Google has just announced the availability of its Google Maps for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Users can also get a feel of how Google Maps for NES works by going to Google Maps and switch to an 8-bit version by clicking on "Quest" at the top right.
And yes, Happy April's Fool Day, everybody! As usual, Google has a knack of doing something that tugs at the heartstrings of us geeks. This April's Fool prank has so many references that will be similar to those of us who have spent hours on the NES slaying monsters, leveling up and saving the world in a role-playing game. In fact, Google even uploaded a video onto its YouTube channel, to showcase how the 8-bit Google Maps works.
So what are the references that you might be able to identify?
1. Blowing on the cartridge when the game refuses to load. Yes, this is definitely one of the first things we learned about game cartridges, and how a little blowing will save the day.
2. The Google Maps logo on the cartridge looks hauntingly familiar to Square-Enix's Dragon Quest title design.
3. The 8-bit maps will remind you of the world map that your character travels, and at times have random encounters with monsters that needs some slaying.
And we're not kidding. There's really a "Quest" mode that turns Google Maps into an 8-bit layout. Go ahead, try it out, search for a location and get directions in the old-school, retro 8-bit way!