Google Maps seems to be in the business of making your road trips a lot more fun (and nostalgic) than usual. In March, they had your old pal Mario from Mario Kart riding along your route with you in the Google Maps app, and it was a '90s dream come true. Well, you can actually play the latest game from the app without even getting in the car this time around. This new adventure stars a popular children's book character you're sure to recognize, and you'll definitely want to make sure that you try it out while it's here. So, how can you play Where's Waldo? in Google Maps?
Like I said before, you don't need to be in a car using Google Maps to partake in a Waldo adventure during the week of April Fools, according to the official Google blog. Waldo arrived in Google Maps on Saturday, March 31, and as long as your app on your phone or tablet is updated, you're all set to start searching for Waldo in his iconic red-and-white striped outfit. Since the game is in Google Maps, you can also play from your desktop or laptop by going to the Google Maps website, so everyone can get in on the Where's Waldo? action.
Once you've initially spotted Waldo waving at you to join him on his adventure with his pals Wenda, Woof, and Wizard Whitebeard (and even not-so-friendly Odlaw), you can travel around the world via Google Maps searching for them all. As you put your childhood Waldo-search skills to good use once again, you'll earn "wonderful and wacky badges" each time you spot Waldo and his crew.
You'll even travel as far as PyeongChang, South Korea to find Waldo and the gang, which is perfect if you're suffering from major Winter Olympics withdrawals (you're not the only one). One tip to remember as you play the game is that even though it's awesome if you find the entire Where's Waldo? crew, you can only move on to the next level if you've found the star of the show, Waldo. So if you're in a hurry, you should focus on spotting Waldo first in order to move on to the next level.
This Google Maps Where's Waldo? game is definitely not a watered-down version of the original books. They pack each scene with plenty of people to make sure you're sufficiently challenged as you search for Waldo's unmistakable red pom-topped beanie and glasses in places like the Andes Mountains and Buñol, Spain (the home of the world's largest tomato festival, according to Google Maps).
Once you've found Waldo, you can have all the bragging rights when you screenshot your success and share it with @GoogleMaps on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WaldoMaps. The Google blog post announcing this interactive game didn't say exactly how long it will be here, but they did quote Waldo in the post as saying, "...join in my amazing adventures for April Fools this week," so hopefully that means you can play until at least through the end of the week on Friday, April 6. You'll need that much time, too, because you'll likely remember how much you enjoyed searching for your pal Waldo as a kid and not want to do much else besides that once you start playing.
I don't know if users' positive reactions to the Mario Kart feature had anything to do with this nostalgic April Fools adventure, but the weeklong Mario Time feature was a hit with '90s kids everywhere. The Where's Waldo? Google Maps game seems to be capitalizing on that same love of nostalgic characters, so I'm sure that Google Maps users will be equally as excited to take a trip down memory lane with Waldo and his crew.