Pacland (Grandslam) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing

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Pacland
By Grandslam
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Computer & Video Games #79

Pacland

Cue either a chorus of "Aaaahhhh..." or "Bleeeurgh!" - the original cute computer hero, Pacman, is back, and he's as sickly sweet as ever.

Do you believe a game where your task is to help a lost fairy home to Fairyland? Me neither, but even the most beserk alien-blaster could be persuaded to hang up the laser long enough to give Pacman a hand in his latest quest.

Pacland is a conversion of the popular coin-op, and can be thought of as a 3D version of the original 2D Pacman game. All the elements are there; the cute yellow Pacman (now blessed with hands, feet and a bouncing hat), the ghosts Blinky, Pinky, Indy and Clyde, the power pills, and the fruit to collect.

The difference is that this is a horizontally-scrolling game featuring some pretty cruddy backgrounds showing the houses of Pacland, mountains, ravines and deserts. There's so little detail on the backgrounds that the game ends up looking like an infant's school finger-painting, but perhaps it's aimed at younger players anyway.

The action isn't exactly fast and furious; Pac scuttles along at a choice of two speeds, leaping over obstacles, collecting fruit and avoiding the ghosts who chase him. Find a pill and you can turn the tables on the ghosts, catching them yourself and watching their eyes fly off to be reincarnated. Watch out, though, for the ghosts driving cars and bombing you from aeroplanes.

Completing each stage and letting the fairy out for a breather gets you into the bonus level, where you can collect extra fruit for bonus points. At later stages, you must negotiate sliding platforms, flying clouds and tumbling logs.

Complete all four levels and you win a pair of magic shoes from the fairy queen (Oo-er!) and these will speed your journey homeward.

While the music, effects and gameplay are pretty good reproductions of the coin-op original, I found Pacland neither challenging nor graphically interesting. You may want it if you were a fan of the coin-op, but otherwise I think it will leave you pretty unmoved.