How To Play the Secret Game in Google Maps

Snake game in Google Maps 10 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
Snake game in Google Maps
If you're a tech-savvy user, you probably know that tech giants like Google like to hide easter eggs in their software.
Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are perfect examples. The two browsers, whose purpose is to let users load websites and navigate the web, also include little games that we can play when an Internet connection is not available.

For example, Microsoft Edge packs a simple ski game that you can play with your keyboard on a computer. It's not the best game in the world, but it's a fun way to waste a few minutes while you wait for your IT admin to reset the router and restore your Internet connection.

Gaming goes hand-in-hand with cars, and Google knows this. This is why the search giant also integrated a small game in Google Maps.

Google Maps has evolved to become an all-in-one mapping service. It started many years ago as a navigation product, but the improvements released in the last decade turned it into the right mapping platform for everything. Google Maps still offers navigation guidance, but it now does significantly more, allowing users to read reviews, see business information, explore the world using street-level imagery, and see restaurant menus.

This is one of the reasons Google Maps and Waze continue to exist as separate apps, as despite looking similar, they're not direct competitors. Google Maps has a more ambitious goal, while Waze remains focused on traffic navigation.

Returning to the game bundled with Google Maps, it's a classic Snake game that almost everybody has played at least once in their lives. The first time I played Snake was in the early '90s on a Nokia 5110, and trust me, it was a fantastic experience, given the games available at that point. Teenagers will probably laugh at this, considering the games they play nowadays, but Snake was one of the most exciting titles during the '90s.

Google is often nostalgic, and we can see this in the doodles they post on Google Search occasionally. The Snake game is probably one part of its nostalgia.

The first thing you must know is that unlike browsers, where the games can be played offline, Google Maps does not allow users to play Snake without an Internet connection. You must still be online to load Snake in Google Maps, so the best time to play the game is when you wait to pick up the kids from school or charge the battery.

Snake is available on Android, iPhone, and computers. It's not directly integrated into Google Maps, as you need a browser to load it. Some people have previously asked me what a browser is, so here you go. A browser is an app that lets you load websites, like If you use Android, your device should already have Google Chrome – the number one browser on the planet. On iPhone, you have Safari, a similar application that competes against Chrome. On computers, your operating system comes preloaded with Microsoft Edge on Windows and Safari on macOS. Point the browser to to load the game.

Snake was designed with Google Maps in mind, so its purpose is to let you explore famous landmarks in popular cities worldwide. You can choose from Cairo, Sao Paulo, London, Sydney, San Francisco, Tokyo, and the world. Once you start playing, you control the snake with arrows on a computer or touch gestures on a mobile device. The more you play, the more landmarks you discover. Make sure you don't hit the walls and collect as many points as possible.

When you finish the game, you can share it with others or play in a different city.

Meanwhile, Google Maps is getting more refinements to improve the experience with the app on mobile platforms. The application has started highlighting full streets when searching for a name, making it easier to plan a route on a mobile device.

Google Maps also got additional polishing on Android Auto, where it now marks parking locations for drivers who use navigation to find a destination. When the parking location is different from the address, Google Maps marks it on the map, allowing users to continue running the app for walking directions to the destination.

All these improvements in Google Maps make sense, considering the more competitive landscape in the navigation space. Apple has also become more committed to improving Apple Maps, with the iPhone maker adding long overdue capabilities like offline maps and support for custom routes configured on PCs (coming to users with the upcoming iOS update due in the fall). Apple wants to transform Apple Maps into a fully featured Google Maps competitor, so Google has every reason to invest more aggressively in its software to maintain the lead in this race.

If you try the Snake game in Google Maps, post your high score in the box after the jump. Let's see who's the best.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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