Apple and third-party developers intended for that cool, new Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro to serve as an extension of MacOS and compatible software in order to essentially eliminate the need for a connected mouse. It focuses on keeping the user’s hands in the keyboard area, but naturally the new touch-based strip has provoked inventive developers to create other uses for the technology, such as playing Pac-Man directly on the Touch Bar itself.
The Touch Bar version of Pac-Man can be downloaded from GitHub for free right here. All MacBook Pro owners need to do is place the Pac-Man app file into the applications folder, but it can only be played when it’s shown as the most recently opened app. That’s because the Touch Bar only shows tools for the currently open app, so that other apps can’t hijack it.
To play, simply use the arrow keys to move Pac-Man up, down, left, or right. Given that the Touch Bar replaces the function keys on the keyboard, Pac-Man only has enough space to move left and right across the strip. However, there are exits/entrances above and below in the blue-walled alleyway for transporting to the other side of the strip. The object, it seems, is to eat one row of dots before the ghost eats our favorite little yellow chomper.
This isn’t the only game that has appeared on Apple’s Touch Bar. Facebook engineer Adam Bell crammed the classic shooter Doom (1993) into the 60-pixels-high screen. The game is definitely playable, but the squashed view makes Doom an undesirable gaming experience on Apple’s Touch Bar. The point of this “port” was to see if the Touch Bar’s hardware could handle the game on its own, which is typically used to benchmark low-end hardware anyway.
At least in the case of Pac-Man, MacBook Pro owners can actually play the game without having to chomp through a squashed maze. Other games and applications have popped on the Touch Bar, too, such as a digital piano featuring wide, squashed keys, an app called Touch Fart to give the MacBook Pro a gassy quality (which we imagine would be awesome in a coffee shop), an app that turns the Touch Bar into a sushi bar conveyer belt, and more.
For those who haven’t kept up with the MacBook Pro laptops, the company released new models several months back sporting a new Touch Bar feature mounted above the keyboard. Its available on the 13-inch and 15-inch models, and supports Apple’s Touch ID feature found on the latest iOS devices. The 13-inch model with the Touch Bar feature starts at $1,799, while the 15-inch model starts at $2,399. The $1,499 13-inch MacBook Pro does not include the Touch Bar. Check out our round-up of the best MacBooks.