SAN FRANCISCO >> The virtual streets of Google Maps are being transformed into Pac-Man’s chomping grounds in celebration of April Fools’ Day.
Google added the option to convert its popular navigation service into the Pac-Man video game on Tuesday morning, around the same day the calendar turned to April 1 in Asia. That ushered in a day when Google shows off its playful side by injecting more frivolity into its services.
The gag on Google Maps enables visitors to click on a Pac-Man symbol in the lower left of the screen to play the video game on whatever location is listed in the address bar. As has been happening for nearly 35 years, Pac-Man eats blinking dots while trying to elude four “ghosts” — Pinky, Blinky, Inky and Clyde.
The game can be played in Google Maps on desktop computers or mobile devices that have the latest app update for Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android software.
This isn’t the first time that Google Inc.’s engineers have paid tribute to Pac-Man. In May 2010, Google tweaked the doodle on its main search page to accommodate games of Pac-Man.
Planting Pac-Man into maps probably won’t be Google’s only April Fools’ stunt, based on the Mountain View, California, company’s colorful past. Among other things, Google previously has promised to introduce search by smell, provide a translation tool for animals and posted notices for jobs on the moon.