For April’s Fools Day this year Google has done something clever even by that company’s standards: They’ve given players the ability to play Pac-Man on any map anywhere in the world at the click of a button.
“Welcome, Player 1!” Google writes on the game’s webpage. “You can now play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while.”
This is a feature that Google should leave baked into Maps forever because…Pac-Man on any street map anywhere in the world is just too awesome to use only as a holiday prank.
In any case, we’ve sat down and found some of the best places to play this globe-trotting classic arcade game. Here are some of them. If you find others, please shout out on Twitter and Facebook, or in the comments.
With its roundabouts adding a little circular action to the grid, Washington D.C. offers a great place to run away from ghosts.
When I think about great Pac-Man maps, I try to think about the worst-designed metros out there, with the worst congestion and traffic issues possible. Obviously, Boston springs to mind.
Across the pond, if you want bad traffic visit Brussels, the seat of the EU. Lots of choke-points, roads going nowhere, and other fun challenges.
For a little more artistic flair, head to Italy. There’s nothing quite like playing Pac-Man beneath the shadow of the Arco della Pace. Even this map looks artsy.
If you’re after a more straightforward, grid-based map, no place is better suited than Phoenix, AZ. It’s all straight lines designed by people with actual cars.
Any place with rivers and bridges will do—I’m looking at you Pittsburgh!—but Paris is fancier. And nothing makes a game of Pac-Man better than fancy.
This isn’t the first time G00gle has inserted Pac-Man code, by the way. In 2010 they created a Google Doodle that housed a fully playable version of the game to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Pac-Man is also starring in the upcoming Adam Sandler film “Pixels.”
A brief note: If you’re on mobile phones, some of these locations won’t work.
In fact, there’s only a few spots in Google Maps that will generate a Pac-Man button. Fortunately, Google has provided a list of clues for intrepid mobile mappers to follow.
Here they are:
- Don’t drop the ball on the eve of your victory!
- Triumph is délicieux.
- Does a Galaxian bonus await at the top of those 272 steps?
- Chomp your way to independence down seven lanes of July.
- PAC-MAN and Ms. PAC-MAN can’t agree on which side is prettier: the American or the Canadian. Which side do you fall on, eh?
- After a chat with the Sphinx, PAC-MAN sounds more like “Dokki Dokki”.
- Pause game play to admire Chagall’s stained glass windows and have a bit of chocolate.
- Can you score 10^(10^100) points?
- Whether they’re flashing blue or sporting their natural colors, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde are always kakkoii. Even Vogue agrees they’re living in the trendiest of neighborhoods.
- Previous PAC-MAN lives don’t get to rest in a white marble mausoleum.
- Head to the valley of the sun and earn your grade in the art of the game.
- How well can you navigate the radiating streets of the distrito federal?
- Victory is like gothic glockenspiel musik to our ears.
- Pay special attention to Blinky – he might blend in with the dreaming red kangaroos!
- You’ll find the Beach PAC-MAN World Cup here before long.
Happy April Fools Day!