Pac-Man Gobbles Up Google Maps
Last week, and just in time for April Fool’s, Google made it possible for you to play Pac-Man on Google Maps. The streets you view on Google Maps are instantly converted into a Pac-Man game.
From your browser, go to maps.google.com, and you’ll see two icons at the bottom left — one for Google Earth and the other for Pac-Man. Select any city you want, zoom in/out to your viewing preference and start playing. So, yes, you can play Pac-Man just about anywhere in the world! Note it does-n’t work absolutely everywhere, so you’ll have to do a trial and error.
As you can see from my screen-shot, I took a crack at downtown Honolulu since the streets are relatively straight and easy to access by Pac-Man. It’s just like the old days of Pac-Man, only you have to use your keyboard arrows instead of a joystick. I also decided to try out the streets of Tokyo, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. It’s quite fun to pass the time, especially if you love Pac-Man as much as I do.
As you might remember, this isn’t the first time Google opened its Maps to video games. Last year it created its own global Pokemon Challenge, and a couple years ago it rendered all locations with 8-bit graphics. Google did not make it clear how long Pac-Man will be available, so enjoy it while you can.
Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: Riff
Facebook just launched a new video app called Riff, and it appears to be mimicking Snapchat’s continued success. This new app is a Snapchat and Vine hybrid that allows you to record a video up to 20 seconds long and share it, and it can be expanded upon collaboratively by your friends (in hope of creating a viral video that everybody had a piece in).
Each video begins with a single person and a unifying topic (e.g., last week’s horrific traffic #HITRAFFIC) to build upon. Facebook hopes your friends will see your video snippets and choose to join in to turn it into a string of clips that will evolve it into something else entirely. As with Vine, you’ll be able to choose from trending topics. Thankfully, I was not stuck in that hideous, Zip-induced traffic mess last week, but I can just imagine what types of Riff videos would have come out of it.
Unfortunately, you cannot comment directly on your Riff videos, but of course you can post your Riff video to Facebook, where comments can be made. Facebook removed this feature from within the app to encourage people to contribute their own video to a friend’s Riff.
Riff looks similar to Snapchat’s Our Story feature, which allows you to upload a 10-second video that revolves around a central topic. And, in Snapchat, there’s no guarantee your submission is included in Our Story, whereas Riff allows anyone to get the collaboration started. You can download it for free for your iOS or Android device.