Legendary prankster Google is out with some early April Fools’ tomfoolery ahead of schedule, teasing nostalgic gamers with an 8-bit version of its near-ubiquitous Maps application.

“In our pursuit of new digital frontiers, we realized that we may have left behind a large number of users who couldn’t access Google Maps on their classic hardware,” Google said in a blog post on the phony product for NES.

Maps 8-bit for NES (and soon Game Boy!) is the dream cartridge for the sentimental gamer who still totes around her classic Nintendo Entertainment System. The application features low-res graphics, an 8-bit-themed soundtrack, and even monsters.

“With Google Maps 8-bit, you can do all the things you already do on regular Google Maps. 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,” Google said.

The accompanying how-to video, embedded below, is a must-watch and includes appropriate instructions for operation — think blowing on the cartridge to fix bugs.

The Maps gag is no Google TiSP, but it’s quite clever and likely just one of many new “products” launching this April.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member