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World’s biggest Pac-Man underway

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World’s biggest Pac-Man underway

Most of the time, Pac-Man is limited to a strict diet of 240 dots per level -- but this is the era of supersizing. And the little yellow guy is going on a high-calorie diet.

Namco-Bandai and Microsoft, along with Soap Creative, have released a new, free-to-play version of the arcade classic that links hundreds of user-created mazes together, effectively creating the world's largest game of
Pac-Man.

The idea's pretty simple. In the original Pac-Man, escaping through one of the side tunnels warped you to the other side of the screen, which often gave you breathing room to escape from Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. In the new version, using one of those tunnels
takes you to an entirely different map.

The game's played on the Web, using HTML-5, the same coding wizardry that brought about the Google Pac-Man logo that devoured 5 million hours of workplace productivity in a single day.

Created as a promotion for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9, The World's Biggest Pac-Man runs just fine on pretty much any browser that supports HTML-5 (though not
iDevices). It's free to play and doesn't require any sort of log-in -- unless
you want to create your own level, in which case you'll need to sign in to your
Facebook account.

Though it was only announced Wednesday, the game is already living up to its name. Users have created 1,800 different mazes and players have devoured over 29 million dots.

Somewhat surprisingly, it's not American or Japanese gamers who have been spending the most time with the game. Spain takes that honor, having gobbled 6.3 million dots. (Gibraltar, by the way, has shown the least interest.)

The ability to explore new mazes is the thrill of the game.
It's so tempting, in fact, that people aren't really bothering to complete the
ones they start. Of the 304,000 mazes people have played, only 13,000 have been
completed. That works out to just 4 percent. That likely brings little peace to
the 145,000-plus Pac-Men who have sacrificed themselves to date.

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