Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Aug 08, 2003
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

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It's Pac-Man with a different perspective

The Good

Pac-Mania is the tenth game in the Pac-Man series, and it is only the second game to be ported onto 16-bit platforms, (The previous one being Pac-Land). The game features no storyline, just the objective of gobbling up all the dots in the maze without being caught by ghosts. This time you will be playing the game in an isometric 3-D perspective. As well as this, new ghosts are introduced, including a gray one named Spunky, and there are many hazards to overcome.

There are four locations throughout the game, ranging from “Block Town” to “Jungly Steps”, each one of them carrying a different layout. A few of these locations, especially "Sandbox Land" features such colorful mazes. All the characters are animated smoothly, and they are as big as the arcade version.

Between each level you can watch a short cartoon. These cartoons are enjoyable to watch more than once. Above them is a brief description of what level is coming up and what dangers lurk in that level.

Besides getting energizers to make each ghost vulnerable, you have this jumping ability. This is ideal if ghosts are too close to you and you need a quick getaway.

There are four types of music in the game, which you get to listen to as you are busy gobbling up dots. The best music is heard when you get to "Pac-Man's Park".

The original ghosts are still there, but there are three more ghosts. One of these ghosts is Funky, and he can also jump, especially in the later stages. It is sometimes difficult to get past him since he happens to jump at the same time that Pac does.

Pac has two other abilities that are not mentioned earlier, providing that he get them in the center of the maze. These abilities include increased speed and double points for eating one or more ghosts. The increased speed makes Pac go faster, and you can finish the mazes quicker.

Once you made it past the first couple of level, the game really gets challenging. You see Sue (the purple ghost) roam around the maze like a Jack Russell with its tail on fire. Once you reach "Sandbox Land", Funky (the green ghost) appears and has the same jumping ability. He happens to jump at the same time as you, forcing you to think twice about jumping near him. Finally, the ghosts tend to travel around in groups, spaced out in such a way that the jump is useless.

The Bad

Since Pac-Mania has no real story attached to it, it serves as a score attack game. The high score isn't listed during the game, so if you want to beat your score every time, you just have to write down the score you get when you run out of lives.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Pac-Mania has the same objective as that of previous games, but adds new features, such as a new perspective, new ghosts, the ability to jump, and short cartoons in between levels. The graphics are rich and the sound is excellent. The game can be difficult, partly due to some of the ghosts having different powers. This is only the second game to feature on 16-bit computers. If you are a fan of the famous maze games, be sure to check it out.