Bandai Namco today announced Pac-Man Stories, a collection of interactive stories for Amazon’s voice-controlled virtual assistant, Amazon Alexa. Because when one thinks engaging story, one thinks Pac-Man.
Pac-Man Stories, available on Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, and all Alexa-enabled devices, consists of a number of educational and family-friendly stories told in a choose-your-own-adventure style. The first story to become available, Pac-Man and the Ghastly Garbage, will feature an adventure in which players (or listeners? Users?) must “help save Pac-Man planet from garbage and a threat that affects everyone you meet,” tasking players (?) with making decisions and choosing paths as the story progresses. Additional stories will be added through the summer, featuring Pac-Man characters like Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde.
“Voice-controlled services are an exciting technology with this great vision of being in everyone’s home and used by any family member,” said president and COO of Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe Naoki Katashima. “It just seemed natural to us to use our iconic character Pac-Man to create fun interactive stories for all ages together with our company vision to provide dreams, fun, and inspiration to people around the world.”
While an interactive, non-visual story may seem like an amusing concept for a game franchise like Pac-Man, this is not the first breakthrough in interactive storytelling for the iconic yellow pellet-chomper. While the original Pac-Man (1980) featured minimal cutscenes (called “intermissions”), Ms. Pac-Man, the 1982 sequel to the original arcade phenomenon, was one of the first video games to feature some semblance of a story, in which Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man meet, fall in love, and receive a proverbial visit from the Stork.
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