April Fools? Day has already arrived in Japan and as expected, Google has a deluge of jokes and Easter eggs to check out online. You can check out?our constantly-updating list here.
One of our early favorites is the new?Pok?mon?Challenge?for Google Maps which, at long last, lets anyone with a smartphone or tablet earn the all-important title of Pok?mon?Master.
From an iOS or Android device, you simply need to launch the Google Maps app and tap the ?Search? option at the top of the screen. You?ll see a new ?Press Start? option and a blue?Pok?ball icon, signalling the classic quest that awaits every aspiring Pok?mon?trainer.
In our quick playtest, Google bounced us across to the Pok?mon?Lab, suitably located at the CERN research facility in Switzerland. As you swipe around the map, you?ll see colorful sprites for individual Pok?mon, which you can then catch and add to your Pok?dex for safekeeping.
There are some nice throwbacks to the original games too; the Pok?dex?has full artwork for each monster and when you tap on a Pok?mon?the classic phrase ?a wild Pok?mon?appears? is displayed prominently at the bottom of the screen.
Presumably Google has Nintendo?s blessing to put all of this together. The promotional video above shows off an incredible AR mode similar to Pok?mon?Snap on the Nintendo 64, but that?s almost certainly just Google having a bit of fun. We can all dream though, right?