Release Date: October 1988
Probably the biggest arcade game of the 80s is finally ported to the NES, say hello to Pac-Man! This is going to be a short one because there isn’t a whole lot to talk about with Namco’s flagship franchise. Pac-Man moves about a maze with the d-pad eating pellets. The goal is to eat all of the pellets in the stage to move to the next one.
As you increase in level, the speed of the game increases. It isn’t so easy, because there are four ghosts that only want to hunt you down. Of the four ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, Blinky seems to move faster than Pac-Man and become a real downer if you don’t plan ahead. The ghosts have slightly different AI patterns. I just read a breakdown of the ghost behavior and I’m blown away by it. Look it up for a fun read.
There are larger flashing pellets in the maze that allow Pac-Man to eat the ghosts. This is a good way to rack up the points, and you want points for extra lives. There will also be times that fruit appears just below the ghost house for extra points as well. I didn’t tend to get very far before dying, but at least I beat the high score.
No one can say the graphics of Pac-Man are particularly good.
The sound is extra bare bones, with no real music, but an annoying wakawaka sound constantly looping.
Simple gameplay at its finest here. Eat the dots, avoid the ghosts… unless you can destroy them.
Pac-Man is difficult to get a real hang of, but once you do, it’s bliss.
Fun Factor: 2.5
I enjoy some Pac-Man. It’s not my favorite, but it’s fun here and there.
Overall Grade: 2.1
Pac-Man earns a C. It’s certainly an iconic arcade game, but it’s honestly an average title.