Not an American user?


One of the most popular and influential games of the 1980's, Pac-Man stars a little, yellow dot-muncher who works his way around to clear a maze of the various dots and fruit which inhabit the board.

Pac-Man's goal is continually challenged by four ghosts: The shy blue ghost Bashful (Inky), the trailing red ghost Shadow (Blinky), the fast pink ghost Speedy (Pinky), and the forgetful orange ghost Pokey (Clyde). One touch from any of these ghosts means a loss of life for Pac-Man.

Pac-Man can turn the tables on his pursuers by eating of the four Energizers located within the maze. During this time, the ghosts turn blue, and Pac-Man can eat them for bonus points. This only lasts for a limited amount of time, as the ghosts' eyes float back to their center box, and regenerate to chase after Pac-Man again.

Survive a few rounds of gameplay, and be treated to humorous intermissions between Pac-Man and the ghosts.


Pac-Man Atari 2600 I ate a power dot and now I can eat the blue ghosts. (Ébivision version)
Pac-Man PC Booter 800 points of Monster
Pac-Man Arcade Instruction
Pac-Man iPhone Main Menu

Promo Images

Pac-Man Screenshot
Pac-Man Other
Pac-Man Screenshot
Pac-Man Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "食鬼" -- Chinese spelling (traditional - Hong Kong)
  • "小精靈" -- Chinese spelling (traditional - Taiwan)
  • "Puck-Man" -- Working title
  • "Pac - Man" -- Intellivision in-game title
  • "Pac Man" -- Alternate Apple II media spelling
  • "PacMan" -- Atari 5200 In-game title
  • "NES Classics: Pac-Man" -- European GBA title
  • "パックマン" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Hey look everybody, it's the Anti-Pac-Man Atari 2600 Katakis | カタキス (39491)
How To Make A Great Game... Anything But. Atari 2600 Guy Chapman (2001)
It Sucks that it's based on Pac-man, but it's not a bad game. Atari 2600 JohnLennon224 (16)
A cool port to the 5200, but it's too slow. Atari 5200 Joel Mitchell (3)
One of the best games of the generation. PC Booter Jim Fun (252)
A decent game on it's own, but needs work. Atari 2600 Joel Mitchell (8)
Simple fun, but not worth your money anymore NES Pixelspeech (1006)
Terrible Version of Pac Man Xbox 360 Cody Cooper (6)
Retro game with a central character and simple objective NES Katakis | カタキス (39491)

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic Atari 5200 May 26, 2003 A- 91
Xboxdynasty (XD) Xbox 360 Aug 18, 2006 8.1 out of 10 81
Popular Computing Weekly VIC-20 Jul 05, 1984 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 NES Jan 13, 2012 15 out of 20 75
Joystick (French) Game Gear Apr, 1991 60 out of 100 60
Nintendo Life Wii Apr 13, 2007 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 60
FNintendo Nintendo 3DS Mar 28, 2013 6 out of 10 60
GamesRadar Xbox 360 Aug 09, 2006 5 out of 10 50
IGN Game Boy Advance Jun 04, 2004 5 out of 10 50
Pocket Magazine / Pockett Videogames Neo Geo Pocket Color Nov, 1999 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40


Topic # Posts Last Post
Pac-Man Atarisoft / Datasoft releases 4 Kabushi (210196)
May 02, 2016
Channel F version should be split 1 Игги Друге (46426)
Feb 01, 2014
Famicom Mini series: (alternate) titles 1 yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy) (2630)
Aug 10, 2012


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Pac-Man appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Apple II version

The Apple II version was originally released as Taxman by H.A.L. Labs, but after threatening a lawsuit Atari turned around and bought the program to release as their Apple II version of Pac-Man with slight changes.

Atari 2600 versions

When Pac-Man was released for the Atari 2600, over a million units were sold.But because of Hardware limitations, it did not look like the arcade one. The ghost were the same color, you had to eat square blocks instead of dots, and the whole image just didn't stand up. Although this helped gained Atari some bucks, it tarnished its reputation, which would follow them for years to come.

Due to copyright issues, Ébivision never released their Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man for public sale. A copy, with label and box, was given away to Jeff Rothkopf for being the first person to find the hidden level in Alfred Challenge.


Schiffer Books has released a Pac-Man collectibles value guide.

Cancelled Colecovision port

You might notice that there is a certain system missing at the top of this page, namely the Colecovision. This is particularly strange considering the fact that a working Atarisoft prototype of Pac-Man for Colecovision, complete with working AI, graphics and sound, has been discovered and dumped. One can only guess that the release was cancelled by looking at the copyright date of 1983, coinciding with the big video game crash.


During the height of its popularity, Pac-Man had a Saturday morning TV cartoon that focused on Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and (in later seasons) Super Pac-Man. The show lasted for several seasons, and also had a Christmas special. The later game, Pac-Land, based its visual style off of this series.


Pac-Man was popular enough to have a breakfast cereal based on the game. The cereal was a combination of cereal "dots" and marshmallows based on the characters. The first marshmallows were Pac-Man (yellow), Inky (blue), Blinky (red), Pinky (pink) and Clyde (orange). As time went on, Ms. Pac-Man and larger Super Pac-Man marshmallows were added.

The tag line was "You can do the Pac-Man", with kids stretching their arms out and clapping to emulate Pac-Man's eating motions.


As the story goes, one of the Namco's designers (Namco being the company that created the original arcade version) ordered a whole pizza for himself. After eating one of the slices, he looked at the pizza again. And thus, Pac-Man was born.


The four enemy ghost characters, Oikake, Machibuse, Kimagure and Otoboke, from the original Japanese version of Pac-Man were thoughtfully and descriptively renamed to match their in game behavior. Shadow (red), Speedy (pink), Bashful (blue) and Pokey (orange) are the westernized names of the four ghosts. Additionally they also received new nicknames, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Only Pinky has the same nickname in both Japanese and western versions of Pac-Man.

PC version

It's clear that the advertising execs who wrote the advertising blurb for the PC port hadn't played the game seriously. The ad blurb calls the ghosts "goblins", and erroneously describes gameplay.

In fact, of all Atarisoft PC conversions, this was one of the more shoddy ones as the maze's proportions are out of whack. In addition, the programmer was lazy--the entire maze is drawn with the INT 10 set pixel function, which is why it's so slow.


According to, Pac-Man was the first character in a video game.


During the later levels, the special item in the middle of the level (cherry, strawberry, apple, etc.) is a Galaxian. The Galaxian comes from an earlier Namco game of the same name.

References to the game

Pac-Man is referenced in the Futurama episode Anthology of Interest II. The episode consists of three shorts; one of which involves Fry asking the "what-if" machine "what if life was more like a video game." In the short, aliens invade the earth; then Fry and his friends seek the help of Secretary of Defense Colin Pac-Man. Also in the short, Fry and friends have to navigate a Pac-Man styled maze.


It is estimated that Pac-Man -- both in its coin-op arcade and console incarnations -- has been played over 10,000,000,000 times.


Pac-Man was the first video game to inspire a popular pop song, which was played on the radio, had a full-length record and a single. The song in question was Buckner and Garcia's Pac-Man Fever.

Rapper Lil Flip's hit song, Game Over uses sound effects from Pac-Man. But the bad thing is Lil Flip never got permission from Namco to use the sounds and was later sued.


When the game first appeared in Japanese arcades in 1979, it was called Puck-Man. When Midway ported to America, the company decided to re-name it Pac-Man because they were concerned that English speaking players might vandalize the "Puck" to spell a certain swear word.

Pac-Man's name is derived from the Japanese adverb 'paku' used to describe gaping, biting or snapping mouths. 'Paku' is also an onomatopoeia modelled after the smacking sound of lips. This could explain the sound Pac-Man emits when moving around.

Xbox 360 version

The Xbox Live! Arcade version stays true to the original gameplay and look, with the addition of improved graphics and sounds, leaderboards and achievements. The game itself was already included as a secret in Ridge Racer 6.


  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #10 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Игги Друге, gamewarrior, Guy Chapman, J. Michael Bottorff, LepricahnsGold, Little Yoda, Maw, Paul Budd, Robbb, rstevenson, Sciere, woods01 and FatherJack

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Corn Popper (69367), Trixter (9125), PCGamer77 (3233), Michael Cassidy (20958), CrankyStorming (3010), Infernos (18799), Sciere (514890), Kabushi (210196), Martin Smith (66870), Pseudo_Intellectual (60674), Terok Nor (26919), The cranky hermit (606), Servo (57398), Игги Друге (46426), Ben K (23927), 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (60760) and Jim Fun (252)