Google Maps’ Newest Feature: Helping You Find Waldo

Starting Saturday, Google Maps will include a revolutionary new feature. Using what we’re sure is cutting-edge proprietary technology, it will allow users to answer one of life’s most persistent questions: Where’s Waldo?

Yes, it’s the latest in Google’s long-running tradition of April Fools’ Day pranks. But it’s actually going live in Maps – and for some, it’ll be a welcome dose of nostalgia. The “Where’s Waldo” books, which were wildly popular in the 1990s, were known as “Where’s Wally?” in their original British incarnation. Creator Martin Handford’s incredibly detailed, colorful drawings, full of goofy visual gags, were tailor-made for drawing in young fans.

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The Google Maps minigame reproduces original drawings from the series, but tags them as real locations including a beach in Australia and a ski slope in Chile. Players must scroll around the images to find Waldo and his friends. You’ll have to find Waldo in each map before advancing to the next one. The Google version arguably adds some fun to the exercise, including by tracking which characters you’ve found in each illustration.

The minigame is already active in the desktop version of Maps, where it can be accessed through a pop-up image of Waldo on the edge of the app. According to The Verge, it should also be available on Android and iOS versions starting some time Saturday, and will be active for a week.

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