Google Maps Is Transforming Into 'Mario Kart' All Week


Just days after Google released street view for Disney theme parks, the tech giant is again aligning itself with another notable partner, Nintendo, by bringing Mario Kart to Google Maps. The estimable cartoon plumber is making a week-long appearance on the app starting on Mario Day, which is today, March 10. The occasion apparently translates to "Mar10," too, in case you didn't already get the incredibly clever gag. 

To summon Mario via Google's newest Easter egg, make sure you're using the most updated version of the Google Maps app. Then, when navigating on the app with driving directions, you'll notice a question mark icon hovering on the bottom, righthand side of the screen. Tap the icon and Mario appears, ready to shepherd you anywhere, in lieu of the usual navigation arrow.

It might be strange at first, but do not fear: Mario's affable plumber charm will not lead you astray. 

Mario is operable on Google Maps for iOS and Android, and his presence should be enough to keep you from slipping on banana peels while you navigate their very troublesome existence on the road.

While it might seem like a simple bit of fun, Mario on Google Maps can be seen as something of a harbinger for the forthcoming mobile game Mario Kart Tour, which is set for a March, 2019 release.

Once that game releases, you should have ample experience playing Mario Kart on a phone. By then, no red shells will be safe.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster