Thursday, December 9, 2010


(pictured is my favorite new maze)

How does one make a classic like Pac Man better? If it is 1981 you play copycat and make him a her and make the pink ghost run away even without the aid of a power pellet*. If it is 2007 you update the look and the sound and the speed and you cut the board in half*. (note that I did not include Jr., the cartoon or the 3D)

2007 was a great year for gamers. I remember wondering where the gaming industry could take us after such a year. 2010 continues to show us where with Pac Man CE DX.

So how do you make a 30 year old game that you made better three years ago better better? It turns out that the answer is quite simple: You add bombs*.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait. What? Did you say bombs?"
"Yes, bombs."
"But, but Pac Man has a stick and a 1P and a 2P button. How do you use these bombs and where do they come from anyway?"
"I don't know where they come from but now there is a bomb button too, for the bombs."
"Bombs and buttons from nowhere? This is sacrilege!"
"No, this is sacrelicious."

The Wiki would have you believe that such a device, plot or otherwise, used to get our hero out of a tight spot is a sub-par choice in story telling. That might be true but in terms of game and play the bomb addition is an optimal experience*.

*among other things

1 comment:

Gus said...

Yeah, the bombs are great. The designers figured out a way to amplify the best parts of the game without making Pac-Man an invulnerable chomping machine. The bombs (and the slo-mo) give you ways out so you don't spend an inordinate amount of time looking at a dead Pac-Man and losing your momentum. Besides, if you're REALLY good you barely need to use them.

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