I don't play for the points. I play to be dropped in the middle of a place and explore a place I would have never seen. But I do google since it is fun to be right.
Once I was dropped on a logging road in Canada. It took about a hour to hit a paved road and another 15 minutes to find a sign announcing the logging road ahead. I found a sign and googled it. Even that was wrong. I thought I was in Oregon but was wrong.
I had the opposite experience: once I was dropped in Macau. Where else do you have signs in Portuguese and Chinese and a large baroque church in ruins? I had sub-kilometer precision without even moving.
Question is, were you dropped somewhere with or without a smartphone? :-)
My personal rule is absolutely no googling. I've been tempted to print out a list of all the phone area codes and take it with me in my virtual alien-ship-to-random-destinations since that is something I could actually do were I preparing for such a scenario.
I thought that was cheating, just like looking on the map for terrain that matches, until I saw someone on HN post "Challenge mode: 20 minutes and no zooming on the map". I was already doing that lol...
Sometimes I play with the "no-Google" rule, sometimes not. I am obsessed with this game. It's useful to study the Street View coverage map .
My best non-Google ever was being plopped down in front of a motel in Idaho City I'd stayed at; the second best was in front of the Miaoli train station in Taiwan. Both times, within 5m of the original location.