“ Manufacturer: Namco / Genre: Arcade / Release Date: 1988 „
We recently treat ourselves to an Ipad after having wanted one for quite sometime, my Husband went onto the playstore to see what games were available and set about downloading some old games from our youth such as Sonic the Hedgehog and this one, the game didn't cost a penny making it even better!
When you go into the game you are greeted with the start up menu, you have the options of play the game, options, get more coins, help and a link to buying more games. The options screen gives you the controls for the sound of the game and the controls to play the game. The help menu is very thorough and gives you an intro to the game aslong with rules and goals, controls, options, hints and tips and about the game. The menus are all based the same way and are very easy to follow, the last option on every page is to go back to the previous menu, I like how uncomplicated it is and how you can get to things such as the options and controls in more than one menu so you don't end up going around in circles looking for what you want.
What is Pacman?
Pacman is a game that was first released in 1980 which is before even I was born, it was released by the Japanese and remember as a child it was extremely popular, I had it on the Atari when I was younger. Pacman is a little yellow circle with an eye and a mouth which opens and closes collecting pac pellets, the idea is that you collect all of the pac pellets before the ghosts catch pacman.
There are 3 game modes to the Ipad game which are the normal arcade mode which is what I personally like to play, a normal game which is a little slower than the arcade version and then a slow mode which starts you with 2 extra lives and again is slower than the arcade mode, my eldest daughter is 6 and she likes to play on the slow mode as the others are too hard for her to play.
The board is black in colour with the pac pellets being white and then the ghosts all being different colours so add to this the bright yellow Pacman and it is a rather colourful game. The ghost box sits in the centre of the playing board and then the maze surrounds it, the ghosts start in the box and when they have been eaten they return to the box, occasionally throughout the game you get fruits that you can collect for extra points but these appear right underneath the ghost box which of course is a rather dangerous location.
On each level there are power pellets which are larger than pac pellets, when Pacman eats one of these the ghosts turn blue for a little while and whilst they are blue Pacman can eat the ghosts, needless to say when the ghosts are blue they of course avoid Pacman. When you eat the ghosts you get bonus points, you get double for each ghost that you eats so for the first you get 200 points, the second you get 400 points and so on.
Obviously the obstacles are the ghosts which are trying to catch Pacman, at the start of the game the ghosts are a little slower than Pacman which means that you can outrun then when they are right behind you however with there being 5 ghosts you can only do this for a small amount of time before one comes towards you in the opposite direction. The ghosts get faster as you go through the levels so you are not playing long before you can no longer outrun them so you need to be careful not to use all your power pellets too quickly.
It is a thoroughly entertaining yet rather annoying game as you seem to come to a level and get stuck all the time as you then have to start from the beginning once your lives run out which means you can get fed up with it. The game is quick to play so you can easily have a game when you only have a few minutes to spare and it is a game which doesn't require much brain power when you are trying to relax.
The graphics of the game are great, the colours are all bright and sharp and the graphics keep up with the game play without blurring which is what you would expect from modern technology. Pacman is easy to direct with a simple swipe across the board and the joypad in the bottom corner shows you which direction you have Pacman running in.
I like the fact it has different difficulties as my daughter is really pleased that she can play the same game as her Mammy and Daddy and thinks she is really good often saying "look I've done the same level as you" obviously she isn't aware we put her on an easy level.
The only things that is bad about this game is that because we have downloaded it for free everytime you try to get from one screen to another or you go from one level to another an advert pops up for you to buy a different game which does become pretty annoying at times.
The music can get annoying if you are playing the game for any length of time as it is that sort of annoying arcade sound however you can turn the sound off which is what I do.
Loads of fun for all ages and abilities so apart from the silly pop ups this game is great.
As one comedian whose name escapes me once said in the mid nineties, "I don't believe that computer games have any effect on the behaviour of young people today. Or else they would all spend their time in darkened rooms, bouncing around the walls whilst popping pills and listening to endlessly repetitive music. Oh, wait...."
Released in 1987, Pac-Mania builds on the original game by introducing much-improved graphics, bigger and more varied mazes and a fixed, 3D isometric viewpoint. As before, the aim of the game is to collect all of the pills distributed throughout the levels whilst avoiding bumping into ghosts, with power-ups once again available that temporarily allow Pac Man to eat the ghosts instead, at which point they revert to a pair of eyes and flee back to their pen in the centre of the map to regenerate. This time around however Pac Man can jump over his foes, adding an extra dimension to the gameplay.
The visuals are a huge improvement on the garish and blocky graphics of the original, whilst the zany and bombastic midi score adds a lot of enjoyment as well. Whilst he original game consisted of a single static maze, Pac Mania instead consists of four different types of level, namely the lego-like Block Town, Pac Man Theatre, Sandbox land and Jungly Steps, and a camera follows Pac Man throughout the large mazes as he moves around, the screen scrolling up and down and left and right.
Whist Pac Mania is perfectly playable and entertaining, the scrolling and jumping features are only minor embellishments on the original format, and the original static maze design of the first game represents a more pure gaming experience with less distraction. That said, Pac Mania still remains an entertaining and enjoyable arcade experience, with charming music and visuals to boot.