Today on the Internet, the Google Maps team pushed out one of the greatest, if not the greatest, April Fools’ Day easter eggs in history. While you’re perusing a map in the browser, you can click on a Pac-Man icon in the lower left corner. Doing so lets you play Pac-Man right there in Google Maps, using real locations as your levels. You can run the little guy up and down city streets, gobbling up little dots while the ghosts give chase. Frankly, it’s amazing.
This is a feature that Google should leave baked into Maps forever because…Pac-Man on any street map anywhere in the world is just too awesome to use only as a holiday prank.
In any case, we’ve sat down and found some of the best places to play this globe-trotting classic arcade game. Here are some of them. If you find others, please shout out on Twitter and Facebook, or in the comments.
With its roundabouts adding a little circular action to the grid, Washington D.C. offers a great place to run away from ghosts.
When I think about great Pac-Man maps, I try to think about the worst-designed metros out there, with the worst congestion and traffic issues possible. Obviously, Boston springs to mind.
Across the pond, if you want bad traffic visit Brussels, the seat of the EU. Lots of choke-points, roads going nowhere, and other fun challenges.
For a little more artistic flair, head to Italy. There’s nothing quite like playing Pac-Man beneath the shadow of the Arco della Pace. Even this map looks artsy.
If you’re after a more straightforward, grid-based map, no place is better suited than Phoenix, AZ. It’s all straight lines designed by people with actual cars. Think of this as Easy Mode.
Any place with rivers and bridges will do—I’m looking at you Pittsburgh!—but Paris is fancier. And nothing makes a game of Pac-Man better than fancy.
For something a little further East, you can’t go wrong with Saigon. Well, in Google Pac-Man anyways.
And hey, while we’re on the subject of cities with rivers and countries we’ve fought wars with…why not Baghdad? Crazy streets, palaces, intense danger….what could go wrong?
This list wouldn’t be complete (and wasn’t complete until I added this) without Tokyo, and specifically the Meguro Ward in Tokyo, where Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani was born.
This isn’t the first time G00gle has inserted Pac-Man code, by the way. In 2010 they created a Google Doodle that housed a fully playable version of the game to celebrate its 30th anniversary.