Here’s a sobering thought, especially if you were born in the 70s or 80s (heck, even the 90s). A new generation of players will have never played a Pac-Man video game. Perhaps even worse, many of these people will only know the iconic character from, wait for it, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. Not that there’s anything wrong with Nintendo’s hit fighting series, but come on! Pac-Man is legendary.
If you are one of these arguably lost souls or never got around to experiencing Pac-Man in all his glory, here are five games you need to play.
Might as well start here, with the 1980 arcade classic that captivated millions around the world. Take control of the hungry dot chomper and avoid his arch enemies, the pesky ghosts (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde). Yes it’s old and primitive by today’s standards, but still as addictive as ever. To play Pac-Man is to love Pac-Man. Can you master its tricky mazes?
How do you follow up one of the finest arcade games of all time? Take Pac-Man, slap on a bow and some lipstick, then create a brand-new set of challenging mazes patrolled by those pesky ghosts. Devour power pellets, snack on some fruit and turn the tables on the ghosts and snack on them for a bit. On a side note, Ms. Pac-Man is one of the first video games to feature cut scenes, however brief.
Pac-Man Championship Edition
Broncos quarterback John Elway went out on top, and the same goes for Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani, who left us Pac-Man Championship Edition as his swan song. While the basic premise remains the same, in that Pac-Man eats power-pellets and fruit, the inclusion of timed challenges significantly boosts the overall intensity, forcing you to make even quicker decisions while moving from one side of the board to the other chasing fruit and avoiding enemies. Throw in six modes, neon-colored boards and thumping beats, and you’ll fall in love with Pac-Man all over again.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
Once you’re done with Championship Edition, upgrade to the equally superb DX. Like most of these games, the concept of munching dots remains, but now there’s a new type of sleeping ghost that only follows Pac-Man when he passes by, and you can have several of these enemies lined up just waiting to be eaten. On top of that, you can upgrade to the DX+ edition, which provides leaderboard support and medals. Then take the next step with downloadable content that adds new music and skins, including ones inspired by old school games like Dig-Dug and Rally-X.
To be fair, you might have trouble playing Pac-Man Vs. simply because you’ll need a Nintendo GameCube, a copy of the game (included with each copy of Pac-Man World 2), a Game Boy Advance, a GBA to GameCube link cable and additional GameCube controllers, which is quite an investment. However, should the planets align and you wind up with all that stuff, prepare for multiplayer goodness. Basically, the person holding the GBA controls Pac-Man and attempts to gobble up the dots in each maze, while the other players with GameCube controllers staring at the TV screen are the ghosts. Tons of fun, and a precursor of the types of games available on the Wii U. Now if only Nintendo would bring Pac-Man Vs. to its latest console, playing it would be so much easier.
Play Pac-Man Vs.: GameCube