March 30, 2012
Pac-Man is the quintessential arcade game. It came out in Japan in 1980 as “Puck Man” and was later renamed for the American release. This incredible classic will probably always be considered one of the best videogames of all time. Its simplicity and fast-paced action were only a few of the reasons that caused an immense popularity during and after the release.
As most of the games in arcade halls were space shooters, Pac-Man was a great success due to its diversity. To attract more gamers, in comparison to other games, it appealed to men, women, young and old. This effort along with a vast distribution in Asia, USA and the European market, rendered over $2 billion in “Insert Coin” before 1990. That’s a hell of a lot of quarters.
Its broad audience requested for more games and the popularity lead to over 30 games based on Pac-Man from Pinball mashups to Arcade Re-releases such as Super Pac-Man, Miss Pac-Man and Pac-Man Plus. The creation of a full steamed franchise including tv, memorabilia, lunch boxes, t-shirts, posters, etc, was also in motion. This legendary retro game will forever be iconic to the arcade scene and as aforementioned, all video games alike.
An A-Maze-Ing Game!
The whole Pac-Man concept was developed by Iwatani Toru. A maze is filled with pellets and it is the player’s job to eat them all. Each one of these morsels provides Pac-Man with 10 points and the special power pellets (which grant the hero invulnerability for a short while) are worth 100 points. As levels progress, fruit will appear in the center of the maze. These add extra points which will increase steadily. The maze is haunted by four ghosts who have quite silly names. They are called Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde. If any of these ghosts catches Pac-Man he will lose a life and has to start over again.
Controls could not be easier. A joystick is used to move Pac-Man Left, Right, Up, and Down.
Ghosts and Strategy!
Although they might have funny names, the ghosts are very clever. Blinky (RED), will always chase Pac-Man unless a Power Pellet is consumed. Pinky (PINK) will try to get ahead to ambush her prey. Inky (CYAN) will try to predict an alternate route to assault Pac-Man in the maze. Clyde (ORANGE) moves completely random, making him very unpredictable.
The Power Pellets are life savers at the first levels, but at a certain point they are no different from the regular pellets and will not cause the ghosts to flee. Plan your maze route and try to avoid using the Power Pellets too soon. Aim to get the extra lives on the first levels by eating a Power Pellet when cornered by all four ghosts and send them back to the middle. The extra lives are usually reached at 10,000 and then at 30,000 points.
Pac-Man himself has the final word. He has always been a classic and will forever be. There are hundreds of versions available to play online, via phone, or even the newer consoles such as the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, etc. If you are a true fan of the Pac-Man series, then consider yourself lucky to be a part of the greatness of pure retro gaming. If you have never played it, try it here: