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Playing Google Maps Pac Man at UB

Google Maps

When it comes to video games, I'm about as green as they come, unless we're talking NHL 94 or the first two generations of Pokemon games. But even if I've never played PacMan and am apparently beyond terrible at it, I understand the mechanics, and Google Maps' decision to make any part of the world into a playable Pac Man map piqued my interest today.

Truth be told, I was just hoping for a "level" that let me try to outrace the ghost things around the spine of North Campus, but apparently you can't make a map selection that large, and as a result much of the middle of North Campus is unplayable.

But here's the best I found for whiling away your work day with a UB theme.

The Athlete

ub pacman alumni

You may not recognize this at first, but it's the knot of roads that come together behind Alumni Arena and UB Stadium, along with separate paths for the "roads" within parking lots. I don't know what makes a Pac Man level hard or not (they're all hard to me), but there's lots going on and it gets unpredictable when you need to re-enter on the other side of the screen.

The Academic

ub pacman bookstore

I really tried with the Spine, and this area just to the north and west of the Bookstore is helped by a large parking lot. Mostly I learned that I'm just really bad at Pac Man.

The Residential

ub pacman ellicott

Never have I felt more self-conscious about not actually attending UB. Ellicott? I'm going to call this Ellicott. The parking lots help again, but the general shape of the area makes this fun. The trick for me was bottlenecks with the ghost things (are they just ghosts? there are so many things I don't know in writing this post) to get to the bottom.

The Commuter

ub pacman flint

I bet you didn't realize the Flint entrance was this complicated. At least I didn't. This was my best 'level,' since on the long straightaways I had more time to pay attention to the ghosts.

South Campus

ub pacman south campus

South campus is a DOOZY, and it's because apparently Google was able to format the walking paths as "roads." I remember a news article from, let's say eight, years ago that talked about Google Maps surpassing Yahoo and MapQuest because it didn't try to get you to drive your car through public parks or on golf course cart paths. Guess there's still some kinks.

At least there's no directions that leave you high and dry in the Australian Outback. Looking at you, Apple.

Seriously, read that link.

The Doctors

ub pacman medical campus

The Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus is a big deal, right? Not in the world of UB Google Maps Pac Man. But I felt it should be included. Yawn.