Home Computing Weekly


Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Atari 800XL

Published in Home Computing Weekly #130

My immediate reaction on opening this review package and finding a re-issue of PacMan was to suspect that I had become victim to some unintended time-warp. After returning to normality - never an easy task at the best of times - I spent a sleepless night pondering on the logic behind US Gold's generally excellent marketing philosophy.

Pac-Man, for those of you who have returned from a 10 year vacation on Mars, is the original maze game. The player controls a creature whose sole task is to wander a maze munching up the small dots liberally sprinkled around, which scores you points. Trying to prevent you are a number of other characters who roam the maze, contact with your muncher losing a life.

Consumption of power pills, dotted in far-flung corners, enable the player for a short time to turn on these foes and eat them for extra points. Once a maze is cleared of dots, it's on to an identical, but faster, screen - little animated sequences occur periodically between certain "milestone" mazes.

This is undoubtedly a very well presented version of the original vastly popular arcade game. I cannot help but feel, however, that with the excellent state of other software available - amongst them many other US Gold titles - the purchase of this is a piece of pure nostalgia.