What just happened? April fools’ day is upon us again, and with it comes the usual deluge of stories that, while fake and outlandish, are often believable enough to convince many people. But Google isn’t putting out comedy announcements; instead, it’s added a version of the iconic Snake game to its Google Maps app.
The feature is rolling out to Android and iOS users today. If you want to try it out, simply open Google Maps on your phone, hit the icon button in the top left corner, and select Play Snake. You’ll then be given the choice of seven destinations: Cairo, São Paulo, London, Sydney, San Francisco, Tokyo, or the entire world.
Instead of a snake, players control a train or a bus. As with the original version, picking up items (in this case it’s passengers) will see your body length increase, and crashing into yourself or the game boundaries will bring proceedings to an end.
Snake on Google Maps also features famous landmarks for you to collect as bonuses, including Big Ben, the Great Sphinx of Giza, and the Eiffel Tower.
Google said Snake would be available on its Maps app for the entire week. Those who don’t have the application can play the game on a standalone site, which, as it uses a keyboard rather than screen swiping, is a lot easier to control.
Google will no doubt prefer this kind of April Fools’ celebration to traditional pranks. Back in 2016, it got in trouble for adding a joke feature to its Gmail service. The ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button attached a GIF of a Minion dropping a microphone to users’ emails and irreversibly muted all replies. It was removed after people selected it by accident and mic dropped work and professional contacts.
For some April Fools' ideas of your own, check out our top 10 tech pranks.