The icons of interactive entertainment, despite being badly treated by their license owners (did someone say Sonic?), could be considered practically immortal. If they aren’t, there’s no explaining how Pac-Mac, the character created by NAMCO some 35 years ago, is still about as popular as ever. New TV shows and games that give unsuspected twists on the original idea have made the timeless dot-eater a favorite for kids, parents, and grandparents alike. To give you an idea, here we give a rundown of six contemporary Android games starring Pac-Man.
Any successful brand that doesn’t make an endless runner is sure to crash and burn. In this case, and based on the look of the TV show Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, you’ll have to run your character through linear settings dodging obstacles and collecting items. Anybody might say that this has nothing to do with the original idea, but hey, don’t you remember Pac-Land?
Pac-Man Kart Rally
If there’s such a thing as an Angry Birds racing game there can be one for anything. Taking as its point of reference the game system of the immortal Mario Kart, this is a small homage to Namco where you can select your runner from among the brand’s other icons including Dig Dug, the prince of Katamari Damacy, or the ship from Galaga. Not for nostalgics of a maudlin bent.
A few years ago, when touch screens became standard and came into general use, a load of images appeared that made use of the device’s accelerometer to move a ball through mazes while avoiding obstacles. Swap the ball for Pac-Man and more or less you have the same game system as you’ll find on this game.
Those Namco guys sure do know the recipe to squeeze money out of their brands: make the ten-millionth clone of Bejeweled but swap the gems for ghosts and dots and voilà, another month of rising profits.
This time the game of reference could well be Puzzle Quest, a game with a veneer of a puzzle but with greater depth, as you have to do particular movements to get through turn-based battles in the upper part of the screen. Add to this a system for leveling up, objects that you can kit out, and friends you can recruit to come along with you, and you have the perfect hodgepodge.
It’s all fine and good to look for new entertainment ideas to give new life to the character, but what about those of us who want to play the classic Pac-Man, dammit! This Pac-Man Tournament is the only official title (because there are hundreds of clones out there) that brings back the original title by transferring the traditional controls to a space on a touchscreen to make movements. You may not be the new Billy Mitchell but you can at least remember the good old days.