Pac-Man, Pac-Mania and now this - is there no end Lo the tiresome "Pac" cult? In this hyped arcade conversion, you are pitted yet again against Blinky, Inky and Pinky (what became of Clyde?). Your task is to journey through a town eating fruit and power pills as you go, across a desert and up some mountains in order to direct a fairy who's lost. A sillier scenario I have yet to see...
The screen is viewed from the side: you have to travel from one edge to the other without hitting one of the three ghosts before doing the next screen, and so on until the end of the level. One ghost drives a car and another pilots an aeroplane. I dunno, ghosts of today, they're gadget mad.
A few obstacles are placed along the path - fire hydrants, cacti and tree stumps. But get this: rather than just walking into them, you can jump over them! This is slightly dangerous though, because the aeroplane crosses across the screen at different altitudes, dropping bricks as it goes. A little luck is involved in avoiding all the hazards.
This is what lets down a simple but fun game. The movement of the Pac-Man is that of a snail. He takes so long to slow down, and then start moving in the opposite direction! Meanwhile the ghosts catch you up and kill you, and luck rather than skill saves your skin.
There's a time limit on the bottom of the screen, which counts down fast. When it's gone the ghosts speed up, and sooner or later another life is lost. Any spare time which you might have at the end of a level is converted into bonus points.
I can imagine the younger player enjoying Pac-Land, but to anyone old enough to have seen the Pac phenomenon before it'll all seem like child's play.
Green Screen View
P. Faithful to the original...
N. ...but that was a long time ago!
N. Infuriating tune.
N. You can't turn it off!
Grab Factor 55%
P. Simple to play.
P. And fun too.
Staying Power 47%
N. You get stuck sooner or later.
N. Five lives aren't enough.
N. Not addictive enough.