Mario Kart and Google are two of the world's most beloved pieces of software, though they're used in drastically different contexts. But in honor of Mario Day on March 10, Google decided to pay tribute to the world's most famous Italian plumber in an unexpectedly delightful way. If you needed to travel anywhere using Google maps on March 10, you would appear on the road in Mario's kart!
And that's not all...there's sound effects too.
You may be wondering - why is March 10 Mario Day? Well, the answer is surprisingly simple. March 10 is easily abbreviated to Mar10 (which looks a lot like Mario if you haven't caught that yet) It's also possible Mario and Google have decided to team up in preparation for the release of Mario Kart Tour, the much-awaited game for cell phones everywhere!
But how do you get Mario into your Google maps?
The process is very simple!
- Make sure you have the most recent update of Google Maps.
- Chart a destination in Google maps as you would at any other time. Then, instead of "start," click the familiar looking "?" icon.
- Fun fact: if you click it 99 more times, you'll hear the classic Ninetendo 1-up sound.
- Kart to your destination in style!
The Mario update will last for 1 week, so get your thrills while you can!
This isn't the first time Google has teamed up with a pop-culture icon to make directions a little more interesting. In 2015, in honor of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Maps users got to fly a Tie-Fighter down the street. On April Fools Day 2017, Ms. Pacman would gobble a series of blue dots all the way to the end of the line.
This has been a big year for Mario, and it's not over yet!
The release of Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch has catapulted Mario once again into the spotlight. The game received unanimously positive reviews. It also helped to cement the Nintendo Switch in the public consciousness - only a year after its release, the Switch had already outsold the entire run of its predecessor, the Nintendo Wii U, thanks in no small part to Odyseey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (which many game reviewers named their Game of the Year).
The Mario fever doesn't looks to be slowing down anytime soon, either! Along with the release of Mario Kart Tour later this year, Nintendo announced on March 8 that 2018 would see a new Super Smash Bros. The world found out via a surprise trailer which caused widespread pandemonium in the gaming community.