The Original Pac-Man is a true classic, and takes it’s place in Video Game History as one of the all time greats, with simple game play and functional graphics the emphasis was on fun.
But how do you take the basic pill & ghost munching concept and bring it into the modern day for a new generation? Simple – don’t change what isn’t broken whilst adding extra challenge. Which is exactly what Pac-Man 256 on iOS does.
Keeping the iconic graphical style (albeit with an isometric view) of the original game, Pac-Man 256 keeps many of the original ingredients as you move around a maze eating Pac-Dots, looking for fruit and when powered up chasing those pesky ghosts. But as progress waits for no man, this isn’t just a straight forward remake. The developers have cleverly changed Pac-Man into an endless maze runner game.
A great concept, as Pac-Man is no longer limited by 4 fixed walls, and whilst the horizontal movement is still restricted, your horizontal movement is now unlimited as the maze (and ghostly occupants) keeps developing ahead of you.
To keep you moving forward, and reducing thinking time, the bottom of the maze is constantly being engulfed by ‘The Glitch’, which is represented by strings of garbled text characters. If you get caught up in the Glitch – it’s game over. An extra addition to the game play is the addition of a combo system, where you have to collect as many Pac-Dots as possible whilst aiming for the magically 256 combo limit. As Pac-Dots aren’t in every space you need to plan your route carefully, whilst avoiding the army of ghosts and ‘The Glitch’. The help you keep track of your combo score the current total is displayed underneath Pac-Man.
These additions really add a welcome spin on the traditional Pac-Man game play, and the simple swipe based control system means that you don’t have to think about how to move Pac-Man as its very intuitive and it works well in practice.
So Pac-Man 256 is fun, and it looks the part. Is there any downside?
Unfortunately the Free-to-Play commercial model sometimes gets in the way as you start with a limited number of credits. Use these up and you find yourself having to wait for a counter to reach zero (approx. 10 mins per extra credit) or pay for additional credits through in-app purchases. It does get in the way of the fun and I imagine many fans will fork out the £5.99 for unlimited credits, whilst others will simply just delete the app.
It’s such a shame, as once again a great game is restricted by a limiting business model.
However if you can get past the commercials you will find a fun, addictive and enjoyable game, and once which sets well within the substantial Pac-Man legacy.
You can download Pac-Man 256 on iOS by clicking here.