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Google partners with Pikachu in Google Maps: Pokemon Challenge [April Fools!]

Danny Cowan , @db_cowan
03.31.14
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Google wants to hire the very best. Like no one ever was. If you're a Pokémon master and can meet some extreme physical fitness requirements, you might have what it takes to survive the Pokémon Challenge, a fictional Google Maps-based job application that employs an augmented reality interface. The latest version of Google Maps for smartphones now includes a built-in Pokedex, so even those who aren't seeking employment with Google can capture nearby critters.

Google is fond of video game-themed April Fools' jokes, having previously launched a faux 8-bit version of Google Maps in 2012. This year's prank is such a simple and engaging concept that you have to wonder why Nintendo hasn't attempted something similar -- and no, the stripped-down Pokémon Dream Radar doesn't count. Forcing players to scale real-world cliffs in order to capture rare Pokémon dovetails nicely with Nintendo's recently announced shift into the health sector, too. Get on it, Nintendo!

[Video: Google]

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