Google's April Fools' Game Is Packed With '90s Nostalgia

By Mike Schuster  APR 01, 2014 2:53 PM

Alongside the usual fake news today, Google unveils an add-on game that lets users search through Google Maps for Pokémon characters.

 


Happy April Fools' Day: the most exhausting day of the year! If keeping our guard up at work -- lest the office "funny guy" changes our desktop wallpaper to Justin Bieber -- wasn't grueling enough, we have to wade through an endless spew of fake announcements and phony death reports before finding actual news.
 
So, with everyone's skepticism on high alert, companies such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Cheetos (NYSE:PEP) aren't aiming to fool their audiences, but rather celebrate the absurdity of nonsense products and services.
 
Netflix, for example, is streaming two videos that will keep any viewer riveted: static footage of bacon sizzling and a rotisserie chicken roasting. Cheetos announced its newly launched "Cheeteau by Chester," a Cheetos-scented perfume.
 
And, as per its annual tradition, Google is participating in more than a few April Fools' gags, such as an automatic photobombing David Hasselhoff for Google+, and Gmail Shelfie, a service where users can upload their selfies as their Gmail theme. But perhaps the best -- and most time-wasting -- gag Google has launched this year is its Google Maps Pokémon Challenge.
 
Capitalizing on the wildly popular character-collecting franchise from the '90s, the game allows iPhone (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android users to search and catch 150 different Pokémon creatures scattered throughout the world in the Google Maps app. Once players find a character, they can tap it to add it to their Pokédex, which catalogs the cute little monsters along with their portraits, profiles, and stats.
 
As with most of its annual gags, Google created an accompanying video. Check out the promo below and kiss a day's worth of work goodbye as you swipe and tap your way into capturing these Pokémon characters.

 

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