

This week, though, Google is giving us a helping hand by turning its entire maps database into a giant game of Pac-Man. The game appears to be an April Fool’s gimmick, though it’s not clear whether it’ll will disappear once the big day is over.

From anywhere in the world, and on any part of Google Maps that features enough roads, you can click the Pac-Man button on the bottom left of your screen and you can play the classic arcade game to your heart’s content. 

You can play Pac-Man around Trafalgar square:

You dodge ghosts by the Pyramids of Giza:

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Sadly, you don’t seem to be able to play in Pyongyang, North Korea:

You can’t take Pac-Man on a road trip, unfortunately: take him beyond the edge of the screen you’re looking at, and he’ll simply reappear at another edge of the map. 

And a word of warning: the street layout in your chosen town or city makes a big difference to how difficult the game is. Dodging ghosts in Europe’s densely packed, randomly angled streets requires faster reaction times than in a US city grid system. Good luck out there.

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