mspacman

Google Maps Let You Play as Ms. Pac-Man For April Fools Day

April Fool’s Day is a day of pranks, mischief, and shenanigans, and there’s no doubt you were filled with a burning desire to play pranks on your pals. Well, the best April Fool’s Days are those where huge businesses and companies join in on the action. This year, one of the biggest proponents of the April Fool’s fever was Google, and they did it in classic style.

 

The international powerhouse of a company celebrated April Fool’s Day in style, by allowing users to play Ms. Pac-Man in the Google Maps app. Users opening the maps mobile app were greeted with a tempting looking Ms. Pac-Man icon, sitting tantalisingly above the compass icon. The symbol was just begging to be pushed by curious mobile phone daredevils, and push they did!

 

Once tapping on the symbol those bold and beautiful bohemians were rewarded for their nonconformity. The game activated, and players were transported to a random location in the world on the Maps app. The streets were paved with gold… well, okay, not gold. White dots in fact. The same white dots found in the classic arcade Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man games. The excitement was palpable as people began to realise what was occurring.

 

Players could help Ms. Pac-Man navigate the rough and ready virtual streets of the Google Maps world, using nothing but their index fingers! The power pellets sustained our yellow hero as she attempted to avoid ghosts and make her way along the streets to find her coveted pieces of fruit. Each level offered different types of fruit, just like in the arcade version of the game. Cats have nine lives, but Ms. Pac-Man only needs five!

 

This has to rank as one of the cooler April Fool’s Day pranks we’ve encountered, and it’s sure to rekindle interest in Ms. Pac-Man as a game. Back in 2015, Google offered Pac-Man, but this year they are all about Girl-Power, and the novelty is just as popular as it once was.

 

There is no word on whether this game will still available to players, or whether it was simply a fun and invigorating April Fool’s Day prank. Last time we checked, the Ms. Pac-Man symbol was no longer available, but that doesn’t mean it won’t return at some point in the future. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled and look for her every time you load up the phone app.  

Netflix 8Bit Game

The New Netflix 8Bit Game is All Sorts of Awesome

When Netflix released new cult hit Stranger Things last year, there was a revival for everything retro and 80s which were sparked by the time zone of the show. Back in the late 80s and the early 90s, successful films and TV shows, such as Back to the Future and Home Alone, were turned into fun 8-bit games to be enjoyed on the old school consoles and so Netflix clearly saw a fantastic chance for a marketing tie-in, by releasing a free 8 Bit game that features several characters from some of their most well-known Netflix original series and embraces the nerdy gamer culture that we so loved about Stranger Things.

 

The game’s concept is trying to escape the Demogorgon, a creature of nightmares, playing as one of the characters, including Piper Chapman from Orange is the New Black, Mike Wheeler from Stranger Things, Marco Polo from Marco Polo and Pablo Escobar from Narcos. Each character has their own stage, which will see Pablo running through a jungle scene and Piper in prison.

 

This game is not intended to be the next Super Mario or Call of Duty and is not likely to have you addicted to it; however, it is a really fun gimmick that will appeal to anyone who enjoys the various Netflix original series and loves a simple 8-bit game. Perhaps they will add further levels and even some of their other characters from their shows such as the crew from Hemlock Grove, The Ranch, and the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, perhaps to tie in with the release of new series. That said, we can’t imagine any other villain to be anywhere near as terrifying as the Demogorgon – even those awful guards from Litchfield prison which the OITNB girls know all about.

 

It’s unlikely that this is a trend that is going to make a come back like much of the late 80s, and early 90s culture has been of late, but it is a lot of fun and something different from the innovative team over at Netflix. Either way, we know that the Stranger Things kids would have loved this game and perhaps it is easier to escape the Demogorgon when it’s nothing but a few pixels on a screen!

 

FreeVector-21

Top 8Bit Games We Miss the Most

When computer games are becoming more and more advanced, to the point that their graphics could be confused for movie footage, and gameplay can be executed with nothing but the human body, we do find ourselves feeling a little nostalgic for the boxy 8bit graphics that we grew up with. Games where the concept was simple but the fun lasted hours!

One of the original and best games was Space Invaders – the imagery of which is still iconic and recognized today, but game players now require a much more elaborate storyline than having to shoot down some aliens before they reach you.

Before Super Mario was in 3 dimensions (plus!), with more enemies than a whole world of super heroes, he was an 8-bit plumber hero whose only aim was to save the princess and avoid the Goombas! This was back when Mario was a flying raccoon – a very different look from the adorable kitty that he transforms into in the most recent games.

Another 8-bit platform great was the original Donkey Kong. Starring Donkey Kong, of course, but also a fun character called Mr. Video (and later, Jumpman) who is the Super Mario we know, and love today! Where Mario has grown as the face of video games, Donkey Kong and his mini pal Diddy Kong have not been quite as successful, but the old game was so much fun!

Teaching children how not to cross the road since 1981, Frogger is a simple concept game, where you are the frog desperately trying to cross the road while avoiding cars, taxis, buses, and bikes that are all happy to run it over! Using just four directional controls and trying to beat the clock, this game was far more stressful than GTA!

Although based on a Disney film, (which was later rebooted), Tron was a very popular 8-bit arcade video game. The gameplay involved the use of an 8-way joystick, a dial for direction and one button to control firing. The game has four subgames in various difficulties, including I/O Tower, MCP Cone, Battle Tanks and Light Cycles all of which are basic but exciting.

Today’s games are increasingly impressive, and the way technology is going things are only set to become even better and more complex. That said, sometimes, nothing beats a simple, retro 8-bit game that we loved as children.