Have Game, Will Play: Pac-Man Museum

Pac-man Museum is collection of some well known and, if I can be a bit transparent, obscure Pac-Man games. The games included are: Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Pac & Pal, Pac-Land, Pac-Mania, Pac-Attack(Genesis version), Pac-Man Arrangement(PSP version), Pac-Man Championship Edition, Ms. Pac-Man(free DLC until March 31st, $5 afterwards) and for the first time the arcade-only hit, Pac-Man Battle Royale.

I have never strayed too far away from what I would consider to be the main Pac-Man games: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Jr etc. Needless to say, many of the games in this collection were new to me. Some I had heard of but never played. This bundle felt quite fresh for me but the numerous Pac-Man specific or Namco Museum bundles released could be redundant for others. So I’ll touch upon the titles that stood out the most for me.

Pac & Pal – Originally exclusive to arcades in Japan, this game forces Pac-Man to eat items found all over the stage before the ghosts get to him. Pac-Man’s supposed Pal is a ghost name Miru. She won’t hurt Pac-Man but she will take items into the ghost houseĀ  if he can’t get them in time. “Pal” may be a misnomer here. The arcade version of this game runs on the Super Pac-Man hardware and has many similar elements. Instead of eating keys to unlock maze areas you eat cards that turn over to reveal edible items within the level.

Pac-Attack – This game borrows elements from popular Tetris-like/inspired games like Dr. Mario and Columns. While the blocks that fall from the top can be used to complete horizontal lines for points, players also can put groups of ghosts together to be eaten
by Pac-Man. It can be quite challenging as blocks tend to fill up the space rather quickly and trapped ghosts can’t be eaten by Pac-Man and the surrounding blocks cannot be cleared. A fairy meter also begins to fill up as Pac-Man eats ghosts. Once it’s full a fairy will appear and remove all the ghosts within 8 lines beneath her.

Pac-Man Arrangement – The former PSP exclusive introduces more animated levels, boost meters, trap doors, warp panels, jumping and even boss battles.

Pac-Man Battle Royale – A 1 to 4 player arcade game that looks similar to Pac-Man Championship Edition that finally introduced Pac-Canabalism. Players must avoid ghosts, each other and CPU controlled Pac-Men to advance.

All things considered, I think Pac-Man Museum offers enthusiasts and casual audiences a nice combination of familiar and relatively unknown titles. In addition to achievements and trophies the game unlocks items for your Pac room and stamps. While those are nice, the inclusion of Pac-Man Battle Royale is what really tips the scales in favor of its price point – not sure about Ms. Pac-Man for $5 though.

Recommendation: Buy it – especially if you like Pac-Man games
Full Disclosure: This game was provided to GameEnthus by a PR firm representing Namco Bandai.
Genre: arcade, maze chase, platformer(Pac-Land)
Developer: Namco Bandai Games
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Platforms: PS3, XB360, Steam
Price: $19.99

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