Who hasn't heard of Pac-Man, the name in arcade
games? He is the most well known game character in
the world, spawning countless games; sequels (Ms. Pac Man, Pac Man Jr.) and
clones (K.C. Munchkin), and also having games released on virtually
any system, even the old Atari 2600 and Colecovision.
Pac-Man also has an interesting history on the NES.
The arcade port was originally released by Tengen as
a licensed game, but after they defected from
Nintendo, they rereleased it as an unlicensed game.
In 1993, Namco became a licensee and rereleased
Tengen's game as a licensed cart (sorry if this sounds
There's nothing much to the gameplay. You play as
Pac-Man, and the object of each maze is to chomp out
all the dots, while evading the infamous ghosts. One
touch does you in, but if you eat a power dot, the
ghosts will turn blue and run away, and you can chomp
them for bonus points. You can also snag fruit for
points. Once you get all the dots, it's off to the
next maze. Every so often, you'll see a little scene
where Pac-Man and a red ghost duke it out. It's pretty amusing
to break the monotony.
The graphics, though it resembles the arcade very
well, are not much to talk about. You go through the
same maze the whole game, and none of the sprites
change. Almost the entire right side of the screen is taken up by
by the status, but this was done to keep the size of the playing field
the same (since the arcade monitor wasn't square like a television.) There's no music, just the simple sounds of
you munching down dots (I think the sound you make
when you die is neat). The controls handle well, even with
the NES control pad.
Pretty much everyone has played Pac-Man in one form
or another, so they won't find anything new here.
But it's a down, homebrewn, all-in-all classic.
However, it's nice to return to the arcade roots, and
this game is a well-done port of the arcade, so if
you don't have an arcade emulator, give this a shot, if not
just for nostalgia.