Many developers have been trying to copy the success of Niantic's Pokémon GO with clones that offer similar gameplay, and so it's easy to jump to conclusions when new augmented reality titles are revealed. Surprisingly Bandai Namco has actually come up with a unique way to utilize AR, and so Pac-Man Geo is a game where players will create new mazes out of the streets in their cities. While there's still a collection aspect in the title, seeing that high-scores will unlock collectible landmarks, at least the core Pac-Man gameplay has been retained. Pac-Man Geo is a brand-new listing on the Play Store, and it's already available for pre-registration.

Since Pac-Man Geo just arrived on the Play Store, details are still light. Today's PR hints the game will arrive this month (September 2020) and will come to 170 countries, though there's no word how the title will be monetized. I would imagine the game will arrive as a free-to-play release, but so far, there are no signs of what these IAPs will cost.

What we do know is that players will get to create unique mazes out of their local city streets while also competing for high scores in those very mazes. It would seem everyone will be free to travel the globe creating new courses to play, and this should allow specific locations to earn reputations for offering enjoyable challenges. Of course, this all hinges on the game's popularity, because if no one is playing, then there won't be any courses or high scores to bother with.

As a fan of the original Pac-Man, I have to say this is the first augmented reality title to pique my interest. I could actually see myself leaving the house to take on a few player-made courses because there's an actual game behind the goofy collection stuff where player skill should ideally matter, which is why I'm happy to hear there will be leaderboards.

So if you're eager to see what Bandai Namco has up its sleeve for Pac-Man Geo, you can pre-reg through the Play Store widget below to receive a notification the day the game arrives. Hopefully, Bandai will fill us all in on what to expect with further news in the coming days, but until then, enjoy reading through the new Play Store listing.

PAC-MAN GEO
PAC-MAN GEO
Price: To be announced

Press Release

Bring the real world map to the game stage with Google Maps Platform
Cooperated in the planning and development of “PAC-MAN GEO”,
An application for the App Store and Google Play™
~A proposal for utilizing cutting-edge technology in entertainment and innovative play~

In line with its vision of “Creating Entertainment Innovation,”BANDAI NAMCO Research Inc. has cooperated in the planning and development of application game PAC-MAN GEO for App Store and Google Play, which will be available in 170 countries from September 2020. The scope of this cooperation has covered prototype direction and many other aspects aimed at the game’s commercialization.

PAC-MAN GEO is an action game utilizing the road information of Google Maps Platform. By selecting the scope to be played as a stage from a world map, players can build their game stage in real-time, and encounter PAC-MAN, power pellets, and ghosts. Through this service, players can play PAC-MAN on a real-world map.

Backing the proposal of a “new type of play” utilizing Google Maps Platform, BANDAI NAMCO Research (previously BANDAI NAMCO Studio Inc.*) began engaging in technical verification and prototype direction in 2018. Based on the results of the technical verification, from 2019, the company cooperated with planning and development for the game’s commercialization. While maintaining PAC-MAN’s simple rules and operability, players can experience the game at a deeper level than ever before, such as the joy of choosing one’s own stage to travel the world as they please, the pleasure of finding interesting terrain, and the fun of sharing these new discoveries.

With advanced technology R&D as its starting point, BANDAI NAMCO Research is an “Entertainment Innovation Organization” “Creating Entertainment Innovation.” It will continue maximizing the knowledge it has cultivated in the entertainment production field and proactively co-creating with the world’s innovators to conceive brand new forms of play and entertainment.

* BANDAI NAMCO Research was established in April 2019, therefore research and development work began in the research division of the then BANDAI NAMCO Studio Inc.

Overview of PAC-MAN GEO

Name: PAC-MAN GEO
Distributor: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
D e l i v e r y Platform:
■App Store: https://apps.apple.com/jp/app/id1516765758?mt=8
■Google Play™: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bandainamcoent.pacmangeo
R i g h t s notation: PAC-MAN GEO™ & © BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. PAC-MAN™&©BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc

For information on products and services, please see BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.’s official website (https://www.bandainamcoent.co.jp/).

About PAC-MAN

PAC-MAN is an arcade game released by NAMCO Inc. (present-day BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.) in May 1980, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. It’s cute characters and simple way of playing with a single lever led to its huge popularity not only in Japan, but also around the
world, where it was adapted into an animation, etc., and ultimately received recognition in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful coin-operated game.

About Google Maps Platform

In addition to Maps, a product which presents users with customized map and street view images built from Google Map covering over 200 countries and territories, functions include Routes, which presents the optimal route to a destination, and Places, which enables users to search destinations; and can be applied to all businesses.

For details, see Google Maps Platform’s official website (https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform?hl=ja).