Google Maps Goes 8-Bit For April Fools'

Ever wanted to make your next long-distance journey seem that little bit more epic? Well now you can, thanks to a new 8-bit version of Google Maps. Similar in style to old Enix (now Square Enix) games from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) era, this new way to view Google Maps will definitely give your next journey that sense of adventure.

(Related: 20 April Fools' Must-See Websites From Google to Sony to YouTube)

The pixel style map can be accessed by visiting the regular Google Maps website: all you have to do is click the 'Quest' option, alongside the usual 'Earth' and 'Satellite' buttons. Once clicked, the map you are viewing will be transformed into 8-bit goodness.

So, why the sudden appearance of a cutesy 8-bit version of Google's mapping tool? April Fools' of course, what else?

Google Maps software engineer Tatsuo Nomura posted on the Google Lat Long blog with details of this retro feature. According to the post, the 'Quest' mode on the Google Maps website is just a "trial" of the full version, which is said to be "coming soon" to the Nintendo Entertainment System--as described in this video:

As the video explains, the Google team want to bring Maps to the NES as the hugely successful console has been "long-neglected" by the search giant. Sadly, despite the promising video showing off the technoology in action, we think the promise of it "coming soon to the Google Store" is a little too good to be true.

Again, you can try Google Maps 8-bit now by visiting Google Maps and hitting Quest. For extra fun, be sure to try street-view for an alternative look on the world around you. Oh, and it's definitely worth spending some time exploring, as the new map does seem to be hidden with plenty of easter eggs.

[Google Lat Long Blog, YouTube]

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