Where in the world are we?
Summer Games Done Quick 2021 has been underway for days now, with a bunch of speedrunners (remotely) coming together to demonstrate their skills for charity. This includes the usual suspects like Mega Man and Metroid, but SGDQ ’21 spotlighted a wild run earlier this week: a speedy, precise run of GeoGuessr.
If you’ve never played GeoGuessr, it’s the formal version of a Google Maps game you might have already tried. It plops you on street view somewhere in the world, and you have to guess where you are. And that “somewhere” can be just about anywhere, though a curated seed is used for a better overall experience (you can find and play that selection of over 52,000 locales here).
As speedrunner “Havrd” demonstrated, deducing your locale from your surroundings alone can be tricky. And for this category, Havrd was going for a perfect score, getting his own location essentially dead-on with a score of 5,000 for each of the five drop points. You can watch the run in full below:
Just looking around his location, he’s able to deduce countries and regions. Roads make for an obvious marker, as well as exit signs. But the speed at which he can glean details, anything from a flag and written language to road lines, while flitting through the world is really impressive to see in practice.
I love the non-standard runs that get featured at Games Done Quick, and going online has only made it easier to feature some runs that would otherwise cause logistical challenges. VR and full arcade setups are some obvious examples, but I’m happy to see GDQ spotlighting stuff like GeoGuessr as well. It’s not the most conventional “game,” but it’s fascinating to see these sorts of tools turned into games and then broken down into a run.
SGDQ 2021 concludes tomorrow, July 10, with a run of Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix; here’s where you can find the full schedule of upcoming games. You can follow the stream and help donate to a good cause (Doctors Without Borders) here.