Commodore User


Pacland
By Grandslam
Amiga 500

 
Published in Commodore User #69

Pac-Land

Pac is back! At long last the Amiga version of the arcade smash Pac-Land is available. As Pacman your quest is to help a lost fairy back to Fairyland. To succeed you must pass through towns, scale rugged mountains, forge dangerous ravines and trek across deserts. Your progress is hindered by Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Clyde and Sue. These persistent ghosts will try to stop you in a variety of ways, from running you over with cars and buses to jumping up and down on your head with a pogo stick. Your only projection against the ghosts are the power pills that are dotted around the island. Eat one of these and you will be able to take revenge on the helpless spectres.

If you succeed in getting to Fairyland, the Queen will give you a pair of flying boots to speed you on your return journey. But that's not it. What should be waiting for you when you get home but another lost fairy, so it's off again but this time there's more to negotiate.

I couldn't wait to start playing Pac-Land. I was expecting great things from the Amiga version - but I was sorely disappointed.

Pac-Land

The graphics in the background are good, in fact they're almost identical to the arcade original. The foreground sprites are adequate but aren't to the same standard as the background, just take a look at Pac's conk, what a hooter (Barry PacManilow?!).

The sound is faithful to the arcade version but a few spot effects are missing. What really lets Pac-Land down is the gameplay. The playing area jerks nauseously from right to left and that is unforgiveable. The Amiga is capable of perfectly smooth scrolling as proven in Pacmania which was an excellent conversion.

Not only is the scrolling awful but the game is riddled with bugs. For example, you can end a jump by landing on solid ground and be swallowed up by the earth!

Pac-Land

There are also mature features on the arcade version that are missing from the Amiga game: there's no parallax scrolling; you can't choose the trip number; the list is quite lengthy. Due to the scrolling and bugs you're probably not going to want to play Pac-Land for very long.

Pac-Land could have been converted to the Amiga almost perfectly but Quicksilva have made a real pig's ear of it.

If you like Pac-Land then I suggest you shovel your twenty quid into the old arcade game and steer clear of this.

Mark Mainwood

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