Google has done it again.
Just in time for April Fool's Day, Google has introduced Google Maps Quest, a retro 8-bit version of its mapping tool that is... totally awesome.
In a characteristically whimsical video, available above, Google employees introduce the new version for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), replete with finicky cartridge and 8-bit music.
"With Google Maps 8-bit, you can do all the things you already do on regular Google Maps," writes Tatsuo Nomura, a Google software engineer, in a post on Google's official Maps blog. "Search for famous landmarks and sites around the world. Take an epic journey with 8-bit Street View. Get detailed directions to avoid dangerous paths, and battle your way through a world of powerful monsters and mystic treasures."
To use Quest (from your computer, of course), head over to Google Maps and simply click the "Quest" box in the top right corner. Then, you're whisked away to 8-bit land of maps. Be sure to try Street View in Quest mode.
Google notes in the post that this will be the first NES cartridge to be released in almost 18 years (yes, you are getting old) and that there is already a version in develoment for the Game Boy.
Google has had a long history of April Fool's gags. In 2007, the company announced TiSP, the Toilet Internet Service Provider, "a self-installed, ad-supported online service that will be offered entirely free to any consumer with a WiFi-capable PC and a toilet connected to a local municipal sewage system."
Last year, the search giant released "Gmail Motion," which allowed users to use hand signals to perform tasks in Gmail. And when users searched for "Helvetica," Google returned results in Comic Sans.
We're still one day away from April Fool's, so we imagine that there are more tricks up Google's sleeve.
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Google channels the 80s with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/google-maps-quest-google-8-bit_n_1393739.html?ref=technology" target="_hplink">Google Maps Quest</a>, an 8-Bit version of Google Maps. Fans of Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest who miss the good 'ol days of NES gameplay will be excited to learn that Google will be offering cartridge versions of Google Maps Quest in the <a href="http://www.googlestore.com/" target="_hplink">Google Store</a>.
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