Playing Pac-Man on a Map of Boston Is Predictably Difficult

Because if you wouldn't want to drive these streets, you probably don't want ghosts stalking you on them either.

pacman DTX

To celebrate April Fools’ Day, Google released a fun easter egg that lets you transform the streets on Google Maps into a maze from the classic arcade game Pac-Man. To do it, you just navigate to the area of the map you want to use, then click the Pac-Man image in the lower left corner of the screen. Boom. Now you’re a weird yellow circle with an insatiable hunger for dots being pursued by four murderous ghosts.

Pac-Man is a game whose difficulty very much depends on the maze. Boston, as you might imagine, is about as difficult for Pac-Man to navigate as it is for cars. Suddenly, the one-way streets, random dead ends, and strange rotaries aren’t just quirky local annoyances. They have life or death consequences. Toy around, though, and you start to see that some neighborhoods are harder than others. With that in mind, let us present our unofficial Boston Pac-Man Challenge.

Beginner? Try starting on one of the few sections of the city where the streets are built on a grid. Here’s Southie. The Back Bay would work, too.

pacman southie

For a slightly larger challenge, head over to the Forest Hills Cemetery. The paths aren’t quite straight, but at least they’re predictable. Plus, if Blinky manages to catch up with you, it’ll save Ms. Pac-Man the trouble of moving your body. (Sorry, that got dark.)

pacman forest hill cemetary

For the iron-hearted, head for Charlestown. We call this level the Battle of Bunker Hill, because yowza, this maze looks horrible, doesn’t it? Remember, Pac-Man, don’t fire until you see the white … dots that mean you can eat your enemies.

Pacman charlestown

For the truly insane among you, head to Downtown Crossing. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t want to take a car into a neighborhood, you probably don’t want to play Pac-Man on it either. You thought nothing could be worse than trying to park around here, but just wait until you have to make your way up and down every single lane of every single street while Blinky and Inky stalk you like a Boston Yeti.

pacman DTX

Did you master Downtown Crossing? Undoubtedly the streets of Boston host infinitely more horrors for you to try. But do it soon. Google says the game is only available for a limited time.