Cube - Google Provides Fun with Maps
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Monday, 30 April 2012

Google has come up with a game that showcases both WebGL and Google Maps.

Google is working hard at giving us games and pastimes and its latest offering is Cube, a game based around Google Maps.

Essentially its a maze game with eight levels of difficulty and eight locations - including New York, San Francisco,Paris, London and Tokyo. Its your speed that counts and so you might find yourself replaying levels in order to beat your previous time. You guide a rolling ball around the streets by tilting the playing surface. The tilt is set using the cursor keys as input but it is obvious that it could be easily modified to use a tablet's sensors to control the ball.

The games have various "twists" to help you explore different aspects of Google Maps - the cycle layer the London underground layer and so on. For example, in the London underground game the ball vanishes into a subway station to reappear at one further down the line. The land mark buildings are also rendered in 3D.

 

mapcube2

As the game loads (slowly) you'll notice the words "This is a Chrome Experiment" at the bottom left of the screen. In fact it's purpose is to demo WebGL and HTML5 technology and to promote Google Maps - and to encourage those who can't play the game as their browser doesn't support WebGL - and that is all users of IE and some early version Firefox users, to download Chrome.

mapcube1

As a side issue, it once again raises the question of how much longer Microsoft can hold out against WebGL and how much longer it will take Internet Explorer users to realize that they are missing out by not using a standards-supporting browser. 

To play visit www.playmapscube.com

mapcube3

Related Articles

 WebGL 3D Graphs on Google

WebGL Playground - Now Open

Microsoft Drops VML and Filters in IE10

Google MapsGL for a deeper experience

Microsoft no WebGL support - it's insecure

 

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