It’s April Fools’ Day and many people have been planning pranks on their friends and family or possibly even people they don’t like. Google has a different approach to celebrating the holiday. Google Maps celebrated April Fools’ day with the iconic game Snake, which was one of the earliest games on mobile devices.
Those who grew up in the 80s and 90s may especially remember using Nokia devices capable of running Snake, which was initially introduced in 1997. Players must guide a small snake through various obstacles as it eats points placed randomly on the screen to grow larger. The game is extremely fun, but it also grows more and more difficult as the snake grows bigger. Hitting a wall or its own tail results in defeat, which can be extremely unnerving when approaching a new high score.
Now Google Maps has re-introduced the app temporarily. The app is usually used to navigate to a certain location, check out hot spots and so on. However, today Google Maps will also allow users to celebrate April Fools’ Day with the iconic game, which takes them to various locations around the world, including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo using Google Maps. Players can use the snake to travel through these cities while avoiding obstacles and growing bigger.
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To start playing Snake, all you have to do is go to the menu located in the top-left corner of the Google Maps app and select the option “Play Snake.” Google has redesigned the game to look more futuristic, although it certainly kept its 90s charm.
In a blog post, Google describes the snake metaphorically as a train which picks up passengers to grow bigger while visiting some of the world’s wonders, such as Big Ben, the Great Sphinx of Giza and the Eiffel Tower. To demonstrate that the game is true to the original title, Google warns you to try not to run off the map or hit yourself.
The app is already available around the world on both Android and iOS devices, and it can be played via the app for about a week to celebrate the first days of “jokester” month. Although the game will be gone in a week, if you become hooked on it, you will still be able to enjoy the game on a standalone website.
Google certainly seems to enjoy celebrating April Fools’ Day with iconic games. The company announced an NES-inspired 8-bit Google Maps version in 2012. In 2015, the company added a Pac-Man game, while last year, Google Maps users could play Where’s Waldo. A full list of Google’s accomplishments on April Fools’ Day in previous years can be found here.