Pac Man Through Time
Pac Man is considered to be one of the most popular arcade and video games ever. With a staggering collection of over 40 games, the series is massive and ever-evolving, with new games being released as fresh as 2022.
In this blog, we have compiled a list of the best and most legendary Pac Man games since its release in 1980, explaining how these games contributed to the series development and popularity.
1980 - Pac-Man:
On the 22nd of May 1980, the world was introduced to the concept of Pac Man, with a simple yellow dot called Pac-Man being chased around the screen, avoiding 4 coloured ghost characters chasing the player. The controls and rules were very simple, don’t get caught, and after the original tester for the game was held, popularity began to grow.
Originally, the arcade game was advertised on Shinjuka ALTAS large screen televisions, and during this time in 1980, advertising video games was very rare, so interest and engagement over the new game grew massively.
After being announced in the May, the game was later released in Japan to the public in the July, followed by an October release for the USA. Within 1 year of the games release, over 100,000 units were sold, and the Pac-Man franchise begun.
1982 – Mrs Pac-Man:
After the huge success of the original arcade game, 1982 bought more success with the introduction of Mrs Pac-Man the game, Pac-Man first official sequel. The game plot and controls for Mrs Pac-Man were exactly the same as the original, the only difference was the main character sported a colourful bow on her head and eyelashes.
Visually however, the game had some slight additions, with a new maze design and 2 warp tunnels being added to the game.
1984 – First Side Scrolling Action Game:
Moving away from the game’s classic overhead layout, in 1984, the series first ever side scrolling action game was released called Pac Land. Pac Land was different to the original Pac-Man game, because players had to go on a journey to help rescue a lost fairy, this was the first game within the franchise to have a specific, set story and plot.
The graphics were still very simple, with 2D visuals, however some new features were added to improve the game, lively animations were added to give characters more life and personalities. As well as this, ‘hidden secrets’ were placed throughout the game for players to find. This added feature of the ‘hidden secrets’ was specifically memorable, as this feature was then hidden through the future Pac-Man games, almost like a turning point for the way the video games were designed.
1995 – Pac In Time:
Over the years, as more Pac-Man games were released into the series and as technology improved, the games plots and storylines became better developed and adapted on. In 1995, Pac In Time was released. It contained over 50 different levels to complete each with unique locations for the player to admire, some of these locations included mountains, forests, castles, and temples.
As well as this, more character actions were introduced including swimming and jumping, so now, players weren’t just moving or walking, they had the option move in different ways, which was completely new for the franchise.
1999 – First 3D Game:
1999 bought a huge advancement to the Pac-Man universe. The games first ever 3D action world was bought to life, called Pac-Man World. Released to celebrate Pac-Mans 20th anniversary, the game involved new actions like trampolining, hip attacks and speed turns whilst also incorporating the movements from the classics.
Pac-Man World was so special because the 3D action changed how the series would be created forever, players could really immerse themselves in the game, walking around and being able to actually see a fully formed version of Pac-Man, not just a side 2D angle.
2000 – Return of Mrs Pac-Man:
Mrs Pac-Man returned in 2000 with another 3D game called Mrs Pac-Man Maze Madness. The game contained over 180 mazes that were available to play, which included the added feature of ‘problem solving’. Players could complete and solve puzzles throughout the game, something not really done before.
2002 – Pac Man World 2:
Forever moving on from 2D animations now, this new 3D game called Pac-Man World 2 was released, a sequel to Pac-Man World. Added into the game were vehicles, like submarines, that players could board to complete levels. This was a new addition to the Pac-Man universe that would also continue to stay in the future.
2013 – Mobile Pac-Man:
Jumping to 2013, when mobiles became a lot more popular and Pac-Man had moved over to mobiles, Pac-Man + Tournaments was released on iOS and Android.
The game was similar to the original 1980 release, with the original 2D board consisting of ghosts chasing a small character around. However, there were some slight alters to the game including:
- In-game currency – Players could unlock achievements with in-app purchases to win points and unlock more prizes, giving the game more depth.
- Daily achievements – Instead of playing the game once, completing it, then just re-starting over again, players could continually return to the game to complete their achievements which would be set daily.
- Online tournaments – Weekly tournaments were introduced in ‘tournament mode’, a new feature for the game.
2016 – World Largest Pac-Man:
2016 bought a slightly different addition to the series with the World’s Largest Pac-Man. Bringing the game back to the arcades this game was an enhanced version of the original arcade Pac-Man, with the original controls, rules, and simple characters.
The large arcade-based gaming console included an enormous screen made of LED lights and a second player option, so players could compete against each other. With the second player option, points were collated between the gamers then a winner would be calculated, like a 1-v-1 game.
2020 – Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle:
Getting closer to present times, 2020 bought the Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle game. Described in advertising as the worlds biggest multiplayer Pac-Man experience players were able to battle against each other in matches and power up against players. Completely different to the original game, a one player experience, in Mega Tunnel Battle users could invade other players mazes and games.
2022 – Present Pac-Man:
Finally arriving at the most recent game, being released in August 2022, this game is a recreation of the original Pac-Man, with the same storyline and controls, however with completely different visuals and alterations, mainly, unlike the original, the mazes in this game could be viewed in 3D.
Pac-Man World Re-Pac is also available on all current gaming consoles, including Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PS5.
Currently there are no announced releases of a possible future Pac-Man game, however, considering this franchise has now been actively running for over 40 years, there is a high possibility of upcoming Pac-Man games being released in the future.
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