Back in 2014, Google teamed up with Nintendo to hide Pokémon across Maps and it was surprisingly fun—paving the way for Pokémon Go. Now, the two companies are working together again to transform your turn-by-turn driving directions into a little homage to Mario Kart.
The latest Google Maps Easter egg is set to roll out just in time for Mario Day, which is apparently March 10. (Get it? MAR10? We sigh.) For a week starting this Saturday you can replace your usual location icon in Maps with an image of Mario riding a go kart—red homing shells not included.
To summon the mustachioed plumber, make sure your Maps app is updated. Pull up driving directions like you normally would and look for a suspicious-looking yellow question mark block to the left of the regular Start button. Tap it, and off you “a-go” with the image of a cartoon plumber on a kart instead of an arrow in a circle.
How to get Mario on your Google Maps today.
The Mario-themed Google Maps app will run for a full week on both Android and iOS phones. It's very easy to get started:
- Make sure your Google Maps app is up to date.
- When you load up Google Maps and enter a destination, instead of pressing start press the yellow "?" icon. This summons Mario.
- If you are really bored, press the yellow "?" 100 times to hear it make the 1-up sound from the Super Mario Bros games.
- Let's a' go!
- And that's pretty much it. Just remember not to stare too long at the little guy in his little kart. Eyes on the road, drivers. Driving is no game. Unless, that is, you're actually playing Mario Kart.
I have a feeling this little trick may have something to do with the Mario Kart smartphone game, which is set to come out anytime between April 2018 and March 2019. Until then, this cross-branded Easter egg will have to do.