Coming Soon: Google Maps, the Game

Google+ may still be like arriving at a party and wondering if anyone else is going to show up, but to give Google credit, it’s being relentless in its attempts to get new users on board. The latest idea is exclusive access to a game based on Google Maps.

The game is based on the children’s toy known as labyrinth or teeter among other names, in which the user has to tilt the toy to maneuver a ball around a maze, usually avoiding hazardously placed holes. It’s already been recreated in several applications aimed at smartphones and tablets with an accelerator and is a great demo of the technology, offering the same feel as the physical game, but with the advantage of unlimited levels.

Earlier this month, Google created its own giant physical version of the game, using a 3D model of a street, the project being a combination of advertising Google Maps and just generally messing about because Google can afford to do so.

It turns out this was a precursor to a new addition to the Google+ games library (think Facebook’s Farmville but with fewer annoying notifications.) The new game will recreate the classic ball/maze set-up, but the design will be based on real world locations with the detail coming from Google Maps. notes that the game will use WebGL, which hooks-up JavaScript with cloud computing to allow 3D creations to appear on the fly on even low-spec devices. While Google hasn’t confirmed this, the assumption is that the game will be for Android handheld devices rather than PCs.

Fun as the game looks, the real story for me is that despite Google’s whinging about taste and decency, we are just another step closer to the day Google Street View and Grand Theft Auto finally tie the knot.