This classic arcade game will surely ring a bell when it comes to defining the true game changer in the gaming industry. Considered as one of the most popular retro arcade games in the market up-to-date, this eating-themed machine game will never miss a chance on creating history - again. Thus, making it the most influential video game ever developed way back in the 80s. Any idea on this notable arcade game and character? Guess it's not that difficult for anyone to recognize this yellow buddy of ours.
Pac Man arcade game created a buzz to the gaming world when it was first introduced in Japan on 1980. Since then, different regions worldwide have been hosting Pac-Man for their gaming community. Several game versions - authorized and unauthorized; as well merchandises and collectibles were also released to the market as support to this poplar maze game.
But before it created its huge part in the history of classic and modern arcade gaming, Pac-man was just a very random and vague idea from its creator, Toru Iwatani.
History of Pac-Man
Iwatani, who was part of a renowned game developer in Japan - Namco, was just eating pizza when he first thought of developing the character of Pac-Man. This famous yellow, pie-shaped character - which clearly resembles a pizza with at least one or two slices out - was initially known as Puck-Man.
In Japan, "puck puck" (usually pronounced as "paku-paku") is a term used for eating or munching. No one can deny it that this is an eating-themed game since the main character eats cookies and fruits that come along its way. Moreover, Pac-Man creates a unique sound - "wocka wocka" - while gobbling on these treats.
When it was released in the US, the word Puck was changed into Pac to create a more appealing game name for the market. Its game difficulty was also increased to excite more Western players trying this game. Together with these developments, Pac-Man was released in different platforms aside from arcade machines. These include gaming consoles and hand-held devices for its players to access anytime and anywhere.
Since then, Pac Man arcade game has been a staple choice as one of the most played retro arcade games in the market today.
Pac-Man Gameplay and Features
Almost anyone can easily understand the gameplay of this arcade game. But for the benefit of first timers, here are the fundamentals and basic features of this simple and addicting game.
Pac-Man's goal is to collect all 240 cookies or dots around the maze before one of the four ghosts catch him and lose a life. These four colored ghosts are known as Inky (light blue), Clyde (orange), Pinky (pink), and Blinky (red). Blinky, also referred as Shadow, gives the most threat to Pac-Man as it moves the fastest of all four. Players can control Pac-Man with the provided joystick, controller, or keyboard of their playing console.
Aside from the cookies, players can spot fruits and items popping anywhere on the maze. These special items reward them with extra points for their total score. There are also four large dots, known as power pellets, scattered on the screen per level. Pac-Man can munch on these power pellets to transform these ghosts into slow dark blue colored monsters. Players can also control Pac-Man to eat them while in this form to earn bonus points. But these ghosts won't stay permanently dead as they get resurrected seconds after being eaten - so better watch out.
So far, only one person has completed all 255 stages of Pac-Man. Billy Mitchell finished the game on July 3, 1999 with a whopping score of 3,333,360 points - which has never been beaten since then. Mitchell - who is also a master player of various arcade games like Donkey Kong, Centipede, and Ms. Pacman - completed the Pac Man arcade game within six hours.
Winning Strategies in Pac-Man
Just like any other video game in the industry, Pac-Man also has a list of winning strategies for its players. Here are some of those tips which may aid them on succeeding in this classic arcade game.
Play with Patterns
There are a lot of pattern variations available today for the game of Pac-Man. Many players believed that this game is made up of repeatable, logical, and observable patterns which led to the development of these theories. Players may consider on using these concepts to complete a number of game levels or avoid being killed by the roaming ghosts. But they should also be aware that before they get comfortable on playing, they have to work hard and train themselves with these guide patterns.
Some of these pattern models include the Cherry pattern, the Mid-fruit pattern, and the Apple pattern. These theories are also dependent on the design type of the machine, as well as the game screen initially projected.
Identify the Danger and Safe Zones
Pac-Man also identifies several danger and safe zones around its course. The bottom and top areas of the maze are considered as the game's danger zones. Players must clear up all dots on those spots as fast as they can and don't stay too long on those areas.
On the other hand, a small space below the ghosts' cage is regarded as a safe hiding spot to stay. Players can use this area for their small breaks like going to the restroom; or getting something to eat and drink. They just have to make sure that the ghosts are looking away before they enter this safe zone.
Maximize the Use of the Tunnel
Aside from providing an easy transfer to Pac-Man from side to side, the tunnel also slows down the ghosts once they enter here. Players can make use of this added feature who are having difficulties in completing higher game levels. They just have to make sure that they don't slack off in the area as the ghosts may cut them off and take away a life from them.
Practice Fakeouts and Lures
These techniques are the most common skills any Pac-Man player should have. The power to mislead and deceive ghosts around the maze will yield several advantages for players to score more points in this game. Moreover, misdirection is also an effective tool to execute the abovementioned patterns.