Google launch "Smarty Pins" map trivia game

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Google has launched a new web game based on Google Maps. Called “Smarty Pins”, the player is tasked with answering geography-based trivia questions.

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Its pretty neat: All you have to do is drag the map pin to the place the game is looking for, and you’ll be awarded points based on how close you got. A bit like GeoGuessr but with a quiz element on top.

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What’s perhaps a little unexpected is that it does appear to be a pretty straightforward game. Previous Google has turned otherwise dull tasks, like tagging images for image search into a game so that people will help with the task. Similarly, did you know that whenever you fill out a Capcha you’re actually helping transcribe books for Google books? So unless there’s some clever hidden purpose I haven’t spotted, it appears that this is just for fun.

What does appear to be new is that it seems to take design cues from the “material design” demonstrated at the recent Google IO conference, in terms of its boxes and shadows – so expect to see the rest of Google looking more like this soon. Perhaps the game was built by a designer honing their skills?

You can find the game here.

James O’Malley