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Pac-Man

aka: Arcade Archives: Pac-Man, Arcade Game Series: Pac-Man, Dobişko, Jelly Monsters, NES Classics: Pac-Man, Pac - Man, PacMan, Puck-Man
Moby ID: 138

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 63% (based on 9 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 43 ratings with 2 reviews)

Retro game with a central character and simple objective

The Good
In 1981, Namco, a small game company released Pac-Man, a concept that occurred when one of the company's game designers ordered a slice of pizza and looked at it after removing a slice., then he decided to make his first game based on the remains. When Pac-Man came out, it was all the rage, and almost everybody wanted to play it.

Pac-Man was one of the first games of its kind. Until then, video games comprised of vertical shooters, where people controlled a ship that must shoot down enemy ships, aliens, asteroids, etc. Seeing Pac-Man for the first time provided some relief for those who already got bored of shooters. Unlike other games around its time, Pac-Man was also the first to have a central character, in which you can move freely in any direction you like – up, down, left, and right.

What I like about the game is its simple objective – navigate the one maze while gobbling up dots and avoiding four ghosts; named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, who love to make a meal out of Pac-Man. If you get eaten, you will lose one of your three lives. Grab a power pellet from any corner of the maze, and you have the opportunity to eat a ghost. Use the escape tunnels located at each side of the maze to confuse them. Occasionally, a fruit will appear in the middle of the maze. Gobble this up as well for big points. Gobble up all the dots (and the power pellets) to move onto the next (and difficult) maze. Every two or so mazes, you are treated to an intermission, which are funny to view.

The NES version comes close to the original game as possible. Apart from the status bar, which is located on the right side rather than the top, Namco has made sure that this would be a rather good conversion of Pac-Man. These include giving each ghost a different color so that you can tell them apart, putting blue mazes against a black background, and making sure that the sounds between the arcade and this remains the same.

The Bad
A little bit of variation would have been nice. With different maze layouts, and the colors used for each maze, not just blue all the time.

The Bottom Line
Pac-Man was all the rage back in its heyday, and it is still enjoyable today. In fact, Pac-Man was so popular back then that Namco decided to do several sequels, starting with Ms. Pac-Man. I believe that the NES version is brilliant – it captures the same look and feel that the original had, without having more features added to it that can spoil gameplay.

NES · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2006

Simple fun, but not worth your money anymore

The Good
It's Pac-Man and you can't possibly go wrong with Pac-Man unless you try to do something stupid with it. The goal is to eat dots and avoid ghosts, optionally you can also eat the big dots, so you can eat ghosts and it doesn't get anymore complicated then that. It looks, plays and sounds exactly the same as the original arcade and I bought it for only ten euros (which means it's also incredibly cheap). It's one of the best ports from an arcade game to a home console I have ever seen, god bless the NES.

My memory may betray me, but I don't remember the cut-scenes at all which leads me to believe that Nintendo added them on their own. Every few levels you get a cute little cut-scene with Pac-Man and the ghosts doing something funny, it's good for a quick laugh after you spend a few minutes dodging ghosts, but it's no Ninja Gaiden either. I actually loved/love to not tell people about these little animation until they finally completed the level, the surprised look on their faces was and still is priceless.

The Bad
I am a bit disappointed in the fact that there is only one level, I am not sure if more show up as you make progress, but I doubt it because they would have at least shown you that there are more levels at the start. The only thing that really changes after you complete a level is that the rules change slightly; ghosts spawn faster, the ghosts go faster or the special dots last shorter. This makes the game fun, but not something you'd probably play for longer periods of time.

Having a multi-player mode is pretty sweet, but here it's rather odd. Tell me: what would you make the second player do if you designed the multi-player for this game? Would you:

A. Make them control one of the ghosts? B. Make them play as a second Pac-Man? C. Make the player both play their own game on the same screen? or D. Have them take turns playing?

If you chose D, you're incredibly stupid. I just don't see the point in having people take turns playing, you might as well play the Single-player and pass the controller around, we don't need a separate mode for that.

The Bottom Line
Pac-Man for the NES is a brilliant port of an almost flawless game and if you are a collector then this one should definitely be in your collection. If you just want to play some of the best games on the NES, then this one is also worth a look, but I highly recommend avoiding it in that case. Why? Well because every eight year old with a computer and Flash can make a Pac-Man game nowadays. I may have only paid ten euros for it, but you can find much better versions of this game on free websites like Kongregate and those probably have much more variety in the levels.

NES · by Asinine (957) · 2011

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by RhYnoECfnW, Scaryfun, Alsy, Mr Almond, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen.