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Google Maps Gets ‘Mario Time’ Navigation for a Week, Thanks to MAR10 Day


Google on Saturday began rolling out a feature in its Maps app (for both Android and iOS) that will turn any ride into a fun trip as users can now include a Mario Kart on the navigation interface while using the app. The update has now rolled out in India, for both Android and iOS.

Munish Dabas, User Experience (UX) Engineer at Google Maps, said in a blog post that the company has collaborated with the team at Japanese video game company Nintendo “to let Mario accompany you on all of your driving adventures on Google Maps this week”.

The company is celebrating the moustachioed plumber-turned-racer on his special day MAR10 Day – which is March 10, he said in a blog post late on Friday.

“We know a true Mario fan when we see one. They hum the Super Mario Bros. background music on repeat, daydream about collecting gold coins and 1-UP mushrooms, and want nothing more than to traverse the Mushroom Kingdom with Luigi, Toad, and Yoshi to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser,” Dabas said.

To get started, users need to first update Maps app from Google Play or the App Store.

Click on the yellow ? icon found on the bottom right of Google Maps app on Android or iOS. Users would then see a prompt to enable Mario Time!, and then they will need to choose the Lets A-Go option.

Once enabled, users would notice that the regular navigation arrow has morphed into Mario – the 1990s’ video game character – complete with his iconic Mario Kart.

“He’ll be a constant companion wherever you’re driving this week-to work, to school, or the spaghetti house. Just remember to practice safe driving on the road-we don’t encourage throwing bananas or red shells at other drivers in real life!” Dabas added in the blog post.