As an April Fools Day prank, Google used Google Maps to place pretend Pokemon all over the world. The company later revealed that it was rewarding people who managed to find all 150 (or 151, don’t forget Mew) pocket monsters with a special gift. A tech superpower with endless resources, what might Google be sending this skilled group of individuals? Google Play credit? A free Nexus phone or tablet? Tickets to I/O? What could it be? To congratulate people who managed to wrangle the digital beasts, Mountain View has issued a letter certifying their success, along with a set of business cards labeling them as a “Pokemon Master” at Google Inc.
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It looks like Google’s usual April Fools festivities have just kicked off as we officially roll into April 1st in Japan. Google’s first gag is the recruiting video above looking for a qualified “Pokemon Master” for the Google Maps team and comes alongside a mini-game easter egg in the Google Maps app for iOS and Android.
While the video above showing some type of augmented reality style Pokemon game integrated with Google Maps is almost certainly just for a bit of April Fools fun, an easter egg already live in the Google Maps app on iOS and Android actually lets users play a Pokemon mini-game:
As you can see in the screenshots above, small Pokemon characters are appearing scattered throughout the Google Maps app. You can tap the characters to catch them and also a view a detailed Pokedex that shows artwork, character details, and the Pokemon you still have to catch.
Those that catch all the Pokemon between now and April 2nd will go on to Google for a final challenge to crown the true Pokemon Master for the Google Maps team. To turn on the mini-game, tap the search bar in the Google Maps app followed by “Press Start.” expand full story