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Google Maps launches Mario feature

'Mario Kart' fans can now drive Mario around their own neighbourhood thanks to a special feature on Google Maps.

In celebration of the Nintendo game character - who now has his own special day on March 10 - Google has created Mario Time! for its navigation app, which will be available for download all this week.

Munish Dabas, User Experience (UX) Engineer at Google Maps, revealed on his blog that they had collaborated with the Japanese game makers, "to let Mario accompany you on all of your driving adventures on Google Maps this week".

Users need to update their Maps app from Google Play or the App Store, then click on the yellow question mark icon found on the bottom right of the app.

They will then see a prompt to enable 'Mario Time!', and will need to select the 'Lets A-Go' option.

Once enabled, users will be able to see Mario driving his cart around their maps in place of the regular navigation arrow.

There are also Easter Eggs, with some users finding bananas in Street View.

Dabas added: "He'll be a constant companion wherever you're driving this week - to work, to school, or the spaghetti house. Just remember to practice safe driving on the road-we don't encourage throwing bananas or red shells at other drivers in real life!"

In 2014, before the release of 'Pokemon Go', Google Maps announced it had teamed up with Pokemon and would be releasing the creatures into the app - but it turned out to be an elaborate April Fools' Day prank.

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