Google to launch Maps-based game for Google+ in February

googles new gameGoogle’s “your world” theme is carried into the gaming realm with the announcement of an original title powered by WebGL. The title will be coming to Google+ Games exclusively in February 2012.

The game was announced quietly in a demo video yesterday. It is Google Maps-based and was developed by the Maps team for Google’s gaming platform. The demo video features a cube with a map overlay. Players will have to navigate a blue ball through the location, similar to marble tilt games like Marble Madness or the Wii’s Marble Mania. It seems like the player’s marble will need to touch the marked locations on the cube map in order to accumulate points and advance to the next area. Once the marble rolls over the markers, users get a small piece of information about the location.

There’s not much else to go on from the 27 second teaser. It’s a simple offering with a catchy tune, and it seems like a good start to original content. The WebGL technology which powers the game allows for 3D graphics without any need for installing additional software. The YouTube video links to an interactive Google Maps primer.

Mashable points out the Zagat blip in the game demo and says that the new game could be a way to “push the popular Zagat Ratings further into the spotlight using gamification.” Players could possibly earn points for Zagat-attached venues.

The Google+ Games platform arrived in August and features many of the games people were used to from Facebook, such as Zynga’s Farmville as well as the popular Angry Birds title. In-site gaming is a good source of business for Facebook, which Google dipped into as well with the launch of Games. Of course, Facebook as well as Plus functioned as middlemen for companies like Zynga and Roku; but this could be an interesting shift in Plus’ favor if Google’s planning on developing more original games.

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