April Fools’ Day is upon us again — and for two of the last three years, Google has rolled out a fully playable version Pac-Man on its Maps app and web service to transform the standard street-view into an old-school gamer’s playground.
This year, Google is giving the first lady of gaming her due: Ms. Pac-Man is taking over your Map for the lighthearted holiday, making your navigation that much more fun.
The promotion is available on Maps for Android, iOS, and desktop. Playing is simple: just pull up the app on your phone or desktop, search for somewhere you think would be a good place to play, and get ready to munch on some dots.
Once you press on the Ms. Pac-Man icon, your Map screen is transformed into an arcade-y grid, ghosts Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue pop up, and you’re off to the races.
There’s not as many features as 2015’s Pac-Man outing, when a list of clues sent users on a globe-trotting challenge to play, but it’s just as fun to play through Ms. Pac-Man’s five lives wherever you are IRL.
The “prank” is a welcome move by Google on April Fools’ Day, which is becoming more of an overblown brand marketing opportunity for the whole last week of March than a one-off day of jokes and mischief. We actually get something we can enjoy for the day instead of an over-hyped campaign designed to make us look dumb — that’s just not funny.