Google Maps goes 8-bit for April Fool’s

Mar 31, 2012
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Google Maps goes 8-bit for April Fool’s

If you've ever wondered what your neighborhood would look like in an old-school Zelda-style RPG, your imagination is about to be realized with the latest update to Google Maps. Of course, technologically speaking, the update is more of a step backward. But for those who love all things old-school, it may be one of the coolest things that the search giant has done when it comes to Google doing things just to gain attention.

Yes, we know that it isn't quite April 1 yet, but the world's biggest day for pranks falls on a Sunday this year, and really, who's paying attention to anything on Sundays? So, it isn't clear if Google will shut down this feature immedidately at the stroke of midnight on April 2, but at least for now you can search for any address and see if it comes up in super awesome old-school 8-bit format. The picture above is of midtown Manhattan in New York City, a site that normally looks dwarfed with satellite pictures of buildings and crowded streets.

Unlike a lot of April Fool's jokes, this one requires some digging around to find. Once you type in an address on Google Maps, like usual, you'll get your map; same as always. But if you click the word "Quest" on the right-hand side of the map, it will be transformed into the special 8-bit graphical style. It's possible when you click Quest that you migt see this prank message: "Your system may not meet the requirements for 8-bit computations." So, you've got at least a good 24 hours to check out as many locales as you want.


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