Mario invades Google Maps to help you avoid bananas while driving

Google is celebrating Mario Day (March 10th, MAR10) in style this year. Nintendo and Google have partnered up to bring Mario to Google Maps on iOS or Android. Mario Time, as Google calls it, will be available in the latest Google Maps mobile apps starting today. A new yellow “?” icon will appear next to destinations, which will enable Mario to become the navigation arrow in his kart and accompany you along your commute.

There won’t be any red shell throwing or bananas along the route, so if you’re leading the pack then you don’t need to worry about a surprise spiny shell at all. Mario will be available as a simple position marker across Google Maps worldwide for a week. There’s even a hidden Easter egg: if you tap the “?” icon 100 times you’ll hear a 1-UP sound just like in Nintendo’s games.

While you might usually expect to see this type of stunt on April Fools’ Day, this isn’t the first time Google has customized the appearance of Google Maps. Google transformed its Maps position marker into either a TIE fighter or an X-Wing back in 2015 to celebrate the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Google Maps also morphed into Ms. Pac-Man for April Fools’ Day last year.

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