Review by Retro

"My favorite port of the arcade classic"

I'm pretty sure most people who have ever played a video game in their life have probably played Pac-Man at one time or another. If not, read on to hear about what this classic has to offer for the Game Boy.

In Pac-Man, you must control a round, yellow creature (or...gray, since this is the Game Boy) named Pac-Man and maneuver him around a haunted maze in order to eat all the dots that are invading the screen's privacy. However, it's not as easy as it sounds. Scurrying through the maze in all directions are four ghostly ghosts who want nothing more than to get rid of Pac-Man before he gains a million pounds. Fortunately, Pac-Man does have a little bit of a weapon against these creepy creatures. In each of the four corners of the maze is a flashing power pellet that is larger than the everyday dots. If Pac-Man eats one of these, the ghosts will become scared of him for a few seconds since the pacster can now eat them as a small snack, which will in turn send them back to their gloomy hideout in the center of the maze for awhile.

Also, to help Pac-Man out even more, there is a portal on each side of the maze that the he can travel through to get to the other side of the maze in a flash. An even better advantage is that the ghosts don't run through these portals as quickly as Pac-Man does. There will also be a piece of fruit, such as a cherry, peach, pineapple, etc., that will appear in the center of the maze from time to time and stay in place as if it was at the grocery store. Pac-Man can eat any piece of fruit for some bonus points. Also, the more ghosts you eat, the more points you will earn, up to a maximum of 1,600 points for a single ghost.

The maze doesn't change any the entire game; it's just the same old maze over and over again. The further along you get in your fast-paced lunch, the faster the ghosts will become, and even though Pac-Man does nothing but stuff his face all the time, he also gets a bit faster. Once you reach the low pinnacle of 10,000 points, you will earn an extra life.

Pac-Man was loved by millions back in the early 80's because it was a game that was easy to learn how to play, and it had the ability to hook anyone of any age after just one or two games. There was nothing more fun back in the day than to play games with the goal of trying to obtain the high score (pride!). This Game Boy version of Pac-Man is just a little different from any other version that has ever came out.

In the Game Boy's version of Pac-Man, there is a cool extra that you won't see in any of the other versions of the same game. In the arcade version, NES version, and the others, you can see the whole screen all at once. In this version, you can choose between two different views. In one, it will show you (Pac-Man) up close and the maze will scroll along with your every move like a spotlight. It doesn't show the whole screen at once.

But don't fret! If you would rather be able to see the entire playing field at once, you can press right or left at the title screen and a small sign that says ½ will show up. Start the game with the ½ sign on the screen and you will be able to see the twisting maze as a whole during your game, even though it will be more zoomed out and not as detailed as playing with the up-close, default view.

Apart from the views, this version of Pac-Man is just like the arcade classic! It has the same music, maze layout, graphics, and the direct copy of everything else, except for the colors of course, which have been changed to a bland black and white (but that's the Game Boy for ya). To control the overweight yellow creature, you only have to press up, down, left, and right on the control pad. I really like how the game has two different views available for those who want variety in their game playing experience. Oh yeah, if you get tired of playing all by your lonesome, you can always play a two-player game against a friend at any time. Bottom line: If you're a fan of the original blockbuster called Pac-Man, pick up this gem today!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/11/01, Updated 03/01/03

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