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Pac-Man: Adventures in Time (Windows)

Everyone
ESRB Rating
Genre
Theme
71
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  *Katakis* (37801)
Written on  :  Oct 17, 2003
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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Summary

More hazards added to the classic gameplay

The Good

The ghosts have stolen the so-called artifact from Pac-Man's home planet and scattered the four pieces around different time periods. With the help of the professor, it is up to Pac-Man to travel to these time periods to retrieve the pieces. Of course, the ghosts try to stop him from doing so.

Made exclusively for PC, Adventures in Time shares the same gameplay with Pac-Mania. Not only does Pac have to collect the dots while avoiding the ghosts, but he can jump over them if there are no power pellets left. It is only the ghosts that look different in this case. I find it funny that they dress up differently depending on the time period that you are in. You have to enter the Wild West, for example, where the ghosts look like cowboys with their little mustaches and hats. In the medieval period, you enter a banquet hall where you see a ghost carrying a tray full of donuts. You can even travel to the future, where everything looks amazing, with laser barriers, monitors, and what not.

In most mazes, there are hazards to watch out for, including floor spikes, tumbling boulders, jousters, and wildlife. These make the game more challenging. What is more challenging is that you sometimes have no idea that a ghost is coming for you until the moment that it appears on screen. However, you can change the camera so that you can view a top-down perspective. This camera angle was useful to me because if I am playing the game using this view, I can see how the entire maze is structured. Extra mazes are unlocked by playing the game in the medium and hard difficulty modes.

And if you think that you miss the original ghosts, then just wait if you spend too much time dawdling throughout the maze. You will get a warning that Inky, Blinky, Pinky, or Clyde will teleport into the maze, replacing the ghosts that were already there in the first place. It is nice that Hasbro did include the original ghosts, and it is nice to look at how detailed that they are. The original ghosts act the way that they should: Pac gets a power pellet and they turn blue, allowing him to gobble them up and make them turn into floating eyes that make their way toward the center of the maze.

The time periods themselves look amazing. You will see objects that are only relevant to that period, and you will hear noise that only exist there as well. The mazes vary in design as most of them are not in a big square like the predecessors. Dots can be on different levels of the maze, which Pac can reach by going up or down a ramp, and this results in more dots to be collected. I like the fact that some of the mazes are different shapes like cylinders and spheres. These are the types of mazes that Namco did not design themselves.

There are hidden mini-games in which you play between some mazes. These games mainly consist of memory games, running away from your pursuer, or picking the odd one out. These games are a great way to stock up on extra lives, and they prove quite a challenge since they end when you happen to make a mistake. Throughout the game are highly-detailed video clips that usually are displayed before a hidden mini-game. Most of them have Pac running away from someone or something. When I first played this game, I believe that it was about time that a least one Pac-Man game had a decent cut-scene.

The sounds are excellent, and they are consistent with those of the original Pac-Man. When you warp into a level, you hear the original Pac-Man start sound. Same goes when Pac-Man collides with a ghost and collects dots. I like the way when Pac-Man gets spiked, he makes an excellent “Whoa!” sound. As I mentioned earlier, while you are gobbling up the dots, you can hear different noises that are relevant to the time period that you in, and this creates more of an atmosphere to the game. Adventures in Time also boasts an excellent soundtrack.

The Bad

If you have completed a mini-game and lose one of your lives in your next maze, you are forced to complete it again when you load a saved game, and you have no option of bypassing it.

For an excellent game, Adventures in Time has a disappointing ending that lasts only about five seconds.

The Bottom Line

In this game, Pac must retrieve all the pieces of the Artifact that are scattered in different time periods. Pac-Man: Adventures in Time has the original objective of gobbling up dots while avoiding the ghosts, and like Pac-Mania, you can also jump the ghosts. This time, however, the ghosts dress up differently depending on the theme. Each maze is structured differently and some have different shapes. Between the mazes, you can play mini-games, a great way to stock up on lives. The sound effects in the game resemble that of the original Pac-Man, and there are additional mazes that can only be unlocked if you play the medium or hard difficulties. You can even unlock the one that closely resembles the original game, with the same gameplay and the same ghosts.