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A-maz-ing (VIC-20)

A-maz-ing VIC-20 Title screen

MISSING COVER

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40061)
Written on  :  Feb 09, 2019
Rating  :  3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars

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Summary

A good Pac-Man clone with one unusual game mechanic

The Good

With a title like A-maz-ing, I thought that I would be playing a game where the object is to find your way around a maze. But no, it is a clone of Pac-Man released by Audiogenic around the same time when Namco’s little chomper was still popular. This was never released on any system other than the VIC-20, which is understandable considering that the computer didn’t receive an official port of the game.

The first thing I noticed was that the maze is drawn nicely, with the warp tunnels located on both sides, the power pellets in the right positions, and most of the core gameplay remaining intact. As the Gobbler, you need to eat all the dots around the maze, while avoiding the four ghosts that chase you. Eating power pellets in each corner means that you can eat them up for points. When you have eaten all the pellets, you proceed to the next maze.

I think the font used to write SCORE above the maze looks quite good; it reminds me of Boppin, where a similar font is also used.

The Bad

From your starting position, it is impossible to eat any of the power pellets without a ghost coming into contact with it, and when that happens, it disappears and the only way you can get it back is to lose one of your lives. But even if you manage to eat a ghost, it will teleport to the hideout in the center of the maze and will not come out. The same applies to every ghost. If you eat all of the ghosts, you also proceed to the next maze.

The Bottom Line

A-maz-ing is an okay Pac-Man clone. The maze is drawn exactly the same, and every sprite behaves the way it should. The only problem I have with it are the power pellets, because all four ghosts have the tendency to swallow them up if they pass over it; and if you weren’t forced to lose a life, you could pull a Mr. Do and kill all four ghosts to proceed to the next maze.