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Review: PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+

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: 2013
Review Published On: May 20th, 2016
Played on: Martha

Available from:

Gamer's Gate, Humble Store, Steam

Save System:

Your highscores and any levels or modes you unlock are recorded when you lose a game.

If you need to take a short break, you can pause the game by hitting ESC.

Summary of
Major Issues:

PAC-MAN can eat ghosts when he's buffed by a powerup. Alternatively, the ghosts will chase down and eat him. Either way, it's clean and treated as a bit silly.


[view screenshot]
An a-maze-ing game

[view screenshot]
About to crash

[view screenshot]
Darkness hides the maze

Game Overview

Pac Man was one of the first real mascots in video game history, and almost everyone has played the original Pac Man or a similar game at one point or another. However, while the title may make this game sound like a dressed up version of the original game, Championship Edition is more of a sequel than an updated remake. It still features our favorite yellow dot eating protagonist, ghosts and various mazes, but the focus has changed from earning a high score to completing timed challenges.

Most of the time, there aren't many dots on the mazes. The dots that are there form a path for Pac Man to follow, and if he sticks to this path, he'll easily avoid the ghosts chasing after him. At the end of the path is an item worth some extra points; once it's collected, the other side of the maze is cleared and repopulated with new ghosts and a new path of dots.

The ghosts are probably the most noticeable change from the classic game. Instead of wandering about, they stay where they first appeared. Once Pac Man runs by, they wake up and give chase, forming a long conga line behind him. Usually, the train of ghosts follows Pac Man's every step, and once enough ghosts are in the line, you'll need to take extra care to avoid crossing your own path too soon.

It may sound like staying calm and taking it slow is the key to success, but this is another way that Pac Man Championship Edition's new gameplay twists things. As you play, the game speeds up. Eating ghosts will increase the speed faster than eating dots or fruit, but you can't go without clearing the train behind you for very long. Some of the levels even start you out at very high speeds! Fortunately, you're given a brief moment of bullet time when you're about to collide with an angry ghost. This can give you just enough time to change course and avoid the hazard.

Pac Man: Championship Edition is a fast, frenzied ride. Fans of the original or its more popular sequels like Mrs. Pac Man or Pac Jr will probably enjoy this new take on munching madness, but if you're not into challenges or want a relaxing game, this isn't going to be the game for you.

Points of Interest

Fluid, lively visuals
There's a lot of eye candy here. Every time you eat a fruit, the other side of the maze is wiped clean with a wave, and a new layout of pellets and sleeping ghosts fall into place. These effects are really flashy and eye-catching, but it makes taking a clear screenshot something of a trick.
Alternate skins
Tired of the same old design? There are several options to choose from. These include retro graphics, neon colored lights, cartoon and 3D versions of the cast and there is some DLC to provide more skins based on other Namco games like Dig Dug and X-Rally. Selecting a skin is done at the beginning of each level rather than in an option menu, so it's really easy and convenient.
Achievements and Medals
It's a bit rare for a game on Steam to feature two types of awards, but Pac Man: Championship Edition has Medals and achievements, just like some of the games on the Windows Store. Medals don't appear in your Steam profile, and are generally harder to earn than the achievements.
Multiple game modes
Most of the mazes have a score attack, time attack and a ghost combo variant, but there are a few other modes available. Free play mode just continues until you quit, while Darkness only lets you see the pellets, ghosts, and the area around Pac Man. If this isn't enough to satiate your Pac Man Fever, there are some extra levels available as DLC.
Not the classic Pac Man
If you're interested in playing the original, you're out of luck. This game isn't it, nor is there a way to play the classic arcade game.
Some controls are odd
Generally speaking, games and computer programs use standardized controls. This allows the player to easily move from one program to another without having trouble with muscle memory or unfamiliarity with the new program. This game manages to throw a curve ball by using Backspace to return the player to the previous menu, a function normally left to the ESC key.
Doesn't take long to unlock everything
Although this is a fun ride, it's over very soon. It takes less than two hours to unlock every level and earn every achievement. Such speedy progress is rarely a good sign. On the other hand, Medals are harder to earn than the achievements, so earning all of them will be more challenging.
Nickel and dimed
It seems like nearly a third of the game is provided via DLC that you need to purchase. Each DLC only provides a new skin or a new level or two, meaning you're going to wind up paying almost twice the game's listed price for everything.

Concerns and Issues

Pac Man regularly eats ghosts
Pac Man games are almost never considered violent, and although this game focuses on eating the enemy ghosts, it's still a stretch to consider it a serious problem. When eaten, the ghosts lose their bed sheet like draping and their eyes fly off to somewhere else. Some of them will return to the ghost box in the center of the maze, and from there the ghosts will gain new bed sheets and resume running about the maze. Of course, these ghosts will also "eat" Pac Man if they have the chance, so fair's fair.