Just ahead of April Fool’s Day, Google has struck again by allowing users to turn any small section of Google Maps into a Pac-Man game you can control with your computer arrow keys. Fire up a section from Maps, zoom in enough so there are a lot of streets that fill the view, and click the Pac-Man button at the bottom of the screen to Pac-ify your surroundings.
A couple of tips: try to pick a map section without a lot of fiddly turns and angles. Getting Pac quickly through such chicanery can be murder. Also, since any roads heading off the sides of the section become like the tunnels in the original arcade game, be careful moving through them. You might not come out the other side where you expect.
I had a visceral reaction watching this new trailer for Adam Sandler’s upcoming classic video game themed film Pixels, but it wasn’t in one direction or the other about the quality of the movie. It’s neat to see these vaunted video game characters come to life, but in the trailer they appear to be in service of slight sight gags and weak punchlines. It’s awesome to see Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani make a prominent appearance, but then he’s used in a joke that merely subverts your expectations, which is one of the lowest forms of humour for me. I’m hoping that some more insightful, telling observations about video game culture and game nostalgia were left out of the preview for brevity’s sake.
Ah well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see when Pixels hits theatres this summer. It will either be the best thing ever, or the worst thing ever. For now, here is the full, official Trailer: