Pac-Man Community is a new multiplayer-focused spin on the classic arcade game that you’ll be able to play right on Facebook.
The main draw of Pac-Man Community is the ability to play co-op Pac-Man with up to three other people. Players work together to try to survive the pesky ghosts, but they’ll also be competing for the highest score. You can make rooms to play with your friends, and Facebook Gaming streamers can invite viewers to join their game with Facebook’s Play with Streamer feature.
You won’t just be working through the familiar Pac-Man maze, though. Players will be able to make their own levels, which could lead to some Mario Maker-style delights or deviousness once people get their hands on the level creator tools. (If you want to play the entire classic version of Pac-Man, that’s an option, too.)
Pac-Man Community also features the first of what Facebook is calling Facebook Interactives with its “Watch” mode, which is launching in beta. In Watch mode, 2D mazes are converted to an isometric 3D view, and viewers can power up Pac-Man or the ghosts. User-created maps can appear in Watch mode, too, meaning players might be able to create some interesting tests for the AI-driven characters.
If you’re interested in trying Pac-Man Community, it’ll be available for free beginning Monday on desktop and the mobile versions of the Facebook app. It will be exclusive to Facebook.
The game — which was developed by Genvid, a company that specializes in interactive livestreamed experiences — could be a signal of how Meta wants to expand Facebook’s gaming offerings to let streamers play games directly with their audiences. Facebook already offers Twitch-like livestreaming as well as games you can play right inside the app (and some that even stream from the cloud), and Pac-Man Community’s twist on a familiar formula seems like it could be a smart first step into interactive content.
Pac-Man Community seems similar to Pac-Man Live Studio, a multiplayer Pac-Man game with a level editor designed to be played on Amazon-owned Twitch that still hasn’t been released despite being announced in May 2020. Bandai Namco assures The Verge they’re different games, though.
“Pac-Man Community is a brand new Facebook instant game from Bandai Namco Entertainment and Genvid that will be available in December,” a Bandai Namco spokesperson said in a statement. “We don’t have any specific news to share about Pac-Man Live Studio today, but we will communicate updates and more Pac-Man news in the future.”
The future of Pac-Man Live Studio doesn’t seem bright. Its official Twitter account no longer exists, a previously functioning URL about the game on Amazon Games’ website shows a 404 error, and a previously functioning URL on Bandai Namco’s website now redirects to a directory of Pac-Man games. But if Pac-Man Live Studio never sees the light of day, at least there’s Pac-Man Community.