Category Archives: pac-man

The Gravity of Not Pacman

Not Pacman, by Maurice Ltd., is an interesting take on the venerable dot eater formula.  It resembles the classic game, appropriates the sounds, but here the play is the thing.  Here, you don’t play by moving Pac around directly, but spin the maze in which he and his dreaded ghost antagonists reside.  Gravity does the rest, and the characters roll around while you try to keep our yellow hero from tumbling into an enemy.

There are a few control options, including using joysticks or even a steering wheel if you have one, but I find I like the mouse option the best, spinning the maze clockwise and counter-clockwise by moving the mouse right or left.

What the game is really crying out for, of course, is a tablet version that uses accelerometer sensors to let you tilt the device to roll Pac-Man around.  Unfortunately, we only have Windows, OSX and Linux versions so far.  Also, you can only finish the maze once and then the game records your points and time taken to finish, then resets itself, so the goal currently is to finish in the fastest time.  But hey, it’s free!  You can download the different versions of Not Pacman here at stabyourself.net.

Here’s our video of gameplay using a mouse in the OSX version:

As always, for more information on the history of Pac-Man, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.

The 12 Video Games of Christmas: Ms. Pac Man for iOS

The 12 Video Games of Christmas continues with Ms. Pacman for iOS.

Now, this one was before my time but I have actually played an arcade cabinet of this before. I can remember playing this and Operation Wolf at an old boardwalk arcade when I used to live in the UK. I was pretty young so I had to stand on a milk crate to play them. 

I remember having a great time with this because at its core the game is classic Pac Man action. It’s all here; the classic gameplay is replicated in style with a neat cabinet style controller interface down the bottom of the screen and faithfully recreated gameplay. If you’ve ever played the game before and are wondering just what the difference between the two games is here is the short version: Ms. Pac Man features redesigned mazes in four different styles, moving fruits, random ghost movement making predicting their movements a lot more challenging and new music and sound effects. 

There is a reason these arcade games were so popular (and let me tell you, Ms. Pac Man was one of the most popular arcade games of all time!) and if you want to get in on the arcade action you can drop some iTunes credit here and download the game to your iOS device.

Were you addicted to pellets back in the day? Share your stories of obsessive Ms. Pac Man playing in the comments section. No intervention required. 

The 12 Video Games of Christmas: Pac-Man for iPad.

Yellow ornaments hang from the tree in today’s The 12 Video Games of Christmas.  Wait, that one is eating the tinsel!  Darn you, Pac-Man!

Made by Namco and selling for $4.99 in the App Store, this round of Pac-Man is for the iPad only. It definitely feels like the arcade game, and has some good options for controlling our yellow hero.  Using the virtual joystick feels a bit logey, but an option to move Pac around the maze by swiping your finger to make him turn feels surprisingly responsive.  What’s really neat, however, is the accelerometer control scheme, where you tilt the iPad to move the character, kind of rolling him around the maze like in a marble-roll game such as Labyrinth.  It feels pretty cool and physical, although not particularly precise.  All of these control methods come included with the free Lite version; if you want to really get the arcade controller experience by hooking the game up to the mini-arcade cabinet iCade, you’ll need to pay for the full version of the app.

Another interesting addition to the formula is the ability to continue your game where you left off after losing your last man, by spending Namco coins, which, of course, you can purchase with real cash.  This particular freemium endeavour is not so obnoxious as others you find in the app store, as you get an awful lot of the program in the free version.

Pac-Man for iPad can be gobbled up at the iTunes App Store. Bon appétit!

The Pac Comes Back

Lets take a look at Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, a downloadable game available on XBL and PSN.

PMCEDX, whose acronym seems like a stock index, is a follow-up to Pac-Man Championship Edition, released for XBL and PSN, as well as various mobile editions, back in 2007.  It was designed by the legendary Tōru Iwatani, creator of the original Pac-Man arcade game in 1980.  It was also Iwatani’s last game for Namco before he retired in 2007.  


Both DX and the original game make a wonderful effort at bringing The Yellow One into modern gaming.  Sure, you still control the little yellow eating machine scarfing up dots in a maze while avoiding deadly ghosts roaming the playfield, but new play-modes and a frenetic, yet manageable pace make the effort much more than just a retro remake.  DX particularly shines, building on the already sturdy foundation of Mr. Iwatani by adding game mechanics that increase the fun and strategy while keeping things just as frantic.  


This is the crux of the game’s success: things get insanely fast and furious,  while somehow allowing the player to remain in control of the proceedings.  Progressing through variations of the game modes, which prompt gamers to get total high scores or eat the most blue ghosts in a row,  as the player moves around the mazes, things speed up to an almost impossible tempo.  Clever mechanics keep things in check, such as keeping a subtle glow around Pac so you can keep track of him, or having things slow down a-la bullet time to let you get out of close scrapes.  


This updated version of Pac-Man is a rarity these days: a retro remake that is not made simply to cash in on the memory of a truly classic video game, but a fun and fantastic outing in its own right.