Google Maps makes for a shockingly compelling speedrun

Where in the world is speedrunner Havrd?
(Image credit: Geoguessr)

On the list of games you'd expect to see at Summer Games Done Quick, I wouldn't have ranked Geoguessr very highly. But as runner Havrd proved this week, the find-yourself-on-Google-Maps 'em up apparently makes for some properly nail-biting speedruns.

Geoguessr is, for the unaware, a browser-based game that dumps you in a random location anywhere on Earth and tasks you to figure out where you are—awarding you points based on the accuracy of your guess. Get within 185 meters, and you'll hit a perfect score of 5,000 points.

As spotted by Kotaku, this year's SGDQ included a Geoguessr speedrunner that'd see Havrd complete a perfect run, pinpointing 5 locations in 35 minutes for a total of 25,000 points. Normally, it'd take me about that long just to guess one location (and I'd probably be a thousand miles off the mark), but the speed at which Havrd nails down his location is absolutely mind-boggling.

Within a second of starting, Havrd has already determined he's in Turkey, hitting the bullseye on the exact location a mere two minutes later. Italy is similarly a pushover, though he stumbles on the vast deserts of Nevada for some time.

Nigeria would prove to be the biggest problem for Havrd, but even so, he figured out he was in the capital of Abuja almost immediately—the trouble came with pinpointing where, exactly, in the city's suburbs he'd been dropped. In total, Havrd ends up just shy of his target time, landing at 31:31.

Every game can be speedrun, it turns out, and events like Summer Games Done Quick aren't just great for highlighting more obscure runs like Geoguessr—they're also great for highlighting bizarre secrets like Styx' literal game logic flowcharts. SGDQ is live on Twitch until Sunday, July 11.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.