Saturday, April 28, 2012

Google Cube serves as both a game and advertisement for Google Maps

Only a couple of months late, Google has delivered the game Cube, a Google maps-based game that was teased in January, and scheduled to be released in February. It's only now been released, without much fanfare at all. The website went live in the past 24 hours.

To play the game, you navigate a marble by using your cursor. In reality, if you watch the cube, it's actually tilting the game landscape. It's similar to those old games where you would try to move a marble through a maze without falling into any holes in the maze.

Your time is recorded each time you finish a level.

The game is split up into eight levels.

There are eight levels in the game.

In Level 1 has you make your way through Manhattan to reach your friends at the Brooklyn Bowl.

In Level 2, you're in San Francisco, riding a bike to four different landmarks, and - Google recommends - using the Google Maps biking layer as the safest route.

Level 3 puts in in Paris traffice, making your way to the Eiffel tower. Here, Google recommends you use the traffic layer find the fastest route. A busy road will slow your marble. You can see how Google is using the game to teach you about Google Maps features.

On Level 4, you’re in the London Underground (subway) trying to get to Big Ben, during rush hour, no less. You need to find the fastest combination of subway lines to get to Big Ben as quickly as possible.

Level 5 puts you into Japan, and Tokyo. Visit all the necessary tourist spots while navigating Tokyo's complicated streets.

On Level 6, you're in Las Vegas. No, no shows or gambling, but you get to visit the six reviewed restaurants in central Las Vegas in the smallest time possible.

Level 7 puts you into the Mall of America, where you must collect all of the Google Offers on each of the four floors (Cube advertises more than just Google Maps, obviously).

On the final level, Level 8, you use your knowledge of the previous levels to find your fastest route to your objective in an ever-changing cubic city.

Cube is as much an advertisement, of sorts, for Google Maps, as it is a game. As an example, after we completed the first level, a congratulatory message came up that also contained the blurb "Google Maps makes it easy to get from Point A to Point B with step-by-step directions and GPS tracking."

Don't worry, non-Chrome users. As long as you have a modern browser that supports WebGL, it will run this advertisement, er, game just fine.

Watch Google's teaser video from January, below.

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