Pac-Man: Mega Tunnel Battle turns the gaming icon cannibal

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Bandai Namco has announced the release of Pac-Man: Mega Tunnel Battle, but don't get too excited: for now, it's exclusive to Stadia. The game sounds absolutely crackers, and is the latest example of the battle royale genre inexorably swallowing the classics.

Mega Tunnel Battle takes place over a grid of 64 mazes, with up to 64 players. Each individual maze has up to four tunnels linking to the mazes surrounding it, which open and shut on timers. All of the usual Pac-Man elements one would expect are in there, with the additional twist that, after eating a power pill, Pac-Man can now eat up any unpowered Pac-Men as well as ghosts.

This is not the first time Pac-Man has gone cannibal: that would be 2010's presciently named Pac-Man: Battle Royale, a four-player cabinet that stayed exclusive to arcades.

Perhaps the most intriguing element of Mega Tunnel Battle is that "viewers can vote on power-ups that can cause you—or your opponents!—to stumble on the field and be eliminated from battle!" Like much to do with Stadia, it sounds impressive, but depends on players sticking around.

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."