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Bitmoji Party is Snap’s first original game for Snapchat

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It’s Mario Party for the mobile phone

Snap today announced Bitmoji Party, its first original multiplayer game for Snapchat. Bitmoji Party offers players a series of lightly challenging mini-games for the mobile phone, and is designed to be played by small groups. If successful, it could attract new users to Snapchat while encouraging them to spend more time inside the app.

Bitmoji Party, which casts players as their company’s popular personalized avatars, will begin rolling out today around the world, the company said today at its partner summit in Hollywood. It’s part of an expansion of the company’s efforts around gaming, which also include the introduction of five games from publishers including Zynga.

Bitmoji Party began to be developed after Snap acquired Prettygreat, a game studio from the creators of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. Its development coincided with last year’s release of Snappables, a series of game-like experiences inside Snapchat that are played using the camera lens.

The new game differs in that it is designed to be played live with a small group of people. You can play it by tapping a new rocket icon inside the Snapchat chat window, then inviting some friends to play. (Some games will also be able to be played solo, the company said.) Once you’ve started the game, you can chat with friends via voice or text in a window on the screen.

The mini-games in Bitmoji Party have users playing zombies trying to infect one another, jumping to avoid a giant boot that will kick them through goalposts, or staying afloat on a pool toy. The person who starts the game is the “game master,” and gets to initiate the havoc. Written in HTML5, Snap games can be played without having to download large files.

Other games introduced today include Alphabear Hustle, a cooperative word game; C.A.T.S.: Drift Race, a racing game from the developer of Cut the Rope; Snake Squad and Tiny Role, a pair of battle royale games; and Zombie Rescue Squad, which is about what you would think.

Initially, Snap plans to generate revenue from its games by introducing 6-second ads into the games. Players will be able to watch the ads to earn virtual currency that can be spent inside games. In the future, the company might also consider in-app purchases and other forms of monetization, executives said.