Internet companies love to get into the April Fools' Day spirit, but no one takes it as seriously as Google. It’s already April 1 in Japan, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Google’s first prank has already surfaced on YouTube and within the Google Maps mobile apps for iPhone and Android.
This time, Google partnered with Nintendo and Pokémon to create a new Google Maps challenge. Google hid 150 of the digital monsters around the globe on Google Maps, encouraging users to explore the globe to “catch them all.”
Google also released a YouTube video that claims that anyone who finds all 150 by April 2 will be invited to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., to compete for a new job at Google, the resident Pokémon Master.
To play, users need the most recent update to Google Maps for iPhone or Android. When a user taps the search bar, a new option reads “press start” with a Pokémon icon. This launches Google Maps with images of “Pokémon Lab” near Google’s headquarters, and Pokémon scattered about. Simply tap on the image of a Pokémon, and then the icon that says “catch” to capture the “wild Pokémon.” There is even a “Pokédex” to keep track of the critters you’ve collected.
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“Leave no stone unturned or city unzoomed as you seek out wild Charizards and Pikachus to add to your Pokédex,” Google said on the Google Maps blog. “Be vigilant -- you never know if a wild Steelix will appear in Tokyo, Japan or New York City, USA.”
Google said it will be giving away hints and tips through the Google Maps accounts on Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter.