Review: Arcade Game Series: PAC-MAN

At a Glance

This game is recommended!
This game is not just good fun, it also stays fairly true to Christian moral values, making it a great addition to anyone's library!

ESRB Rating: E - Everyone
My Rating: Everyone
Genre: Arcade
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2016
Review Published On: February 24th, 2021
Played on: Thaddeus

Available from:

Steam

Save System:

There is supposedly an autosave, but I can't work out what it's for or what triggers it. Instead, you need to manually save your game via the "Save and Quit" option in the pause menu. Note that saved games can only be resumed once.

To bring up the pause menu, press ESC at any time.

Summary of
Major Issues:

This is a rerelease of the classic Pac Man game; there's really nothing to worry about here.

Screenshots

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Classic border for a classic game

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Exploiting the "safe spot" bug



Game Overview

A couple of years ago, I took a look at Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, which is a faced paced romp that's fun enough on its own, but it's not the original game that inspired movies, songs, many enjoyable sequels, and decades of good, wholesome arcade fun. Today, let's roll back the clock and remember the classics with this excellent re-release of the original King of the Arcades, Pac-Man.

Thanks to the many, many clones and spin offs of this game, most of you are probably already familiar with the general basics. You control Pac-Man, a little yellow disc who has the munchies, and your only goal is to consume every dot and power pellet in a large maze while avoiding the four ghosts who inhabit it.

What you might not know is that each of these ghosts has a unique name and personality, that each level contains a special and unique "fruit" you can collect for bonus points, and that the original game also featured short cutscenes every so many levels. Since this is a direct port of the arcade game, all of these features are present. Also present are the infamous "safe spot" and kill screen bugs, which are actually considered features by the game's fans.

This is still a great piece of gaming history, but the simplicity of it may not hold a child's attention for very long. Seeing it brought back to life on modern systems is definitely a treat for us older gamers though, so I'd recommend this version for anybody who still suffers from the occasional relapse of Pac Man Fever.

Points of Interest

Customization
If you weren't aware, people who own the coin-op cabinets could change some of the rules of the game to make it easier or harder. These toggles are available to you, though changing them from the default will disable the ability to submit scores to the global leaderboards.

You also have the option of two different screen borders (three if you count the "none" option).
Steam community features
This rerelease of Pac-Man comes with twenty achievements for you to earn. It's a nice touch, even if the achievements aren't terribly clever. Most of them are awards for eating specific rare fruits or simply reaching later stages, but there are a few that will take some planning if you're serious about collecting them.
No mouse support
While I doubt you'd get very far playing this game with a mouse, it would be useful for navigating the game's menus. You're stuck using the keyboard or joystick controls all the time, which can be annoying when changing settings.
Not much compared to newer games
Arcade games have always been about earning a high score and nothing else. This is a problem because modern games have lengthy stories or goals to keep the players occupied and coming back for more. With just the high score as incentive, many younger players will probably want to move on after a few rounds.

Concerns and Issues

Mild violence and spooky stuff
By this point, almost everyone is familiar with what goes on in the Pac-Man games, but if you need a refresher, here's the most questionable content you'll encounter. There are four ghosts who roam the maze, looking to catch Pac-Man. When they do, he folds up and disappears. On the other hand, after eating a Power Pellet, there is a brief period of time where Pac-Man can eat the ghosts, causing their eyes to scurry back to the Ghost House for another sheet to wear.