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Google, the billion-dollar company known for, among other things, having a fun work-environment at their corporate office, is also known for April Fool’s hijinx–and this year they didn’t disappoint. Among other goofs, Google released “Google Maps Quest,” an NES-styled 8bit video game, akin to the old birds-eye-view low-res games such as Final Fantasy. The playing field is Earth itself, and players can visit an 8bit version of national landmarks and geographical sites, not to mention their own homes.

To play the game, access Google Maps and click the “Quest” box at the top corner.

“With Google Maps 8-bit, you can do all the things you already do on regular Google Maps,” write Tatsuo Nomura, a software engineer for Google. “Search for famous landmarks and sites around the world. Take an epic journey with 8-bit Street view. Get detailed directions to avoid dangerous paths and battle your way through a world of powerful monsters and mystic treasures.”


Other Aprils 1st foolery include “The YouTube collection,” a spoof by which you can seemingly order thousands of disks to be delivered to your front door; Chrome Multitask Mode, which plagues your screen with various cursors to help you task away, and “Google Really Advanced Search,” which gives such specific searching criteria as “Rhyming Slang for,” and “Embarrassing grammatical faux pas.”



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