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Stop everything and go play ‘Pac-Man’ on Google Maps

Google's April Fool's joke brings back nostalgia.


Selena Larson


Posted on Mar 31, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 4:45 am CDT

Google is known for its clever April Fool’s Day jokes—last year we could try and catch Pokémon on Google Maps and customize our Gmail inboxes with a shareable selfie feature called “shelfies.”

This year, Google is getting started a day early once again and turned Google Maps into a game of Pac-Man.



Molly McHugh/Google Maps

When you visit Google Maps, you’ll see a black square in the bottom left corner of the map with the Pac-Man game. Once you click it, your screen will turn dark, and the map will shrink down to a few block radius that and you can start playing.

You can play the game anywhere on your computer and control the game with your arrow keys. But there are only a handful of locations Pac-Man will work on mobile. The company provides a large set of clues in the “learn more” tab of the game for mobile players, for example:

  • 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?

It’s best if you use an area with plenty of intersecting streets. You’ll only have a short time to test out Google’s genius Maps game, so try it before April Fool’s is over. And we’ll be keeping an eye out for any more Easter eggs and trickery Google throws our way before the day of pranks is done.

Update March 31, 2017: It’s baaaaack! Though we haven’t yet been able to collectively convince Google to keep Maps in arcade mode year-round, the Pac-Man stunt has made a repeat appearance again for April Fools Day. Go play while you can!

H/T Kotaku | Photo via Selena Larson/Google Maps

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*First Published: Mar 31, 2015, 1:02 pm CDT