Pac-man World

Graphics: 4
Sound: 4
Control: 4
Depth: 4
Overall: 4

Pac-man World

By: Namco
Released: 1999

After Tempest 2000 was released for the Atari Jaguar, a retro-gaming trend of “putting a fresh coat of paint” on classic games took off. Unfortunately, most of these modern remakes weren’t that much fun to play. So it was with low expectations that I tried out Pac-man World. Luckily, like Tempest, this update is enjoyable and worth your time.

Pac-man is now a 2.5-D platformer for the most part, but it incorporates many elements from the original maze games—such as eating dots, using power pills against ghosts, & collecting fruit. Pac-man can now run, jump, swim, and butt-bounce among other new skills. However, there are bonus rounds with more traditional mazes.

The different worlds (pirates, jungle, space, circus, haunted cemetery, etc.) are pretty generic in concept, but fun in execution because of the cartoony yet abstract look and the imaginative level design. The circus levels are particularly abstract and remind me of Commodore 64 games for some reason. The music is great – I particularly liked the music in the space levels – and the sounds effects match the fun, cartoony style of the game well.

Running around as Pac-man can be a lot of fun, but be prepared to die frequently as many of the bosses—and some of the jumping later in the game—get quite hard! Those who can blaze through the first Castlevania on the NES have nothing to fear. Even so, with perseverance, the game is quite winnable.

-Ben Langberg