pac-man

Donkey Kong: The start of a collection

The scan shown above is from the actual copy I picked up that day, thirty years ago. Given the many times I have thumbed through it (and drooled over it), in the months that followed that moment, it looks surprisingly fresh. The main selling point of the ColecoVision was a mouth-watering home conversion of Donkey Kong. A screen shot of it was put prominently on the front of the brochure. With the yellow high-light behind it, it stood out more than the actual console itself. And with reason. This was its killer app. [...]

When Video Games Become Board Games: Part 1

It is important to remember that board games are not video games and neither should be expected to match the other’s total gaming experience. Video games of this era were all about constant motion, quick reflexes and split-second decision-making. Board games, however, are about measured decisions, random die rolls or card draws, and ever-changing strategies based on the play of your opponents. In addition, board games often have suggested ages for players. I have read several reviews over the years from adults who were unable to understand that a game meant for children would have limited appeal to adults (and who scored them based on their own experience of playing them as an adult), or from reviewers who also expected a board game to be a video game. [...]

Original Pac-Man cartoon series hits 30th anniversary

The series took some liberties with the characters themselves, as might be expected by any licensed property-based cartoon series from the 1980s. Most of the male characters, including Pac-Man himself, sported a variety of hats. The ghost monster characters for Blinky and Clyde switched places from their video game roles with Clyde becoming the smart alpha of the group and Blinky becoming the dim witted follower of the group. Sue, the female ghost from the Ms. Pac-Man game, appeared in a shade of blue rather than the orange color from the game, likely in an effort to make her stand out more from Clyde. [...]

David Crane speaks on the triumphs and pitfalls of his multi-decade career

“I would have never predicted the classic gaming movement where people continue to play their favorite games 30 years later and who bring in a new generation by exposing their kids to the classics,” he stated. “Sure, we tweaked the games to a fine point and we felt those games were the best games on the market at the time, but it still surprises me when classic gaming enthusiasts tell me that for pure game play, modern games fail to live up to the standards we set back in the day.” [...]

Arcade Classics: What happened to them all?

Several arcade conversions have appeared on these popular treasure-hunting television programs in recent years, often without the people on the show seemingly aware of it. An episode of Pawn Stars saw someone bring three “Japanese Arcade Games” into the Las Vegas shop, two of which were conversions from Defender machines. The Ms. Pac-Man machine that appeared on an episode of Auction Hunters was actually a conversion of an original Pac-Man machine, a cabinet that is similar but quite different in many ways as well. [...]

Mythbusting six common video game trivia mistakes

Another very common error, despite being easy to disprove with a quick Google search. I’ve heard people tell me that “Jumpman” was the name for Mario in the original Donkey Kong arcade game, with some going so far as to tell me he wasn’t even named Mario until Donkey Kong Junior or even the original Mario Bros. None of this is quite correct. While it is true that Mario’s working name was Jumpman, and that the instructions on the original arcade version do call him that, the name of Mario came along before Nintendo was even pushing Donkey Kongmachines out the door. The original advertising flyer, released at the time the game was released, refers to the character as Mario numerous times [...]

Pac-Land

While considered part of the Pac-Man series Pac-Land was a completely different style of game that brought us an early look at a gameplay style that would later become common place. Developed by Namco and released in 1984 Pac-Land showed us a completely new world we had never seen before. [...]

Know Your History: Call of Duty critics should note the Pac-Man run of 1982

Also worth note is the fact that historians blame Super Pac-Man’s quick fade from popularity to be due to the massive changes in the basic Pac-Man gameplay concept. Ms. Pac-Man, however, changed little to the basic concept of the game and simply added new screens and features while running on the hardware of the previous game. Ms. Pac-Mansold a record number of arcade machines in the United States and continues to hold the record to the modern day. Ms. Pac-Man machines can still be found in many locations across the country, the only one of the four 1982 Pac sequels to do so. [...]

Pac-Man Battle Royale super-sizes in new deluxe cabinet

Pac-Man Battle Royale is the first four player competitive Pac-Man arcade game. The original Pac-Man game concept has been given a cannibalistic twist: Eliminate your opponents by eating them and the last Pac-Man standing wins the round. When players eat a power pellet, they power-up by doubling in size and increasing in speed. Once powered up, they are now able to eat non powered-up blue players and ghosts. Players of the same size simply bounce off each other. Players can also be eliminated by running into ghosts if there aren’t any powered up players. Eating a piece of fruit or all of the pellets resets the maze with a fresh new set of power pellets. The game is simple, competitive, and highly addictive. The deluxe cabinet’s glowing lights and large viewing monitor make this the perfect centerpiece for any location. [...]

Everything you ever wanted to know about Pac-Man, but were afraid to ask

“The game studio I was a software developer for went under in 2008, and I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands,” he said. “I started playing a lot of Pac-Man using the MAME emulator and realized that, as much as I enjoy playing Pac-Man, it would be even more fun to reverse engineer the game and finally learn how the ghosts work ‘under the hood’, so to speak. So I set out to fill in the many gaps in the internet’s collective knowledge base on the inner workings of Pac-Man. The goal was to conclusively prove how every part of the game functioned, especially everything related to ghost behavior, and put everything I learned into one reference document to share with interested parties.” [...]

Christmas Comes to Pac-Land

On December 16, 1982 the first ever Christmas special of the video game age debuted in prime time. Hanna Barbera’s Christmas Comes to Pac-Land took the popular new Saturday morning cartoon series based on Pac-Man and it’s many sequels into uncharted territory for anything related to video games. In this ABC holiday special, Santa Claus crash lands in the fictional town of Pac-Land, an odd world where it seems to be legal to eat other inhabitants and walk around without pants. Santa, (voiced by a pre-Optimus Prime Peter Cullen), has never heard of Pac-Land while those who live there have never heard of him or Christmas at all. [...]

Classic Arcade Game Show Returns With Online Play

Now, JMPC is set to introduce myStarcade, a virtual online version of the game show. Using the actual head-to-head matchups and games from the original series, myStarcade will act as both a fun trip down memory lane and a history lesson from the “Golden Age” of the video arcade game. Players will be able to create profiles and battle for the top ranking on the myStarcade game by competing in other games that appeared in the original show, including the Name the Game Board, where players must quickly identify a screenshot a now-arcade classic. [...]

Totally Tiny Arcade

The main attractions of Totally Tiny Arcade are of course the arcade remakes themselves. Impressively, there are more than 20 of them available, each sporting excellent, chunky, retrotastic graphics and some equally impressive sounds, with each game spanning four levels. The games are inspired from an impressive variety of titles including Space Invaders, Spy Hunter, Pac-Man, Joust, Frogger and even the Atari 2600 version of E.T., though -unfortunately- not all of them are equally good. [...]

Kino One Review

Despite not being incredibly original and at times feeling slightly repetitive (some stages do drag a bit), one can’t help but notice the amount of care and polish poured into the thing. It features more than enough levels, impressive end bosses, different difficulty options and even comes packed with cute faux arcade flyers. Besides, the control scheme that effortlessly lets players cloak, use smart-bombs and shoot everything in sight works like a breeze and helps Kino One become a most addictive fun little high-score chase. [...]

Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection

Anyway. Namco’s Museum is an almost decent (budget) collection of some classic, some not so classic and a few pointless games, hoping to please retro gamers, to teach new gamers some old tricks, to teach young dogs strange tricks or to please the average casual gamer. There are 16 games on offer, two of which (PacMania and Galaga `88) are unlockable by attaining (pretty low) highscores in PacMan, Ms. PacMan or the original Galaga, which are actually three of the best titles available in this compilation, and are decently emulated. [...]

Starcade

The second player then played the same game as the first so it was possible that even if one player went before the other the second player could score more points in the game and win. The strategy here was to choose a game you were good at to rack up the points and hope your opponent would not do as well as you. [...]

Motivational Monday: Knock Offs

I really don’t want to call this game a knock off because I owned both it and the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A that it was released for, but it was loosely based on Pac-Man. The cool thing was the differences including the fact that you were trying to connect links to form a chain not eat dots. Also the ghosts in the game, called Hoono’s change from level to level. As the game continues your enemy gets much faster than you and their vulnerability time is greatly reduced. [...]

Combat (Atari)

I personally played Combat for hours against my sister who was extremely good at tank pong. What made the game so fun was the two player aspect and even though to today’s eyes one may think the game was simple it took on a whole new dynamic just by switching levels. Even when we got Pac-Man as a present a few weeks later we always came back to Combat because of the fun factor. [...]

Atari’s Pac-Man

Pac-Man was ported to pretty much every computer and console system of the time and many copies, unauthorized squeals and bootlegs have been made for it. Pac-Man also made its way into merchandising, food and even its own cartoon. Pac-Man is truly one of the most famous video games on the planet. [...]

PIXELS by PATRICK JEAN

While I personally loved this video I couldn’t help but think of the flyover scandal that hit New York in summer 2009. Could you imagine if this was broadcasted how many people would believe it was real and go into a panic. Oh you don’t believe people would think this was real? Well they thought this was a freaking bomb! [...]