NetGuide NZ - Pac-Pix

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.


Like many of the arcade classics Pac-Man has had something of a second coming recently, mostly fuelled by the current swing towards all things retro. Updating these classics is a tricky business, but this unique version of the Pac-Man franchise really does push the boundaries. As far as similarities to the original Pac-Man go you have two things: the ghosts and Pac-Man - but here the latter has to be created by you.

The object of each level is to clear the area of ghosts which generally come in two waves with a counter on the top levels to indicate how many you’ve yet to clear. In addition to this you have a countdown timer and a counter of how many “Pacs” you have left, as they do tend to roam off the screen. Strategy wise it’s important to remember that the larger your Pac-Man is the slower he moves although clearly he can also munch many more items at once. Changing direction is as simple as drawing a line and you’ll find that drawing other items such as arrows and bombs will be useful (not to mention fun) as the game progresses.

If all this isn’t enough you have to contend with an ever-increasing number of other problems too. These begin with the odd moving wall, or pressure pad activated obstruction, which makes shooting your arrow into floating ghosts a lot more challenging. Other hitches in completing the level include armoured ghosts and others that must be devoured in the correct order. The book has 12 chapters and each of these has five of six levels but sadly there is no multiplayer option included. There are some wonderful ends of level bosses though, which are incredibly well designed and occasionally difficult to take down, but as with the overall game design you always feel they can be defeated, it’s just a case of when.

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