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Pac-Man Community is ‘Twitch Plays Pokémon’ for the iconic game

Pac-Man Community is a new free game that’s available today via Facebook Gaming. The social-based multiplayer game includes a maze-creation tool, features that let streamers play directly with their audience, and a wild community mode that turns Pac-Man into Twitch Plays Pokémon.

Developed in partnership with Bandai Namco, Pac-Man Community can be played on any device that supports Facebook, including phones and tablets. It features an Endless mode where four players team up to complete as many mazes as possible. While players compete to get the highest score, they’re also working together to get a combined high-score that appears on a global co-op ranking board.

For those who just want to play regular old Pac-Man, the game features a classic mode with its own leaderboard.

While the core game is familiar, its other features are unique. Pac-Man Community features a maze-creation tool that lets any player make their own Pac-Man boards, à la Super Mario Maker. Player-created boards are randomly dropped into Endless mode matches. Players can like, dislike, and favorite boards, and the game will have a 24/7 moderation team to deal with potentially offensive creations.

A player using the Maze Creator in Pac-Man Community.

The most creative feature, though, is the game’s Watch mode. Players can watch a constantly running Unreal Engine stream of an A.I. Pac-Man completing community mazes. Everyone watching the stream must work together to help or hinder the digital hero by adjusting sliders that control the ghosts and Pac-Man’s speed.

Watch mode will feature community milestones and goals, giving players incentive to watch. When the community completes goals, they’ll unlock new options in the maze creator tool.

An AI Pac-Man moves around a maze in Pac-Man Community.

The game also features some surprisingly groundbreaking streaming features that integrate with the Facebook Gaming platform. A streamer can generate and drop a link in their chat that will allow viewers to instantly join their game. Streamers will be able to boot players from their game as well.

The game is part of Facebook Gaming’s larger effort to build a community-driven gaming platform that looks to make streaming a more interactive experience for viewers. Facebook Gaming calls the project a “bridge to the Metaverse,” noting that it isn’t quite a full Metaverse project due to it lacking a virtual component. (Note that VR and AR are not necessarily essential to the Metaverse. That distinction is one that’s used by Meta in its marketing, but not a vision shared by companies like Epic Games).

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a little more explicit about the Metaverse connection in his own personal Facebook post about the game. “Gaming is a big part of the metaverse, and I’m looking forward to seeing games like this get more interactive and immersive,” he said.

Pac-Man Community is available now for free via Facebook. It’s playable on any device that uses Facebook.

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