Pac-Man 256, the latest addition to the Pac-Man series, published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, was first released in 2015 as a free-to-play mobile based game on iOS and Android that resurrected Toru Iwatani’s iconic creation, notable gameplay loops and the well known 256th glitch level. For those unfamiliar with the 256 glitch, this was a level in Pac-Man that was unable to be completed due to a glitch that brought on the game’s kill screen.
Now, with Pac-Man 256’s recent launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, players both familiar and unfamiliar with the iconic 1980s game will be taken back in time as they attempt to eat as many pellets and complete the game without being run over by the kill screen.
In Pac-Man 256, the kill screen is always fast approaching, putting pressure and haste on players to find the right balance between moving quickly to overcome the kill screen and avoiding ghosts that are hell bent on eating you. This game is more than just a simple game. It is about strategy and coordination.
Whilst maintaining the same gameplay, this new iteration of the classic Pac-Man games includes new power-ups that allows for better gameplay progress and provides Pac-Man 256 with a fresh, new feel. In addition, the game includes special coins that can be collected which provides a boost to power-ups.
Traditionally, Pac-Man games were only available in single player mode, meaning that only one player could play the game at a time. Pac-Man 256, however, takes the franchise to a whole new level with the addition of a multiplayer mode, which allows up to four people to play the game cooperatively. This gives fans of the Pac-Man games a chance to play the game with their friends and gives players a fun experience against the terrifying ghosts (I kid, they’re not really scary).
Pac-Man 256 certainly brought back a lot of good memories of playing the previous games, which I did a lot of in my childhood in the 90s. I was never quite good enough to get to level 256 but this game certainly put the pressure on. It was tough maneuvering through the many unique mazes while frantically trying to eat pellets and pick up coins; all the while trying to maintain the right balance between speed and strategy to avoid being defeated.
The multiplayer mode is a cool new feature of the game. While each of the four players compete with one another, the multiplayer mode also involves teamwork in order to increase play time as well as achieve the common goal of completing the game. For example, upon being eaten, a player can be revived by other players around them.
What I really liked about Pac-Man 256 is the visuals and audio. Both the audio and visuals of the game were crisp and clear. In addition, the game remained true to the general look of previous Pac-Man games bringing a sense of nostalgia to the game.
Pac-Man 256 is now available on the PlayStation and Xbox stores. What are you waiting for? Give this classic re-imagination a go.
Rating: 3.5 / 5